Throwback Thursday: Candy the racehorse

Candy’s former owner sent some photos of her racing days, and I couldn’t resist sharing them! Not only are racing photos super freaking cool, they’re also a reminder of just how versatile Thoroughbreds can be; many leave long careers at the track only to find new success doing something utterly different!

September 21, 2011 at Hoosier Park. 7 1/2 furlongs.
Candy leading the field at the same race.
October 2, 2011 at Hoosier Park. 7 1/2 furlongs.
December 18, 2010 at Calder Race Course. 7 furlongs on a sloppy track.

Project pony

One of the barn’s students spent half the summer in Florida working at a dressage barn; when she returned from Florida earlier this month, the trailer had an extra horse in it.


Meet Vintage Candy (Formal Dinner x Mishapangua), a 2008 off-the-track Thoroughbred mare. Candy retired in 2013 after winning $42,177 in 34 starts. She went on to produce two foals before being sent for training with the dressage barn where my friend encountered her. Candy had about 90 days of training, was sent back to her owner where she wasn’t handled much for a couple of months, and then returned to the dressage barn for a couple of weeks before making the journey to Oklahoma.


I’m currently tasked with riding Candy- working student returns to college soon and barn owner’s own horse is returning from injury rehab. I’m very excited about a project pony, especially one as nice as this mare.

Candy is what I imagine Gina looking like ten years ago; she’s about 16 hands tall, has good bone, good conformation, and is strong and fit. She has a dainty, feminine head and a very kind eye. Her personality is lovely. She’s curious and enjoys attention. She’s also smart and eager to please.

I’ve ridden Candy a couple of times, and she’s been great. Other than being kind of freaked out at clunking her leg on a ground pole, she’s been fairly quiet and quick to figure out whatever I’m asking. (Except posing for pictures- she would much rather follow me around or nibble at my phone than stand still for a photo.)

There’s no hurry to have Candy doing anything in particular, so I plan to keep piddling along quietly with her a few times a week. I’d like to get her going over crossrails (she’s done them a couple of times in Florida) regularly, and maybe take her to a dressage show or two in the fall. But we’ll see. In the meantime, I’ll enjoy riding a different horse (and work on teaching her to pose)!