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Rody The Mare Progress Report

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Summary of the three Ls of arena construction, the arena base layer, the permanent separting layer, and the footing layer.
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Updates on Rody the Mare:

April 2009:  Had Rody's jumping and dressage training levels assessed by a trainer & instructor in Monroe, Washington.  Jessica had Rody - at canter - executing a flawless half pass.
She said that Rody is "at least level three, probably level four dressage" (I think maybe Rody's level of training surpassed her evaluator's skills).  Of course, her skills as a hunter/jumper were never in doubt.
Jessica thanked me for letting her ride Rody the Mare. She said, "I never get to ride a horse like this, it is a pleasure just to ride a horse that is so light-footed while also so athletic and responsive."

8 February 2009:  Took Rody for her first ride in an arena today, first ride since we took her.  Rode her "Indian Style" (no saddle, no bridle or bit or reins, just balance and the seat of your pants).  Just wanted to see how she would respond.

Well, every indication is that she is ready to go out to The Downs, and win a few races against these slow-a***ed thoroughbred mares they have out here (spoken like a true Kentucky Thoroughbred, but I might be putting my words in her mouth here).

12 December 2008 - Update:  Rody is pretty close to 100% sound again (wonders will happen with the correct footing + diet, correct hoof trimming, a really good vet, and regular turnout to unrestricted exercise areas).

I do believe she backs up faster than most horses gallop forward, looks like she is ready to go out and win an 8 furlong race.  

Like the papers said, she is just as sweet as can be (her competition name was "Ain't She Sweet?" ~ you can google it).
Rody the TB Mare, by Grand Passage, by Son of a Buck, by Buckpasser, by Tom Fool out of Busanda by War Admiral by Man O War. Horse for sale?
We may have Rody to the new Duval, Washington home within a few weeks.  She is currently in Monroe, Washington. Click images below for a close-up photo.
(will open in a new window)
13 JULY 2008 - Update: Rody is at the National School of Equitation this weekend (  Monday she will see a farrier, and hopefully will be to her permanent home in Duval by the end of the week....

Rody's registered name: "Wannabeajumper" (jockey club)
Barn name: "Rody" (at one time, "Rory")
Event/competition name: "Ain't She Sweet?"
Pedigree ...
... more about Buckpasser, click »
(The now-famous "chicken Flamingo," so named because Buckpasser's presence in the field so terrorized Hialeah's that they closed the betting windows for the race.)
Click the arrow above to start downloading & playing my original version.

Or watch an enhanced video of the 1966 (chicken) Flamingo Stakes on YouTube, below ...

by Carey Warner
[cited from ]

Years before the name Secretariat would paint a portrait of perfection in the minds of horsemen worldwide, there was a great bay powerhouse who set the standard in Thoroughbred conformation by which even the immortal Secretariat would one day be judged: Buckpasser, the legendary super-son of the almighty Handicap Champion Tom Fool.
As said by one of the most famous equine artists in the world, Richard Stone Reeves,
"Buckpasser was the most perfectly proportioned Thoroughbred I have ever seen."
Only two horses, Secretariat and Affirmed, have since been "in a class with Buckpasser" in the trained, symmetrical eye of this most respected artist. New York racing official Dr. Manual Gilman once commented, "Generally, every horse has about a hundred faults of conformation.
I would defy anybody to pick a flaw in Buckpasser."

