It's funny what you can find once you start looking, you know?
Leah Lang-Gluscic, an eventing rider/trainer from Freeport, Illinois, was en route to Tennessee to pick up a new horse trailer. Little did she know she'd have a new horse to put in it by the time her trip was done.
“I'd decided to check out the Thoroughbred rescues and listings that might be on the way,” said Leah. “He was really the only one I found and it was just a ten minute drive off of my 12 hour route.”
Once she arrived at the racetrack where the horse she'd found online was located, she made her way to the trainer's shedrow and, as she waited for him to arrive, she saw a horse that she hoped was the one she was there to see.
“He has the most incredible eye, and he is really gorgeous,” said Leah. “He had a rubber patch over an old abscess, which I'm pretty sure is why they agreed when I said I'll give you $750 and pick him up tomorrow.”
A. P. had already been given eight weeks off due to the abscess, so once he arrived at Leah's LLG Eventing facility, all he really needed was a little time to get his feet sorted out.
It wasn't long before Leah was schooling A. P. both on the flat and over fences, and the talent he showed was impactful.
“He's incredibly scopey and really loves to jump, so from the beginning it's been all about gymnastics, placing poles, and challenging exercises to keep him focused on a job and not just elated that he gets to leap over things!”
With eventing being a combination of several disciplines, inevitably any horse is going to have his strengths and his weaknesses, and for A. P., his weakness was dressage.
“In regard to cross country and stadium, his ability is limitless and he's so trainable and brave,” said Leah. “He's only been in full dressage training for a year and a half, so the strength to hold the collection, particularly at the trot, just isn't there yet.”
As a testament to Leah's training style and experience, she was determined not to rush A. P. through his training, and risk pushing his body and mind past their limits.
“I refuse to just manufacture a frame that is suitable for upper level eventing,” explained Leah. “He's just too nice not to bring along to the absolute best of my ability. Right now it's just a waiting game for his body to mature and strengthen in order to catch up to his mind.”
Even though Leah has been lucky enough to enjoy more than her fair share of talented and athletically gifted horses, A. P. is in a class by himself.
He's truly a horse of a lifetime, and at only seven-years-old, he has big things in his future,” explained Leah. “He will run a CCI** in Ocala this upcoming April and will move up to the advanced level. I have serious hopes of him being a team horse in the future!”
Watch one of Leah and A. P.'s recent cross-country runs here:
“I don't have OTTBs exclusively, but I do have quite a few since they are such fantastic athletes and have so much heart.”
Name: A. P. Prime (a.k.a. “A.P.”)
Height: 16.3 hands
Color: Dark Bay/Brown
Dam: Czarina Kate
Sale History: Sold at KEESEP in 2006 for $11,000
Race Record: 31-2-4-5
Race Earnings: $20,175
If you have or know of a retired Thoroughbred with an interesting story to tell, we'd love to hear about it! Just email Jen Roytz ([email protected]) with the horse's Jockey Club name, background story, and a few photos.
Jen Roytz is the marketing and communications director at Three Chimneys Farm in Midway, Kentucky. She also handles the farm's Thoroughbred aftercare efforts. She currently owns two retired Thoroughbreds: Point of Impact (by Point Given; a.k.a. Boomer), who retired from racing in late 2011 and is just starting back under saddle to find his forte as a riding horse, and Shotgun Shine (by Tale of the Cat, a.k.a. Gage), who is in training as a hunter/jumper. Contact Jen on Facebook and Twitter.
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