TAKE2 10th Anniversary Donor Of The Month: Paying It Forward With Dr. Patricia Hurter - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

TAKE2 10th Anniversary Donor Of The Month: Paying It Forward With Dr. Patricia Hurter

Patricia Hurter owns 2021 TAKE2 High-Score Jumper Nine Links

Dr. Patricia Hurter has been a member of the TAKE2 family almost since the start. Her splendid jumper Nine Links competed in his first TAKE2 class at Lexington Spring Encore eight years ago this month, and hit the top 10 in the standings almost every season before taking down top honors as the High-Score Jumper of 2021. Our April Donor of the Month, Hurter helped celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the TAKE2 Second Career Thoroughbred Program with a $5,000 donation. It's not the first time she has shown her generous support.

“I feel like if you're a horse lover, you can't possibly not want to help an organization dedicated to finding second careers and good homes for Thoroughbreds who have raced and retired at a young age with still plenty to offer,” Hurter said.

Born and raised in South Africa, Hurter always dreamed of owning a horse, but other than the occasional trail ride during family vacations, she never spent much time in the saddle. That changed after she moved to America.

“I moved to the USA for graduate school, and in my final year of grad school I got tired of waiting to start riding,” she explained. “I looked up 'R' for riding academies in the yellow pages, and found a place to start taking lessons. That was in 1991, when I was about 28. After I started working and was a bit less poor, I started first half-leasing a horse.”

The first horse she owned was, naturally, a retired racehorse. Loucarm, aka Louie, was never cut out for the track, finishing out of the money in every one of his eight races. He moved on to a second career after trailing the field by many lengths in a claiming race at Atlantic City, and proved that show jumping was his true calling.

“My first and best horse was a Thoroughbred,” Hurter said. “His USEF registered name was Red Amber. I got him when he was four, in 1994, he had been off the track for a few months and was very green. I was also very green, I had been taking lessons for about three years at the time. We started jumping 2'3” together and eventually landed up competing at 1.3m in the Amateur/Owner jumpers. He was unbelievably brave, always took care of me, but was also fast and super competitive. If he'd had a more skilled rider, he probably could have jumped Grand Prix.

“He retired from jumping at 19, and had many more happy years of trail riding, then passed away at 30 years old in April 2020. He was brave and scopey and an amazing all-around horse.”

Ten years after teaming up with Louie, Hurter found herself making the move from New Jersey, where she'd spent the first 12 years of her working life, to Massachusetts. Not long after, she found herself in the market for a full-time trainer.

“I was planning to go to the Vermont Summer Festival and couldn't find anyone I knew to train me,” she recalled. “I reached out to the horse show to find out which jumper trainers were going, and the nice lady in the show office read me the list. I didn't recognize any of the names until she said, 'Joe Fargis.' I said, 'I've heard of him!' So I got his number from Linda Sheridan and called him up and he agreed to train me.”

A native of Virginia, Fargis was a member of the U.S. Show Jumping Team starting in the 1970s, and competed in the 1984 Olympics on the brilliant Thoroughbred mare Touch of Class. Like Louie, Touch of Class was an undistinguished racehorse, but an overachiever in the show ring. The two brought home the Gold Medal at the 1984 Games in both Individual and Team Jumping. Fargis won Silver at the 1988 Olympics as well.

“I was star-struck,” Hurter said. “After that I sought out clinics he was giving, and when we landed up buying our farm in Wellington, Florida, in 2013, I called him and asked if he would train me at WEF 2014. He agreed, and I've been working with him since then.”

Fargis, not surprising, is himself a fan of the Thoroughbred, telling the New York Times after his Olympic glory on Touch of Class, “They may have been too slow for [the racetrack] but they're still good movers, light on their feet and intelligent.” He trains no less than three TAKE2 competitors, and graciously provided a testimonial to the breed and the TAKE2 Program.

TAKE2 Testimonial: Olympian Joe Fargis

Hurter is an impressive individual in her own right. A chemical engineer by trade, she is CEO of a biotech company based in Massachusetts called Lyndra Therapeutics, which is a pioneer in the pharmaceutical industry.

“We are working on a novel drug delivery system that allows you to take your medicine orally once a week or only once a month, instead of every day,” Hurter said. “Our lead program is a once-weekly treatment for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. We are also working on a once-weekly treatment of opioid use disorder, a biweekly product supported by the Gates Foundation targeted at eliminating malaria, and a once-monthly oral contraceptive.”

It is important work that doesn't leave a lot of hours for horsing around, but finding time to train with Fargis will become easier for Hurter this spring.

“In the past, I was based in Massachusetts in the summer, and he was in Virginia, so we occasionally met at shows, but for the most part I did my own thing for the summers,” she said. “But in November last year, we bought a farm in Middleburg, Virginia, and the horses will be moving back there later this month now that WEF is wrapping up. I'm very excited to finally be able to train with Joe year-round.”

In addition to Nine Links, Hurter has a new horse on the TAKE2 circuit this season, the 6-year-old mare Indigo Midnight. The Maryland-bred was unsuccessful in three races, winning just $1,320, but has already shown what she can do on a jump course.

“My barn manager Christina Severino is bringing her along, and she was reserve circuit champion here at WEF this year,” Hurter said. “We're excited about her future.”

Hurter is also bullish on the future of the TAKE2 Program.

“The Thoroughbred Jumper classes are really fun, and allow you to connect with other Thoroughbred lovers, which is an added bonus,” she said. “Riders who love Thoroughbreds are definitely a bit 'different,' maybe a little crazy, but true horse lovers. It's great to have an organization dedicated to like-minded people who still believe in the possibilities talented Thoroughbreds offer to people in multiple riding disciplines, especially show jumping.”

Help TAKE2 Celebrate 10 Years of Supporting Retired Racehorses!

Join the Cause: With the generous help of donors Len Green and the Green Group, and Patricia Hurter, TAKE2's “Perfect 10” campaign has already raised $31,898, ahead of our goal of raising $10,000 a month for 10 months in celebration of our 10th Anniversary. We encourage members of the Thoroughbred Horse Racing, Show Horse and Sport Horse communities to follow our supporters' lead and honor the anniversary with donations of any size.

Post on Social Media: Throughout the campaign, TAKE2 will feature donors and surprise celebrity ambassadors on our social media platforms.  All owners of retired racehorses turned hunter/jumpers are also invited to share photos of their horses on TAKE2's FaceBookTwitter and Instagram accounts with the hashtag #TAKE2Happy10th.

To Make a Donation: Click here to make a donation today!  You can also donate by texting HAPPY10TH! to 44321.

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