There are bio pieces (some comprehensive, some not) on several Off-Track Thoroughbreds (OTTBs) I have owned over the years.

Their category pages are here: Final Call, Rapidan, Rillo, and Bon Appeal.

Read on for their bios:

Final Call

This blog was started with one star in mind, Final Call. Representing all OTTBs, following Final Call’s retraining from racing to riding horse has been the centerpiece of Retired Racehorse.

Having Final Call has been a truly exhilirating experience, and writing about it has been a pleasure. When I brought him back to the farm for training, I hadn’t ridden a horse in two or three years. My last project, Bon Appeal, I had retired to my broodmare herd after deciding that I was too nervous a re-rider to work with her spooky demeanour. It had been more than eight years since I’d ridden Thoroughbreds seriously.

But something about Final Call’s amazing personality – evident in his wide face and big inquisitive eyes – said that here was a horse with a good sense of humor and an honest interest in the world around him. Here was a horse I could really ride.

He’s been amazing, and I have him to thank for sitting me down at a computer, writing the stories that would set me on a new path and change the course of my and my family’s life. I have him to thank for regaining my seat, and my hands, and my confidence. Sometimes you just need the right bicycle in order to remember how to ride, I suppose.

Final Call went to his new home in June, and his new girl, Elizabeth, has sent several e-mails to update and let me know that he is loved. All is well.

For those of you looking for a comprehensive training diary of an OTTB – please use the “Category” box to the right and select “Final Call” in order to view all posts on his schooling. They’ll help you learn more about Final Call, from his January arrival and that first hectic ride, to his first hunter pace in May.

Here it is:



Rillo was OTTB Number One. I got him from a cowboy when I was 13 years old. He was five, an abandoned claimer from Tampa with bad feet and crooked knees. Rainrot had taken his hair and starvation showed me every rib. The cowboy said he’d make me a real nice horse once I fattened him up. The vet said he’d make a nice lower-level hunter-jumper once I fattened up.

Rillo said, I’ll do anything.

This was a horse who once dragged me to a huge picnic table fence, ears pricked, because it was new and interesting and he wanted to jump it. He was an event horse, first and foremost.

He’d been a hunter, a dressage horse, a lesson horse, a pasture pet, and a friend. Rillo was the best.

His story is told in little tidbits, here and there. You can find posts on Rillo here:

Bon Appeal

I never thought I’d call her Bonnie.

When we bought Bonnie, she still had her hip number from the OBS Winter Sale stuck to her sleek coat. She was hopelessly beautiful, desperately in love with the filly she’d shared a trailer ride with from Ocala to Cocoa, and aloof around people. She wasn’t interested in me, or anyone.

She was Bon Appeal.

Over the years, she developed into a sweet, adorable mare. She became Bonnie out of the blue one day.

But she never really cared for me like I wanted her to. She was suspicious of me.

She went to live with Kat Abel, and found her forever home.

Kat writes The Red Mare Diaries about Bon Appeal. There are some older entries on this site about her, too, before she went to live with Kat, when I was still trying to figure her out.

All Bonnie posts:

Rapidan Rapidan was with me for about two years, sometime between 2000 and 2003.I found him a backyard (literally) alongside some old Quarter Horses, a foundling yearling TB, and a couple of pigs. He taught me a lot about the passive-aggressive horse, the clever horse who bides his time, the alpha horse who never expected anyone to fight back. He was the only horse who ever actually kicked me when I walked behind him. He did, however, only do it once.

I adored Rapidan every second, even when he was being horrible, even when he kicked me. I wanted to keep him forever. I couldn’t.

Read about Rapidan, from the first day I laid eyes on him.


2 responses to “OTTB Bios

  1. A very fitting dedication to your wonderful partner! My hope is that his new owner appreciates him and loves him as much as you do. Keeping my fingers tightly crossed!!

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