Breakin’ All The Rules: ‘Spicy’ Louisiana-Bred OTTB Ready To Tackle Her First Kentucky Three Day - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report
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Breakin’ All The Rules: ‘Spicy’ Louisiana-Bred OTTB Ready To Tackle Her First Kentucky Three Day

Breakin’ All The Rules and Ellen Doughy-Hume at the Kentucky Horse Park on Tuesday, April 26

The youngest Thoroughbred competing at this weekend's Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event in Lexington, Ky., will be the 8-year-old mare Breakin' All The Rules. 

Last October, the 16.3 hand daughter of Due Date and her longtime partner, owner/rider Ellen Doughty-Hume, received the Mid-Atlantic Horse Rescue Award for being the highest-placed American Thoroughbred at the CCI3*-L during the inaugural Maryland Five Star event at Fair Hill. They placed 13th on a double clear cross country round, adding only a single rail to their dressage score of 33.9.

“She's a pretty phenomenal mare,” said Doughty-Hume, herself a multi-year veteran of the Kentucky Three Day's highest level with Sir Oberon, a ⅞ Thoroughbred (their best finish was 14th in 2019). “She absolutely loves jumping and cross country, she's really brave and has such natural scope and talent.” 

Breakin' All The Rules, known around the barn as “Zara,” steps up to the four-star level for the first time this weekend. Doughty-Hume took the mare to Chattahoochee Hills earlier this month, testing the dressage and show jumping phases of this level, but the Kentucky event will be Zara's first trip around a four-star cross country course.

Bred in Louisiana by Lora Pitre, proprietor of Peach Lane Farm, the filly then known by her Jockey Club name “O Lisa Ann” (Due Date – Lisa, by Capitalimprovement) showed no interest in being a racehorse during her early training. Pitre was introduced to Doughty-Hume in 2012 at an early precursor event to the Thoroughbred Makeover held in Texas, and the breeder has since sent over 100 horses through Doughty-Hume's barn for resale.

Approximately 25 of those have been sired by Due Date, a multiple graded stakes-placed son of El Prado standing at Peach Lane.

“I think he's an excellent sport horse stallion,” Doughty-Hume said. “All his babies are phenomenal jumpers, really nice sport horses, and either very amateur friendly or very talented. I always tell Lora I'll take the Due Dates sight unseen!”

Pitre gave Zara to Doughty-Hume, and the filly joined the Pegasus Eventing program in Rockwall, Texas, as a 3-year-old in the spring of 2017.

“She was so uphill and balanced. Her heart and brain really appealed to me early on, though when she was younger she could be a little bit difficult to handle,” Doughty-Hume said. “My working students didn't like to handle her because she can be difficult to lead sometimes, but we've always had a special bond. She's always really liked me.

“She was pretty spicy under saddle during her first two years of showing, with lots of antics in the warm up. She broke my left middle finger after she bucked me off in the field one time; we call that my 'Zara finger'! She definitely is not an amateur-type horse. Still, she has that attitude which is good for an upper-level event horse.”

Spicy Thoroughbreds are nothing new for Doughty-Hume. Growing up in Michigan, her first horse was an off-track Thoroughbred, as were the next three. Now the proprietor of an 80-horse stable, over 95 percent of Doughty-Hume's program consists of OTTBs.

“I really love the breed, and I think they're perfect for eventing,” she said. “They're maybe not as fancy as the warmbloods, but if trained correctly they can be just as good. They are also great lower-level horses because they've got so much heart, good brains, and they're easily trained. They're affordable, too; most of my clients are average middle class families who can't afford to go out and spend $70,000 for a horse, so we can get one off the track for a few thousand dollars and help them bring it along.”

Pegasus Eventing has a lesson program with approximately 150 students, along with several assistant trainers and working students. The big “barn family” helps Doughty-Hume continue restarting OTTBs and schooling them at local shows while she's away at the bigger events with Zara.

As far as this weekend is concerned, Doughty-Hume is keeping her expectations for Zara realistic while she looks forward to another fun run around the Kentucky Horse Park's famous course.

“She needs to get her dressage a little bit more confirmed,” Doughty-Hume said of her mare. “She's still pretty young, and I definitely didn't expect to have another top-level horse this soon (after Sir Oberon), but I'm so excited about her future.”

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