Okay, so here is the story of Independent George! As I mentioned before I had been in contact with the ranch that I got Piney from. I had asked if they had any gray geldings and Dr. B thought that one of his gray geldings would be a good match for me because he had a similar personality as Piney. So I called up Dr. B. and asked him about this horse. He told me his name was ‘Independent George’ and that he had a pretty successful race career. He said that he was a really nice looking horse with a pretty little head and a sweet personality. Easy to work with and be around. He told me to look George up and then get back to him when I decided.
So first thing I did was search for the horse and one of the first things I see was this post by Wendy over at From Racehorse to Showhorse. I couldn’t even believe it. One of my favorite equine photographers knew this horse and she had even said she had a horse crush on him! So next I sent her a message on Facebook and asked her about George. She was happy to tell me a little bit about him. That was basically what sealed the deal for me. But of course I went on to do more research on him. Because I am a HUGE nerd when it comes to this sort of thing.
Independent George had 44 starts, with 8 firsts, 9 seconds, and 4 thirds. He earned $395,464 in his career and is a multiple stakes winner. He raced in Gr. 1 stakes races but never finished higher than 4th. He raced all over the east coast and was training with Graham H. Motion at Herringswell Stables durring the beginning of his career. Herringswell Stables is where the 2013 Dubai Cup Winner ‘Animal Kingdom’ is training out of. So cool! He was sold at Keenland as a yearling for $60,000, and then for $160,000 as a 2 year old in training. This is the most expensive horse I’ve ever been around LOL! And to think…I’m getting this horse for free! After I posted on Facebook pictures of George, Wendy tagged a friend of hers that works at Herringswell Stables. Which is so cool because she has been giving me little stories about George’s past. She said that he loves peppermints and that a jumping trainer had eventually wanted to purchase him. She also said that during one of his races he went straight on at the turn, into the woods, and then came out running the wrong way after ditching his rider someplace in the woods. She also said that “If one day he decided not to train you had to wait for him to decide!” So this could be quite the interesting journey!! They just loved him and were worried about what happened to him. his previous owners also worried about him. They are digging out some of his old stuff to send to me! How awesome is that? I just love trainers and owners that care for a horse its whole life, not just when he is racing. They also said that if for whatever reason it doesn’t work out with George that I should let them know, and they will do whatever it takes to help him out. It is just so neat to be connected to his past and that they will help him out if we ever get in a bind.
Here are a few other cool things about George’s are past. I was scanning over his race records at equibase.com and noticed that not one, but two Jockey’s that I’ve heard of have ridden him. Cory Nakatani and hall of fame jockey Mike Smith! Below is a picture of George training with 'Icabad Crane' who came in 3rd at the 2008 Preakness.
|Photo from the Herringswell Stables website|
And here is George training with 'Better Talk Now' who is a multiple graded stakes winner including a 1st in the Breeder’s Cup Turf.
|photo by Allison L. Janezic|
George was named after a Seinfeld bit. As a big Seinfeld fan this is awesome to me!
I am pretty excited about this horse. But to be completely honest here…I wasn’t super excited when I actually saw him for the first time. He looked pretty rough. Which will happen to any horse after a long North Dakota winter on the plains. The horses are given enough hay, but some just don’t fight hard enough to get theirs. Dr. B had to buy alfalfa from Canada and have it shipped down because of the shortage of hay around here. The horses were getting some nice alfalfa. Heck I even wanted to eat some of it, it looked so good! He is separated from the rest of the herd in a pen with Dr. B’s personal horse until I can arrange to have him delivered. They won’t have to fight for hay and I’m sure he will plump right back up by the time I need to go get him.
When we took George out of his pen to look at him better I realized that he was a very nice horse. He is a big horse though. We sticked him at 16.2hh. I think Piney was 16, but more than likely he was smaller than that! George has nice thick, strong legs, although he was a bit stocked up on his back legs. But more than likely it was because he had planted himself in front of that bale and hadn’t moved since. After a little walking around he started to look better. He wasn’t even the slightest bit lame. Dr. B had done a pretty through checkout before I got there to make sure there wasn’t anything that would surprise me when we got there. Hubby wanted to see if he would let us look at his feet and I think George was the easiest horse I’ve seen to let someone pick his feet. After the first one he offered his other 3 easily. I usually have the horse that you have to fight with to get one foot, and then they snatch it away before you are done. OH and one more great thing…He has GREAT feet! The girl working there said that she didn’t think he had his feet done in the year he had been there, and they still looked like they didn’t need a trim. He had had his teeth recently done and had coggins pulled. Again…this is a free horse I am getting.
I am pretty excited about George. He needs a bath, and a good long grooming session. He was a little grumpy when I was grooming him. He was itchy and it made sense. But he is a sweet horse. He is lazy like Piney. (So far…we might have a different horse on our hands when it comes time to saddle up!) But I just really like him. Lets see if I am singing the same tune in a few months ;-)And now for a TON of pictures!!!
|Me and my boy.|
|Hey let's get the girl who hates grooming an almost competely white horse!|
|This is my "Oh George!" look.|
|scratch. scratch. scratch.|
|He loved having his forehead scratched.|
|Ahhh that's the spot!|
|look at me walking so nice.|
|"Iz a cuteeee"|
|LOVE that little pink spot on his nose. It's perfect for kissing.|
|Hi! I'm a great big monster!|
|Desperate need of a good grooming session!!|