From row homes to country barns: How this city girl came to own racehorses

by Lindsay Shindel
“One day, I really want to own a racehorse” my now husband said to me when we first met 12 years ago. It was our third date, and I nodded, thinking to myself, that’s great for you! I always thought horses were beautiful animals, from afar. Didn’t give it a second thought.

Fast forward to June 2014. My husband, Pete, and I had been married for 2 years, and the discussion of owning a racehorse came up…again. Growing up, Pete loved watching the races with his dad, and was fascinated by how the horse racing world worked. I knew nothing about horse racing, so he taught me a few things. He explained that a thoroughbred horse is used for racing. He showed me a condition book, which is a book with a schedule of races. Then he showed me how to use the book to pick and choose which horses would be winners. After learning more about the sport, I said ok, let’s do this!

Finding a horse wasn’t difficult. Finding a horse that had the makings of a winner, that was the hard part. Pete did a lot of research, and found what he decided was the perfect horse, named Allie, at a farm in Delta, PA. Allie was a beautiful dark bay 2-year-old Filly. She had the biggest eyes, and an even bigger personality. Pete had checked her breeding, and she was exactly what he wanted. As Pete was chatting with the owner of the farm, I ventured around the barn, looking at the other horses. As I was walking, I heard one of the horses throwing a fit in her stall. She was a gorgeous Chestnut Filly named Penny. She was feisty, silly and made me smile. My husband took one look at me with her, and asked “how much for two horses?”

Since that day, we have grown our little horse racing hobby from 2 horses to 18. We have attended both live and online horse auctions. We went through a few trainers until we found the right one to work with us. Allie (her race name was Rowd E. Allie) ended up being our most successful horse, with a career of 7 first place finishes, 2 second place finishes, and 1 third place finish. Penny only raced a few times but got injured. Both Allie and Penny are now both retired Mares and living their best lives on a farm in Maryland. We try to visit them every other weekend.

Owning horses isn’t easy, they are extremely fragile animals. Each one of them has their own personality. I often refer to them as humungous dogs. They love to give kisses, play, get scratched, and give hugs. I honestly can’t imagine life without our gentle giants.