It’s been two and a half months since I’ve written you and MR. MONEY is one of the favorites for this Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile — the race his daddy GOLDENCENTS won. Not only is Goldencents the only two-time Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile winner ever, but Mr. Money is from our boy Goldencents’ very first crop.
Sooooo, you’re thinking I finally sat down to write about the big race coming up this weekend, aren’t you? ….You would be wrong!
I’m writing to share a very special weekend just concluded, and the career debut of our 4-year-old filly named MAGICAL ROSE and her new owner Wheaton Hardwick.
Many of you know Wheaton from Lil’s Coffee House, where she has worked for the last three years. She started when she was 14. Some of you who have stayed at the B&B have seen her attending to the horses on Rosecrest for the last year. Those who know Wheaton have seen an ambitious and capable young lady positively bloom since she joined Pony Club in January of 2018.
But her love of horses started long before then. Wheaton started attending summer riding camp at Moss Landing (click here to read more about their great facility) nine years ago. She graduated to being a junior counselor for the last five years. After a good foundation from Nicole Patenaude at Moss Landing, Wheaton joined Pony Club almost two years ago.
About one year ago, Wheaton asked if she could come to the farm to see what goes on with the horses. Well, she didn’t just watch…she pitched in mucking stalls, leading horses, grooming horses… anything she was able to do. She was thoroughly enjoying every moment. When Chuck told her he was going to have to put her on the payroll, she said, “You don’t have to pay me. I’m happy to just get the experience.”
During the last year, Wheaton excelled in Pony Club and not only became a valued farm employee, but she thrived on learning all the different aspects of the job. She loved all the horses on the farm and, with her patient loving care of the horses, they all responded to her. The retirees loved her extra attention to them and the babies would let her do anything she needed with them! Some of you might remember from a past blog that she even got to attend the foaling of Ivanka 19. Needless to say, she loved that!
During this time, Wheaton became emotionally attached to Magical Rose – who had come home from the track. One day she asked Chuck if she could work with Magical Rose and the bond quickly grew between them. Wheaton wanted to go to the next step of ownership and we knew this was a good thing for Magical Rose, which made it easy for us to give her to Wheaton.
Sooooooo, this brings us to this past weekend….the first competition for Wheaton and for Magical Rose! Since Magical Rose is only a four-year-old, Wheaton had had to work hard to achieve a higher level in Pony Club to be allowed to ride a young horse. Their first outing was Octoberfest, which is an eventing mini trial. When I asked Wheaton what she hoped to achieve, she said, “Not to fall off and that we would complete all three phases.”
They started with Dressage and even though she had never walked Rose through a whole test they scored 36.5. Great job!
Then they went clean in the Stadium Jumping! The first day was a huge success and Wheaton’s excitement was crystal clear on her smiling face.
The next day brought the third phase — Cross Country. Wheaton did admit she as pretty nervous since Magical Rose had not been in this type of environment. Rose showed a few jitters during warm up, but when it was time for them to start… off they went.
First jump, Rose refused but went over on second try. After another refusal at the second jump, Wheaton let her know this was not acceptable and the two newcomers completed the rest of the course (10 plus jumps) with NO problems!!! Rose even went through the water with no hesitation. Everyone was ecstatic with the performance by both rider and filly!
Okay… I know I sound like a proud mama, but I am …since Magical Rose was our homebred and I feel like Wheaton has become part of the family. Wheaton’s goal for the next year is to qualify for the Pony Club East Coast Championship. Methinks I’d better find out where they are. The way this pair is going, it’s a good possibility a road trip will be in our plans.
PS. Yes, our fingers are firmly crossed for Mr. Money on Saturday!!!!