Longtime WinStar Farm trainer Richard Budge, who has been with the operation since its inception in 2000 and was a key member of the WinStar team, is leaving his post to explore other opportunities.
“It has been an amazing time at WinStar and I have been blessed to develop and work with such stars as Justify, Songbird, Uncle Mo, Super Saver, Drosselmeyer, Forever Unbridled, and many others. WinStar gave me the experience of a lifetime, which only a limited number of horsemen will ever know. I have worked with horses in Europe, South America, and here at WinStar and one thing remains the same: The horse comes first. But life always changes, and it's time to look toward the future to find new opportunities.”
Destin Heath, who has been at WinStar for five years under the tutelage of Richard Budge, will assume training responsibilities, while Shannon Ritter continues to manage the rehabilitation division.
“Richard has had a huge impact on WinStar and the development of our training, breaking and rehab division,” said Elliott Walden, president, CEO and racing manager for WinStar. “He has a special mix of horsemanship and business acumen that have and always will serve him well. I wish all the best to Richard who has been nothing short of stellar in every respect. He and his family are the epitome of class in this industry. He has agreed to continue on with the farm in a consulting role during the transition and will most likely be an independent sounding board for WinStar for a long time in the future.”
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