A fine Sunday in June, the 25th to be exact, I saw excellence in winning. I was fortunate enough to be able to be in attendance at the Totally Thoroughbred horse show held at Pimlico racetrack in Baltimore Maryland. I was there to support Madison and her horse Hunting Glory, who is now known in the barn at Walder’s Way as Bonita.
The day was a perfect weather day for seeing Thoroughbreds many who are off the track and now compete in equitation, and hunter/jumper events. The infield was full with spectators, owners, trainers and supporters of Thoroughbreds! I was in horse heaven enjoying my afternoon in the sun watching some of the most beautiful horses competing in the events. The magnificence of these horses is incredible to see. They are well suited to many disciplines off the track and can go on to have wonderful careers off the track. I applaud the Walder’s for using platforms like this to showcase Bonita and others in their barn. I think most horses like to have a job and what a great job to have!
Madison and Bonita had been preparing for the event in earnest. Bonita is a particularly pretty mare. She is a registered Thoroughbred which is a requirement that each horse in the competition must be. Most Thoroughbreds will get a special identifying tattoo on the underside of the upper lip with stays with them for life. Owner’s will register their Thoroughbred with the Jockey Club and it is this tattooed number that will enable the registry to identify any records associated with the horse. She is a registered Thoroughbred and her registered name on file with Jockey Club is Hunting Glory.
I was so excited to be there to support Madison and the Walders and of course Bonita. I took my camera with me and though I am a complete amateur I did my best to capture a few moments of the day…Pimlico is the 2nd oldest racetrack in the United States second to Saratoga in upstate New York. So it was a honor to be there on this historical racetrack for such a grand event showcasing Thoroughbreds.
Madison and Bonita were planning to compete in 2 jump events. The Walders knew that this turf surface was new for Bonita and were not sure how she would do on it. In horse racing it is not uncommon for owners and trainers to try different surfaces to see what works best for the horse. It often takes time and patience and many adjustments to “get it right”. And of course there is no one fit all strategy that will work in all cases. Finding the right fit can take months if not years sometimes!
The Walders take every precaution and make every effort to do what is right for Bonita and all the horses in their barn. They know how critical it is to do right by the horse and it is reflected in their entire operations. No detail is left undone, untouched or forgotten.
Madison is a Gran Prix rider and talented trainer. She has put in countless hours of practice and effort to be where she is today, but even with all the accolades and accomplishments she is a bonifide horse lover from the start! Most importantly, she knows her horses and how to motivate them. She knows instinctively when it is best to keep pushing forward or when it’s best to take a step back. This is not easy to do. I see this in horse racing at times too. Being first to cross the finish line is the coveted reward. But the real reward and the most important thing to do is to always keep what is best for the horse and rider to the forefront. This Sunday, was one of those times as we were to find out.
They were entered into 2 jump events and both had prize money associated. Madison and Bonita entered the ring for the first event and on the surface things seemed fine to my untrained eye despite some resistance on Bonita’s part for a couple of jumps. They finished the round and put in a good effort. I was very proud of both of them for giving it a try and so grateful I had been there to see it.
Madison made a decision to scratch out from the second event. Very profound decision. She felt that her horse was not handling the surface and deemed it best to take a step back and not take a risk of injury. Her horsemanship skills are so thorough and very thoughtful and reflects well in her decision making and one I commend. It’s easy to take risks but when things go bad, dealing with the consequences is very difficult. I was so glad that she made the right choice for her horse. I am sure that there will be more events to look forward to, and this one will be one I will remember most.
There were many champions that day, but there was only one winner. An unforgettable day to witness what it takes to really be a winner. A grand reward indeed!
Congratulations Madison and Bonita!