... See more articles, below

(Above Right: Yes I agree.
It's solid as a "quarter horse butt,"
if I ever saw one.)
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 1965 - Buckpasser named first-ever Sports Illustrated Horse of the Year.
A Muddy Horse Of The Year
Buckpasser clinched that title in the slop of the Woodward with a brilliant run against the top field of the season on the same afternoon that sportsman Raymond Guest received racing's newest high honor
Whitney Tower
     A steady, depressing, wind-driven drizzle and 49° temperature drenched and chilled the 40,154 who turned up at Aqueduct last Saturday to peer through the mist at 1966's Race of the Year. But that event, the mile-and-a-quarter Woodward Stakes, the weight-for-age test for the very best horses in training, turned a dreary afternoon into an occasion of brief but undeniable brilliance. It was a memorable occasion in Thoroughbred history, because Ogden Phipps's 3-year-old champion, Buck-passer, masterfully wrapped up his first Horse of the Year title by whipping five older horses (and three his own age) to dispel, once and for all, any notions that he is not one of the great racehorses of our time.
     Young by classic standards, the Woodward has quickly won esteem as a testing ground for would-be champions. Among horsemen it is generally believed that a good 3-year-old, who is just reaching his full maturity in the fall of the year, has a slight edge in a race like the Woodward, because he carries only 121 pounds, while all older horses carry 126. And yet in the 13 years since this race, named for the late master of Belair Stud, was first run, only two 3-year-olds before Buckpasser came down in front. They were Traffic Judge in 1955, when the event was a handicap, and Sword Dancer in 1959. Among the upstart sophomores who tried to beat their elders and failed were Gallant Man, Bold Ruler, Nadir, Tompion, Carry Back, Jaipur, Never Bend and Quadrangle. Now you can add to this list two more, who trailed Buckpasser home last week: Buffle, winner of this summer's Suburban Handicap, and Amberoid, the easy winner of the 1966 Belmont Stakes.
     Nothing remains to be questioned about Buckpasser's ability. He proved Saturday that he is a champion on any kind of a track and against any opposition of any age. On the backstretch, where he usually looks like a lazy critter taking his own sweet time, he is so inconspicuous that you tend to forget he is in the race. Then his jockey, Braulio Baeza, clucks to him at about the half-mile pole, and this marvelously attuned pair overtakes and passes the field on the way to a victory that seems almost too easy to be true.
     That's how last week's Woodward was run, against the best field put together anywhere this year. There were nine horses in all. Buckpasser had his speedy stablemate Poker along to insure a fast pace. Greentree sent out an entry of Malicious, also real speed and a proven runner in the sort of slop that greeted these horses, and O'Hara. In addition to Buffle and Amberoid, there were the Phipps castoff, Staunchness, who won the Whitney at Saratoga, and Mike Ford's Royal Gunner, who ran second to Roman Brother in the Woodward last year. And, lastly, there was little Tom Rolfe, a sentimental favorite of many, last year's 3-year-old champion, who passed up the 1965 Woodward when his owner, Raymond Guest, elected to try him instead against the finest horses in Europe in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp. A superb list—but when the race was over Buck-passer had made hash of his eight rivals. A 4-to-5 favorite, he won his 10th straight race of the year, raised his earnings to $1,111,559 and moved up to fifth place on the all-time money-earnings list, ahead of the great Citation.
     Malicious and Poker, as anticipated, set the early pace, and the former, surprisingly enough, held on until mid-stretch. Baeza lolled along with Buck-passer lengths behind the leaders on the back side, while Bill Hartack trailed the entire field with Royal Gunner. Bill Shoemaker stuck to the rail with Tom Rolfe but was never really in contention. Rounding the far turn, Baeza got into Buckpasser, and just as the field straightened for home Braulio, in another of his typically daring moves, drove the bay son of Tom Fool through on the rail. They were inside of Malicious and Buffle, who was coming fast on the outside to take a momentary lead. Behind them Shoemaker tried to slip Tom Rolfe through the same gap, but had to check for an instant and then go around. It would not have made much difference, for now the stretch duel was on and little Tom was not part of it. Buckpasser stuck his handsome head in front as he reached the eighth pole, and Baeza kept it there. Malicious stopped badly, Buffle faltered and Hartack drove Royal Gunner (an 11-to-1 shot) up to take second place, beaten three-quarters of a length by Buckpasser. Buffle, who always seems to do all right when Buck-passer is not around, was third, five lengths ahead of Tom Rolfe. Spread out in the slop behind them were O'Hara, Amberoid, Staunchness, Malicious and an eased-up Poker, in that order.
     Having established his superiority over every other horse in this country, Buckpasser could challenge for the title of Horse of the World if he flew to Paris this week for the mile-and-a-half Arc, or even if he accepted an invitation to the Nov. 11 Washington, D.C. International at Laurel. But, immediately after the Woodward, Owner Phipps and Trainer Eddie Neloy announced that the champion would start only in the Lawrence Realization on Oct. 19 and the two-mile Jockey Club Gold Cup on Oct. 29 before calling it quits for the year. And what a year!
