Nearly half of Kentucky-based Charlie Lopresti's career earnings have been amassed since the start of 2010 when Successful Dan won the Grade 3 Northern Dancer. After almost 20 years as a trainer, his recent success has not changed his commitment to the traditional horsemanship methods he credits for his success, writes Alicia Wincze Hughes for Kentucky.com.
Only a few short years ago he had second thoughts about continuing on his chosen career path, wondering if he would ever get any horses good enough to make training worthwhile. Of the $6,889,724 in earnings since he first took out his trainer's license in 1993, $3,356,829 has been earned since the start of 2010 – largely due to the performance of runners Successful Dan, Wise Dan, Turallure and Here Comes Ben.
Lopresti and his wife, Amy, remain committed to the old-school methods of racing's traditionalists, exposing their horses to as much as nature will allow them – including riding young horses through fearsome obstacles such as creeks.
“If you were to ride a yearling across a creek, you'd be amazed sometimes, when they put their feet in the water, they run backward,” Lopresti said. “We just expose them to everything you can expose a horse to. About 12-15 years ago, I started going to these horsemanship clinics, and I think that's a big thing that has helped our program.
“It's just good horsemanship,” Amy Lopresti added. “And chances are, these horses are going to have to do something else at some point in their lives anyway. They're horses, and you have to treat them that way.”
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