I suppose it was his eye that caught mine that April morning last year. His eyes were kind and bright, despite the dusty shedrow at Penn National. One look into them and you could tell Snowshoe Flyer was an old soul; content to quietly munch hay and observe the weavers, cribbers and stall- walkers. His trainer clipped on a blue cotton shank and walked him out of his stall. Though shaggy and thin, he was built like a tank and clean legged. Not to mention, I’m a complete sucker for bays with “chrome.” I glanced down at his papers and noticed he was bred in Washington State. I thought it odd that such a nice horse had passed through so many hands and travelled so far. I knew he was coming home with me before he even began to jog.
Upon arriving home to the rolling fields of Chester County, Pennsylvania, Snowshoe Flyer settled right in. His barn name was shortened to Wilson, after the 28th US president. He began to flourish with some thorough grooming, groceries and treatment for both thrush and scratches. Wilson took to his retraining with good humor and that fantastic Thoroughbred work ethic. Also, he was like the postal service; not rain nor sleet, nor traffic, nor llama … nothing would faze him!
After only two weeks of retraining, he began his show career, winning ribbons at a dressage schooling show with scores in the 60s. In the year that has passed since, he has continued his stellar performances at paper chases, hunt meets, horse trials and even whilst hacking bareback through gorgeous country. Just last month he and I took championships in adult equitation and hunter horse divisions. He’s quite the Renaissance man! Though versatility is a fantastic quality, my years of riding youngsters and hot-heads have taught me that an honest, kind heart is the most important thing to look for in a horse. In the horses I have known, Wilson’s heart of gold has been unequalled. He is truly one in a million, and I am very thankful to have him as my “partner in crime.”
Wilson would like to thank those Washingtonians who started him along slow and treated him right. He would not be sound and happy if not for you. He would also like to thank the Pennsylvania branch of CANTER for offering such a necessary service to racehorses in need of homes. If not for this organization, Wilson may have ended up going to slaughter. Additionally, he would like to thank everyone he has known along his way who did not let him slip through the cracks. He is certainly one of the lucky ones. It took eight years and a journey across the country, but now Snowshoe Flyer is finally home. For more information about giving a retired Thoroughbred a home, please visit www.canterusa.org.
Snowshoe Flyer was born on May 20, 1998, and was bred by Norman Clem. His sire, Damone, was an unraced son of Alydar. His dam, Flying Patsy, was sired by Irish Group 2 stakes winner Peterhof.
—Angela Dion, CVT
Snowshoe Flyer (WA), 1998, g., Damone—Filly Patsy, by Peterhof.
Raced seven years, 63-7-10-8, $68,491.