     But if 1966 is the year of Buckpasser and the team of Phippses, Neloy and Baeza (17 of their horses have already accounted for 35 stakes and $1,167,694), it is also a year in which horsemen the world over are not only thinking about international racing, but actually doing something about it. This week, for example, as the English and Irish launch their annual invasion of France in the Arc de Triomphe—an invasion that has not been much of a success in recent years—George Pope is sending along his California-bred Hill Rise, who probably has a better chance to win than any other American horse who ever has competed in the race.
     "If Hill Rise won the Arc it won Id be the best thing that could happen to international racing. It would encourage everyone to give this kind of thing a try"—that was the opinion last week of a man who knows European and American racing inside out and who practices the racing philosophy that he preaches. In addition to being the U.S. Ambassador to Ireland, he probably is the best and most popular goodwill ambassador of racing ever to hang his bowler in a U.S. Embassy. Just a year ago, five months after he took up residence in Dublin, Raymond Guest brought Tom Rolfe, Trainer Frank Whitely and Bill Shoemaker to Paris to run against a team of top French horses, including the great Sea Bird. Despite the fact that he knew Tom Rolfe had little chance of winning—he was running on turf for the first time in his life and over an up-and-down course the "wrong" way—Guest smiled his way through Arc day, telling his friends that Tom was "a nice little fellow and a genuine little horse."
     Tom Rolfe was no match for Sea Bird, Reliance and Diatome, though he did well to finish sixth in the 20-horse field. When the Arc was over that beautiful fall day, it was characteristic of Guest that he should ignore the handicaps Tom Rolfe had encountered. "Well, we took it on the nose today," he said, "but I don't think it hurt racing a bit. And besides, we'll live to run another day."
     Guest's refreshing no-alibi attitude toward racing was the reason he found himself last week on a whirlwind 25-hour visit to New York and to Aqueduct for his first look at Tom Rolfe in action since the 1965 Arc. "If we have a chance against Buckpasser," he said before the Woodward, "it has to be a hell of a small one. It's hard to beat a world record-holder while giving him five pounds. But if I'm supposed to be a sportsman we've got to give it a try. That's what this game is all about."
     A few hours before the Woodward, Guest was honored for this kind of sportsmanship, which often is missing from the American racing scene. Had he kept Tom Rolfe at home last fall it is quite possible his colt would have beaten out Roman Brother for Horse of the Year honors. Instead he went to a sporting defeat in Paris, and last week Guest became the first recipient of the Ralph Lowe Award for Sportsmanship, donated and presented by Shoemaker in memory of the owner of Gallant Man, loser of the 1957 Kentucky Derby when Shoe misjudged the finish line. (Shoemaker, after such an unpardonable miscue, considered it sporting of Ralph Lowe not to shoot him between the eyes.) In his short acceptance speech Guest soft-pedaled his own accomplishments. "I'm not at all sure I deserve this award," he said. "It could easily go to thousands of owners who don't win many races. They stay in the game, uncomplaining, and keep the sport going. I wish we could peel $10,000 off the top of a lot of these rich stakes and spread it around to those owners who need and deserve it to keep going." Then Guest looked his audience over and quietly added, "If I lose today I hope I lose gracefully, and if I win I hope I win gratefully."
     Raymond Richard Guest has been doing things with grace and style for a long time. He was born 58 years ago, the second of three children of Captain the Right Honorable Frederick E. Guest, an Englishman, and American heiress Amy Phipps Guest. Captain Guest, a Member of Parliament and Air Secretary in the Lloyd George cabinet, served for a time as personal secretary to his first cousin, a rising young man named Winston Churchill. He named his eldest son—Winston Frederick Churchill Guest—after his cousin, who was also the child's godfather. Winston and his younger sister Diana, now the Countess de la Valdene (and owner of a small but first-class string of racehorses in France), were born in England. Raymond was not, and he tells a story that reflects both his instinct for diplomacy and his sense of humor: "One of my uncles, Baron Wimborne, was Lord Lieutenant of Ireland during the first war, when Ireland was still under British rule. His home in Phoenix Park, Dublin, is now the official residence of Ireland's President Eamon de Valera. Well, when I went to present my credentials to Mr. de Valera when I became Ambassador a year and a half ago, he naturally kidded me about my English ancestors. Then he noticed my interest in his historic residence, and he said, 'This place should be familiar to you, Mr. Guest.' I laughed, and then I think I got in the last line. 'Sir,' I said, 'like your distinguished self, I was born in New York.' " (The relationship between Guest and De Valera has been close since that meeting. "Just a few days ago," said Guest recently, "I killed a nine-pound salmon and delivered it to the President's residence on my way home. In a matter of minutes he picked up the phone himself to thank me and to say that he had ordered it for dinner that very night.")
     Winston and Raymond Guest were graduated from Yale, and in the '30s both became star polo players in the era when the sport reached its peak in this country. Raymond bred and raised his own Thoroughbreds in Virginia and became a director of Bessemer Securities, the holding company for the enormous Phipps family trust. After serving as a commander in the Navy during World War II, Guest was a Virginia state senator from 1947 to 1953. If it seems a little incongruous that Raymond Guest, a member of one of the country's wealthiest families, is a Democrat, he explains it this way: "For one thing, most of my friends in Virginia were Democrats, and that must have had something to do with it a long time ago. Then when Franklin D. Roosevelt was governor of New York I really thought he'd make a damn fine President. But what really solidified my thinking was that I wanted desperately for England to win the war, and I really think F.D.R. wanted to help them. I don't know if the others would have gone in that deep."
