The Story Of The Painted Pony
May 12

There are many stars slated to contest qualifiers tomorrow morning at Mohawk Racetrack, but one horse which bears watching given his story is the striking trotter The Painted Pony.

The Painted Pony

Joanne Colville first spotted this now five-year-old red roan son of Lindy Lane when he was selling two years ago at the Harrisburg Sale and was struck by his unique colouring.

“Bill O’Donnell was there and he said ‘$5,000 should get him’,” recalled Joanne who works as the administrative co-ordinator for the Ontario Standardbred Adoption Society in addition to operating High Stakes Farm in Moffat, Ontario.

“Well there obviously was a big update that Bill didn’t know about. He sold for $18,000 and I didn’t even have a chance to bid,” she laughed.

The horse, a full brother to The Icepan Cometh ($167,000) sold for $67,000 as a yearling, hadn’t seen much action on the track. He made one start as a two-year-old and 14 as a three-year-old with his life record of 1:58.4f coming in his only career victory at Pompano Park early in his sophomore season. He sold that fall with just under $14,000 on his card.

Long time racing fans will remember The Painted Pony's third dam, the Speedy Crown mare Northern Princess, a roan trotter who earned more than $300,000 almost three decades ago. Bred by Hanover Shoe Farms, The Painted Pony's dam is the Super Bowl mare Mystress Hanover.

Joanne kept an eye on the horse especially when she lost her faithful riding horse Juggles late last year. Juggles was familiar to most racing fans across the province as Joanne used him as a parade pony and meet and greet horse at numerous events. He was 22 when he died after suffering from colic and a slight stroke (see full story through the link below).

“I was devastated when I lost Juggles,” said Joanne. “I soon started looking for a horse to replace him and kept thinking about The Painted Pony. I phoned the man who bought him a few times and he wasn’t interested in selling for quite a while.”

That changed a couple of months ago, when frustrated by his lack of success with the horse (seven starts and $216 earned) and another failed attempt to qualify him, the owner told Joanne she could have him for $3,000 if she picked him up by noon the next day.

“I was packing up to go to Can Am that morning when he called. I said ‘I live in Canada, I can’t get there tomorrow morning.’ But I phoned Mark Harder and asked him if he could possibly go and get him and pay for him and I’d get the money to him.

“He called me back a few hours later and told me I was out of my freaking mind once he’d seen the horse but he took him anyway and kept him until I could arrange to bring him home.”

That took place three weeks later and once he arrived at her farm he became a project for Joanne’s partner, Hall of Fame driver Jack Moiseyev and her father Frank Colville.

“Jack and Dad were on a mission to see what was wrong with him and if they could get him to trot flat and they seemed to have figured a few things out anyway as he’s schooled and is now in to qualify.”

Joanne has decided that if The Painted Pony makes any money at the races she’ll donate 10 per cent of his earnings to OSAS. She’s hoping that eventually she’ll be able to ride him and use him as an ambassador like Juggles, but for now they’re waiting to see how this next try at the racetrack turns out.

“I’ve tried to ride him a couple of times and he gave me quite a ride. I do have another horse, Fishing Clinic (an Armbro Goal gelding who won $467,000 in his career), who was donated to the program and I’m working on him to be a meet and greet horse, he’s the spitting image of Juggles.”

The Painted Pony has drawn post nine in the first qualifier tomorrow morning at Mohawk.

Related Story - Juggles Passes


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