Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Manes and Tails Organization

Lana Lobell's 'Joie de Vie'
Harness horses, or 'Standardbreds,' are a fascinating breed of horse. There are trotters and pacers and they can reach speeds in excess of 45mph. These horses are like locomotives when trotting or pacing and when their racing careers have concluded, they indeed can be trained for a new job. There have been Standardbreds on Mounted Police Units in New Jersey, and these horses can also be trained for equitation on the flat, dressage, and jumping. They must first be trained to 'break' their trot or pace and transition into a canter. Once they have learned to 'break,' which is anathema to them in the beginning, they are fantastic mounts who will never disappoint.
Standardbred foals are always turned out with horses that have the same gait. You will never see trotters turned out with pacers. The foals learn their gaits from their dams. Additionally, the Standardbred foals never have nursemares as do the Thoroughbreds. Imagine a Quarterhorse or Paint mare being a nursemare to a Standardbred foal and you will have a foal that gallops!
The horse in the photograph above - 'Joie de Vie' (Joy of Life) was bred by Alan Leavitt of the Lana Lobell Standardbred Stud in Bedminster, New Jersey. Once the second largest stud in the United States, only Hanover Shoe Farms is larger, the Lobell horses are still present in the bloodlines of today, however you will now find them at Cantab Hall in Kentucky. The bucolic stud farm was sold in 1989 and Mr. Leavitt relocated to New York state first with his stallion 'Garland Lobell' and then onto Lexington, Kentucky where he lives at Cantab Hall. His horses have always been entered into the 'Hambletonian' and more likely than not, they prevail.
This evening on Howling Ridge Radio we will be joined by Ellen Harvey who is a trustee at the Harness Racing Museum in New York State. Ellen will be discussing an adoption day for these magnificent horses and educating us about the formation of the breed and how this gentle breed of horse can do so much more than pull a sulky for a race or a buggy for the Amish.
The show starts at 9:30pm Eastern and runs for two hours. You can reach the show page here. If you would like to call in the call in number is: 718-664-6596. You need not call in to listen to the program as you may listen at the show page. If you do want to call in press 1 and that will let us know that you would like to speak.
Until next time,
Be well,


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