‘A Real People Horse,’ Hockey School Has Adapted To Life As A Lead Pony

by | 10.12.2019 | 1:15pm
Hockey School and trainer Brian Lynch

Revered for their athleticism and intelligence, Thoroughbreds are popular for an array of activities when their racing careers conclude. Three-time winner Hockey School did not even have to leave trainer Brian Lynch's barn to find his new profession as a companion mount. Known as “ponies,” these multitaskers of any breed inspire calm in the racehorses while providing a vantage point for trainers to observe their runners exercising on the track each morning.

Hockey School, a 6-year-old son of Hat Trick (JPN), made 22 starts and earned $148,377 from 2015-2018 for breeders and owners John and Jerry Amerman. A half-brother to Grade 1 winner Coffee Clique, he made one start at Keeneland during the 2016 Spring Meet.

When Hockey School no longer was competitive in the upper levels of racing, Lynch suggested to the Amermans that he be retired but remain with the Lynch team, and they readily agreed. Soon after making his final career start a year ago, Hockey School launched his new career.

“He took to it quite easily,” Lynch said about the gelding's transition. “He went straight from an exercise saddle and bridle to the Western tack while still at the track and we just started riding him. He's always been an easy horse to be around.”

Lynch said Hockey School “is a real people horse. Little kids and adults love to pet him when he puts his head over the rail during morning workouts. He has turned into a great pony. He seems to love his job.”

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