OTTB Showcase: Pirate’s Bid (a.k.a. “Pirate”)

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“Once a winner, always a winner,” said Jen Feiner of her OTTB Pirate’s Bid.

You can say that again.

Backtrack to 2007. That year alone, Pirate’s Bid racked up six victories, enough to be ranked #82 of all active racehorses by number of wins.  He was tied with a few other names you might recognize: Grade 1 winners Curlin and Rutherienne, among others.

All in all, Pirate’s Bid produced ten wins in his 54-race career, earning $132,485.

Concurrently, life-long equestrian Jen Feiner was beginning her veterinary career in Lexington, Ky. at Hagyard Equine Medical Institute.

“The parents of VinMar Farm manager Brent Wilson bred and raced Pirate,” explained Jen. “At the end of his career, they didn’t want him going down as a cheap claimer and possibly get run into the ground, so they asked me if I wanted him.”

Bred and co-owned by Doug and Mona Wilson, he was a farm favorite, and one of the luxuries of getting a horse from his hands-on breeder-owners means you learn all of the highs and lows of a horse’s life – something any horse owner loves to know.

OTTB Showcase - Pirate's Bid 2“Pirate and his mother were sent to another farm so she could be bred back, and he could be with other foals,” explained Jen. “Pirate’s dam and another mare switched foals, and no one knew different until they went to sell the other mare’s foal, which was actually Pirate, and the DNA didn’t match up. So, Doug and Mona Wilson, Pirate’s real owners, got Pirate back and returned the other foal, who turned out to be a dud.”

Pirate, on the other hand, turned out to be anything but a dud on the racetrack.  In addition to his 10 career victories, Pirate also finished second a dozen times and third five times in his 54 starts.  At age six, he was retired from racing and given to Jen.

“He had some thickening in his suspensory, so I gave him seven months off,” said Jen. Since that, he’s never looked back.”

That was four years ago. Since then, Jen has done her best to balance an extremely demanding veterinary career at one of the world’s top equine hospitals with the rigors of training and campaigning an upper level eventer. Jen finds the time often in the early morning or late evening hours to ride and train Pirate but says that when it comes to cross country, they never have trouble coming in under the allotted time. OTTB Showcase - Pirate's Bid 3

“He did his first beginner novice at May Daze three and a half years ago, and now he’s a machine,” said Jen. “Pirate and I competed at a one-star event last fall at Mid South and competed at the Intermediate level at River Glen in November. Our first event this year is scheduled for the end of May at the Virginia Horse Trials at the intermediate level. Hopefully we’ll qualify for a two-star in the fall.”

Being a veterinarian in Lexington, Jen sees equine athletes of all shapes, sizes, and breeds. When it comes to her personal preferences through, she’s all about the Thoroughbreds.

“These horses are like sponges.  They’re eager to learn, have a great work ethic, and truly appreciate a second career. I feel it’s all about heart, and that’s something you just can’t train.”

THE DEETS:
Name: Pirate’s Bid (a.k.a. “Pirate”)
Born: 2002
Height: 16.1 hands
Color: Bay
Sire: Daufuskie Pirate
Dam: Timeless Bidder
Sale History: none
Race Record: 54-10-12-5
Race Earnings: $132,485

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 (
Jenlroytz@gmail.com) 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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  • tfly

    Congrats on Pirate’s Bid.  Other horses are not so lucky and end up tortured and slaughtered.   Please help by signing this petition, forwarding, sharing….the horses thank you!http://signon.org/sign/stop-horse-slaughter-5.fb23?source=c.fb&r_by=1775451

  • LL

    I  think the Wilsons are “winners” also. Nice story. Good luck at the Virginia Trials!!!!

  • Susansalk

     “At the end of his career, they didn’t want him going down as a cheap claimer and possibly get run into the ground, so they asked me if I wanted him.”
    Great quote! It’s so nice to see people from different sectors of the horse business get together to do the right thing. My impression is that this happens a lot, but it’s always so good to see a story to underscore all the efforts.

  • Helendmar

    I think it is interesting that the mares switched foals.  How often does this happen, I wonder?

    • Kevin

      Not often, I have a mare that has done that and will given a couple hours allow a foal to suck and she’s got no milk (does come in sort of) she will also ‘steal’ foals from other mares if given half the chance. my guess in this case is that the mares where buddys and the babies being that close to each other and just swapped. In my band of mares i have seen foals take a pull from the wrong mare more often than one would think.

  • Kathy Young

    “These horses are like sponges.  They’re eager to learn, have a great work ethic, and truly appreciate a second career. I feel it’s all about heart, and that’s something you just can’t train.”
    Another great quote. I’ve always felt that OTTBs have hearts full of “try,” and those of us who get these athletes have the best of both worlds–a trained horse that will do anything for you as soon as you show it what to do.

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