Thoroughbred Celebration Success Story

By Karen Dennehy Godsey

This past weekend I attended the Thoroughbred Celebration Horse Show at The Horse Center in Lexington.  
What a wonderful event it was, and it was so great to see so many OTTB’s excelling in a new career.  I took a 2007 gelding named Stonewall Kitchen, by Hook and Ladder, out of Authentic Lady by Atticus to the show.  
I had purchased him from the yearling sale at Timonium and raced him at Colonial Downs in 2011.  When his best finish was a 3rd in a weak field going 5.5 for $5,000, I decided he needed a change of career.  
I had shown all my life but hadn’t been able to since graduating college in 2005.  I worked with “Stonewall” on and off since his last start, and we finally were able to get to two shows before getting to my goal of attending this show. I am very proactive about finding my horses great homes after racing, and many have ended up at this show. As I had heard nothing but great things, I was looking forward to being to be a part of this show series.
Happily, we were third in the Colonial Downs Hack (fitting since his best finish there was a third at CLN), second in two Suffolk over fences classes and a hack class, and also received a ribbon in 8 of the 10 classes we entered.  The classes had from 20 to 40 horses a piece.  
We even qualified for the $1,500 Hunter Stakes and ended up 7th overall.  Not bad for justhis third show and my rusty boots!  
I even saw one of my old homebred/VA bred Chenin Blancs there!  
Also some other Colonial Downs goers there included Clem Clements, Jessica McKinney (trainer and fiancé of Chris Crocker who runs a lot at CLN) who rode Jacksaw who also ran at CLN and Ferris Allen who was there to support his daughter who took four off-track Thoroughbreds to this event. 
Thank you to the VTA for sponsoring the dinner on Saturday night as well!  
(Editor’s note: Thank you, Karen for telling your story.  There will be more coverage of this horse show in a later VTA blog.)