A massive, broad-shouldered, white-haired man, Guest stands 6 feet 1½ inches and weighs 215 pounds, 20 pounds less than he did a year ago. "I've got the secret now," he said. "Quit bread and butter, that's all. And I guess riding that old cob of mine around took off a few pounds and inches, too." Guest was referring to his performance last August when his place in the affection of the Irish, whose love for the horse is legendary, was sealed by his participation in the famous Dublin Horse Show. He became the first member of the diplomatic corps to win an equestrian event, riding his 8-year-old gray gelding, Shaun, to a blue in the class for light- or medium-weight cobs. The onetime eight-goal polo player described it: "Not very dangerous, you know—just walk, trot and canter."
     Compared to the racing empire of his Phipps cousins, Raymond Guest has a peanut operation. In this country he has only Tom Rolfe in training with Frank Whitely. But his overseas operation is of considerable stature even if it is not enormously successful. Four trainers—Vincent O'Brien, David Ainsworth, Paddy Kearns and Dan Moore—have 23 of Guest's horses-in-training, but even the combined skill of this crack quartet has failed to turn 1966 into a banner year. "I haven't won a race since January—and that was over the jumps," said Guest. "I just don't seem to have any luck, but that's the way it goes, isn't it?"
     Luck should turn in the not too distant future, for on Guest's 335-acre farm a few miles out of Dublin at Ballygoran (which is found by turning right at Brady's saloon in the village of Maynooth), there is a growing band of well-bred broodmares and Guest's own stallion, Larkspur, winner of the 1962 Epsom Derby. Guest tries to visit his able farm managers Tom and Valerie Cooper at Ballygoran for a part of each day, often in the three-place helicopter he recently bought for easy commuting. As a noncommercial breeder, Guest is only trying to produce horses to race in his own chocolate-and-light-blue silks. "I have a feeling," he explains, "that the best way to breed a racehorse is to breed American mares to foreign stallions and foreign mares to American stallions. For that reason I have shipped nearly all of my mares to Ireland to be bred to Larkspur."
     Diplomats in Dublin, as elsewhere, tend to move in a restricted circle. In the Irish capital this consists of the civil service and what remains of the Irish landed gentry, basically Anglo-Irish in background. Guest, however, gets around more than most ambassadors, though his friends are largely in the horsy crowd. His impact on the man in the street is therefore negligible, and those who know him as a racehorse owner often are unaware that he is also the American Ambassador. He has tried hard to avoid the image of a rich man and is proud of his strict devotion to duty. "I have been back in the States only three times in my 17 months," he said, "and not until the Woodward did I come to see one of my horses run."
     The days before Guest's visit to Aqueduct were hectic. "I've never had two weeks of work quite like it," he said. "I mean to say, I haven't got any great ambassadorial problems, but it isn't all tea-drinking either." On the Thursday before the Woodward, Guest flew to London where, on Friday morning, he paid a hurried call on his tailors, Stovel & Mason on Old Burlington Street, to have his natty brown pinstripe suit taken in a bit following the results of no bread, no butter and lots of walk, trot and canter at the Dublin Horse Show. Then he went to Wilton's for a dozen oysters and a grouse before boarding Pan American's Flight 103 to New York. Guest plucked his suitcase off the rack at Kennedy Airport, went through customs like any tourist and drove to his East Side apartment. Half an hour and one Scotch later he looked at his watch. "It's 8 o'clock," he said with a smile. "Just perfect. Now I can walk five blocks up the street, buy tomorrow's Morning Telegraph and read myself to sleep. You know, I'm really looking forward to my first glimpse of Buckpasser, and I just hope that my little Tom can give him a bit of a race."
     Later, when Guest had congratulated his cousin, Ogden Phipps, and everybody had deserted the wet stands for the comfort of the Trustees Room, Shoemaker turned up to tell the Ambassador that little Tom had never quit trying. As he towered over his jockey, his hands firmly on his hips, Guest broke out in a broad grin. "You know," he said, "that Buckpasser is some horse, isn't he!" He put one enormous hand on Shoemaker's shoulder and added, "But I still think. Bill, that we should try him again. That's what this game is all about, isn't it?"
     An hour later Guest was aboard an Air France jet to Paris for a week's vacation with his wife. (She is the Princess Caroline Murat, a descendant of Marshal Joachim Murat, who married the youngest sister of Napoleon I and later became King of Naples.) And then Guest would be back at Phoenix Park, at Ballygoran, races at Leopardstown and visits at the home of a good friend who was also born in New York.
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 1966 - Arlington Classic Handicap ...
Buckpasser set the then World Record for horse racing on dirt at 1 Mile in 1:32.3.
Buckpasser would go on to amass a lifetime record of running first 25 times and second 4 times out of 31 lifetime starts.
The only times he finished worse than second was in his first lifetime start and in his only start on turf.
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 1966 Eclipse Award for Horse of the Year.

