To celebrate Dublin's perfect--and very high profile--presentation of ex-racehorses in the show ring, The Jurga Report is bringing something to you that is unique for this blog.
This is, for want of a better description, ex-racehorse reality tv. ?You're about to watch seven chapters in a video diary of an Irish racehorse named Paris to Berlin--or Mr. Lloyd, as he is known around the barn.
Friends Lucinda Kelly and Brian Curran Cournane picked him up for cheap back in 2010 and decided to groom him on a few months training and groceries to compete with the likes of champions Hardy Eustace and Beef or Salmon. But to compete with them in the showring, not on the track.
Can they do it? Did they do it?
Lloyd's video diary comprises about two hours of video, which has been cut up into short segments to show on the blog.
Will Lloyd break your heart or win it over?
One thing is for certain: watching Lloyd's physical transformation, with the help of the Irish feed company Gain, who consulted on his nutrition, will amaze you, as will the re-shaping of his "frame" under saddle. You'll go into his stall, into his trailer and, most of all, to his shows, while Lucinda and Brian wonder aloud, into the microphone and to each other, about what they have taken on, and what his chances--and future--might be.
[vimeo width="560" height="350"]http://vimeo.com/9836888[/vimeo]
Lloyd's story begins with a trailer ride home to Lucinda's stable, where they look over their purchase and his prospects. But the new owners can't resist the urge to tack him up, just to see what happens with a bit in his mouth.
So let's get started with an introduction to Mr. Lloyd and his crew. Be forewarned: he's muddy and cruddy and has a case of rainscald when he moves into Lucinda's parents' stable. She and Brian see something in him that made others pass him right by.
Would you pour your heart and soul and savings into a horse like this?
Lucinda and Brian were clever. It's true that they had invested their own money in buying Lloyd but they knew that it would take a lot to bring him to show condition, as well as to pay his expenses. The idea was to videotape the horse's progress and pitfalls, and to involve sponsors, such as Horseware Ireland, Gain, Alltech, Robinson Farms Haylage, and Blue Frog bedding.
It's a good thing they had those sponsors: they were going to need them. It would be one thing to clean him up and another to get him re-shaped into a rounded show horse frame, while acting the part, as well.
[vimeo width="560" height="330"]http://vimeo.com/9892949[/vimeo]
In this second episode, Lloyd gets wormed and goes for a spin in the ring as Brian helps Lucinda sort out his trot.
The remaining installments of Lloyd's story will be posted here on The Jurga Report on equisearch.com.
To learn more:
From Racehorse to Showhorse: Wendy Wooley's blog detailing her retraining of the beautiful ex-racehorse, Jaguar Hope, offers some American-style insight into the process.
Off-Track Thoroughbreds blog by Susan Salk reports on the growing culture of re-training, owning and riding ex-racehorses in the United States.
Retraining of Racehorses is the mother ship web site for the vision and organization of the British program dedicated to responsible ownership, committed trainers and a proud new tradition in almost every horse sport for the ex-racehorse in Britain.
Links to the next posts on The Jurga Report, with more episodes of Mr Lloyd's sometimes questionable progress will be posted here as they become available over the weekend.