“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.
“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.
“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.”
Name: Pirate's Bid (a.k.a. “Pirate”)
Height: 16.1 hands
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 ([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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