Hall of fame
Wikipedia article about Buckpasser ...

Buckpasser was a champion bay thoroughbred racehorse born in 1963. Bred and owned by Ogden Phipps, New York racing official Dr. Manual Gilman said of him, "Generally, every horse has about a hundred faults of conformation. I would defy anybody to pick a flaw in Buckpasser." Renowned horse painter Richard Stone Reeves said: "Buckpasser was the most perfectly proportioned Thoroughbred I have ever seen." Only two horses, Secretariat and Affirmed, have since been "in a class with Buckpasser".  

The son of the legendary Handicap champion Tom Fool, he was foaled at Claiborne Farms in Paris, Kentucky with a pedigree that could hardly miss...if pedigrees ran races. Out of the stakes-winning mare Busanda, his sire was 1953 Handicap Triple Crown winner and Eclipse Award for Horse of the Year winner, Tom Fool. Busanda represented the female family of the Blue Hen broodmare La Troienne (FR). It also represented the 1929 Belmont Stakes winner and Horse of the Year Blue Larkspur, not to mention the great Man o' War. But perhaps the most inflential aspect of his pedigree was the inclusion of Equipoise. Equipoise was four generations back, yet many of the qualities of this two-time Horse of the Year were Buckpasser's, which unfortunately included foot trouble.

