Cosequin Presents OTTB Showcase: ‘He’s Priceless To Me’ by Jen Roytz|06.10.201506.11.2015|5:04pm1:32pm Bourne Intuitive, a.k.a. Troy, and Laura have a bright future ahead competing in shows Sometimes racing just isn't what a horse is meant to do. That seems to be the case for Bourne Intuitive. This Kentucky-bred gelding raced for his breeder and trainer 14 times at Charles Town racetrack, mostly in lower-level maiden claiming races, but could never break through a winner. He was a beautiful gray with loads of athleticism. He just couldn't seem to apply that talent to racing. That potential for a career after racing wasn't lost on his owners, and they retired him as a 4-year-old with the goal of finding a promising off-track life for their charge. He was turned out to unwind and let down, and eventually made his way to Grouse Ridge, a retraining and sale barn on Long Island in New York. That's where Laura Johnson found him in August of 2010, and his new and very successful off-track career officially began. “He had very little training when I got him. He also had no barn name, so I called him Troy,” said Laura. Laura, an accounting major at St. Joseph's College, ended up boarding him at several different barns in the first few years she had him, but she was searching for a trainer with experience making show hunters out of off-track Thoroughbreds. She found the right fit with Cindy Laskow at Crystal Brook stables in Centereach, N.Y., and they've been there ever since. “Troy and I have gone from frustrating days trying to figure each other out to going long and low, extended trot and canter, lead changes, jumping three feet plus, and doing the hunters and hunter paces,” said Laura. “So many people told me he couldn't be a hunter, and because he's a Thoroughbred, to just make him into a jumper. But now at shows, I am constantly asked what breed he is, and everyone is so surprised when I tell them he's an OTTB.” While Laura hadn't had much experience with off-track Thoroughbreds in the past, she had ridden throughout her childhood and her intuition, along with guidance from her trainer, hit the mark and paid off in spades. Laura took her time with Troy, finding the right bit and learning that he likes to be ridden with light hands and a light seat. Bourne Intuitive as a foal They began showing two years ago, doing a number of unrated schooling shows and other outings to get Troy used to traveling and performing in new settings and surroundings. At the beginning of the show season this year, the pair hit a milestone, competing in their first show on the 'A' circuit, which can be likened to a racehorse stepping up to graded stakes competition. “He was awesome!” exclaimed Laura. “We showed in the infant hunters and received a third, fourth and two fifths. Being that it was our first show of the season and our first rated show, I was so proud that we even pinned!” Laura's plan with Troy is to compete in more shows, both rated and unrated, and compete in hunter derbies and hunter paces. With Troy now ten years of age, they have a lot of ribbons left to win. “Troy has the biggest personality and has such a great mindset,” said Laura. “He's always been happy to do what I ask of him. He needs direction or he gets confused, so you have to be clear about what you're asking for, but he's extremely willing.” Since getting Troy, Laura has connected with his race trainer and co-owner, Lori Bourne, and keeps her abreast of his happenings and accomplishments. “Troy is the best horse I have ever come in contact with and I will never sell him,” said Laura. “I have had so many people ask to buy him, but I will never sell, no matter how much money I am offered. He's priceless to me and will be my boy until the end of his days.” THE DEETS: Name: Bourne Intuitive (a.k.a. “Troy”) Born: May 4, 2005 Color: Gray/roan Sire: Out of Place Dam: Lost Wolf Sale History: None Race Record: 14-0-1-1 Race Earnings: $7,650 If you have or know of a retired Thoroughbred with an interesting story to tell, we'd love to hear about it! Just email Jen Roytz ([email protected]) with the horse's Jockey Club name, background story, and a few photos. Jen Roytz is a freelance writer and marketing and public relations consultant for various entities, both equine and non-equine. She can also still be found on the back of an OTTB most days. Contact Jen on Facebook and Twitter.