Lesson Horses Presented By John Deere Equine Discount Program: Erin O’Keefe Of BTE Stables On Exposure

You never forget the name of your first lesson horse – that horse who taught you what you need to know to work with every one that follows.

In this series, participants throughout the Thoroughbred industry share the names and stories of the horses that have taught them the most about life, revealing the limitless ways that horses can impact the people around them. Some came early on in their careers and helped them set a course for the rest of their lives, while others brought valuable lessons to veterans of the business.

Question: Which horse has taught you the most about life?

Erin O’Keefe, BTE Stables: I worked with Exposure at Millennium Farms, where I was customer relations manager at the time. She came to the farm as a maiden off the track to be bred, for a seasonal client.

As the breeding sheds opened, she had what appeared to be an abscess. That abscess apparently burst into her coffin joint, and ended up being a highly resistant MRSA bacteria. What started as a simple abscess quickly developed into months in the clinic, tens of thousands in vet bills, and an extremely uncertain prognosis.

Working with her, and the team of people around her, taught me so many invaluable lessons.

From a business perspective, she showed me the value in seeking additional consults, building a team of qualified and open minded professionals, exploring non-traditional options, and continuously advocating for the horse.

From an industry perspective, she showed me the depths some owners will go to for their horses. Her owners were truly wonderful, and their number-one criteria for continuing on was not prognosis or cost, but if she was still fighting. So long as she didn’t appear to have given up, they were going to continue to fight for her.

On a personal level, she taught me the value of never giving up. Even when things were bleakest, she kept trying. Some of her worst days aligned with some tough days of my own, but we both came out the other side. Her owners had the attitude that they had faced long odds before, and if they kept trying, eventually one would fall their way. When facing longs odds, I try to adopt the same mentality.

For them (and in some ways, me), she was the one that did – although 2021 gave me another. with my personal OTTB.

This year, she delivered her third consecutive healthy foal. Her first foal, “my” miracle child’s miracle child, is a 2-year-old in training now. The probability of that filly ever existing, let alone racing, was incalculably small. Exposure at times faced a less than five percent chance of survival, down to almost zero at one point. But she fought back from that, with a quiet persistence that can be a lesson to all of us.

About Exposure
(2012, Colonel John x Cinderellaslipper, by Touch Gold)

Exposure started her racing career at Santa Anita Park for owner Kaleem Shah and trainer Bob Baffert, after selling for $310,000 at the 2014 OBS Spring Sale of 2-Year-Olds In Training. She broke her maiden in her third career start in a maiden claiming race at Santa Anita Park, and followed up with a starter allowance score at Los Alamitos. At the end of her 3-year-old campaign, she was sold privately to the partnership of Go-To-Toga Racing and Bill and Susan Tomasic, and put in the New Mexico-based barn of trainer Justin Evans.

She spent the remainder of her on-track career in New Mexico, highlighted by a victory in the Albuquerque Distaff Handicap, where she equaled the track record for one mile in 1:35.57. She retired with five wins in 17 starts for earnings of $124,717.

Exposure has had three foals as a broodmare. The first, a First Samurai mare named Call Me Penny, is a 2-year-old of 2021. She had a McCraken filly in 2020, and a first-crop Maximus Mischief colt earlier this year.

The post Lesson Horses Presented By John Deere Equine Discount Program: Erin O’Keefe Of BTE Stables On Exposure appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

DYFD Winter - 300x90

Comments are closed.