The only "flaw" in Buckpasser was his attitude toward racing. He would race, and he certainly did race when a horse passed him, but once on the lead, he would slow if just doing enough was enough. Because of this he provided many a fright for his trainer, not to mention the bettors. It almost seemed part of his manners, seldom to defeat a rival so badly it might break his or her heart.

Buckpasser had two trainers, both since elected to the U.S. Racing Hall of Fame. Bill Winfrey began his training and when he retired Eddie Neloy took over and prepared him for his three-year-old season.

Buckpasser's maiden race on May 13, 1965, in which he ran a poor fourth, would be the last time he was out of the money. Indeed, Buckpasser's record was so impressive, betting windows were closed when he ran in the Flamingo Stakes, forever after called the "Chicken" Flamingo.

After a brilliant two-year-old season and spring, in which Buckpasser proved he could win from up front, rate, or close from behind, he developed a quarter crack that kept him out of the 1966 Kentucky Derby, as well as the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes. With another talented colt, Graustark, out as well with a broken foot (and retirement), Kauai King won that year's Derby.

In Chicago's Arlington Classic Kauai King, running against the strenuous protests of his trainer, broke down in the race and was retired. Buckpasser won the Arlington, setting a new world record at a mile with a time of 1:32 2/5. Buckpasser's record stood until the great Dr. Fager broke it in 1968.

After that, Buckpasser went on a winning streak that lasted for fifteen consecutive wins: the American Derby (he broke the track record), the Chicago Stakes, the Brooklyn Derby, the Woodward Stakes, the Travers Stakes, the Malibu Stakes, the Brooklyn Handicap, the Lawrence Realization Stakes, and finally, the grueling two mile long Jockey Club Gold Cup. On June 17, 1967, Buckpasser's 15-race winning streak ended with his first and only attempt at racing on grass. He finished a surprising third to winning stablemate Poker in the Bowling Green Handicap at Aqueduct Racetrack. Assagai, the 1966 turf-course champion, came in second. As happens more than once (see Aristides, first winner of the Kentucky Derby), a horse sent out to set the pace, namely Poker, a "rabbit" in horse racing parlance, did more than set the pace. As The Blood-Horse magazine said in their July 24, 1967 issue: "Never had so many people had so many immunization shots in order to stay home and watch the Suburban Handicap on Independence Day." There were three reasons advanced for his defeat: turf, shoes, and weight. It was also true that that day "Buck" held his head in a most uncommon way, slightly sideways. No one has ever understood why.

Buckpasser was the first horse to earn more than a million dollars before the age of four. He was voted the 1966 Eclipse Award for Horse of the Year.

When he retired, Buckpasser was syndicated for $4,800,000, breaking a then-record $150,000 a share. He stood at stud at the farm where he was born. In eleven years, Buckpasser sired 313 foals: 35 of these went on to win stakes races. Among his get was the Hall of Fame filly La Prevoyante (Sovereign Award for Horse of the Year in Canada, Eclipse Award Champion 2yo Filly in the US, Champion Older Female in Canada), Relaxing (Champion Older Female, Broodmare of the Year), Numbered Account (Champion 2yo Filly), and Toll Booth (Broodmare of the Year).

Even though he has had three tail-male Kentucky Derby (G1) winners (Spend a Buck-1985, Lil E. Tee-1992 and Silver Charm-1997), it's his record as a damsire that stands out.

"Buck" died at fifteen years of age in 1978, yet would be a world-leading broodmare sire in 1983, 1984, and 1989. His daughters have produced Champions and Classic Winners: Coastal, Easy Goer, Slew o'Gold, Touch Gold, With Approval, as well as El Gran Senor amongst a number of other influential stallions such as Seeking The Gold, Miswaki and Woodman.

In the Blood-Horse magazine ranking of the top 100 U.S. thoroughbred champions of the 20th Century, Buckpasser is #14. Buckpasser is buried at Claiborne Farm.
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