“I competed in the Thoroughbred Makeover in 2019 with my heart horse, Bellastar. It wasn’t until I started working for a very prominent rehoming/rehabbing and now non-profit facility, Ballyclare Farm Off Track Thoroughbreds, that my true love of Thoroughbreds came about despite my long history with horses. It’s also where I met my boyfriend of five years who works at Charles Town Racetrack.
I decided overnight this was something I wanted to do, and there was no stopping me. My boyfriend immediately started searching for horses. Bella had been listed for sale for maybe 2 months with not much attention. She was barely trotting in her jog video, had a little pressure in her ankles, the absolute worst feet, and was just a young, racing fit bay filly that we all know isn’t the first to sell, let alone at all. I knew I wanted her immediately, there was just something about her eye that stuck with me.
I took it slow with her, but she was always game and absolutely loved to work. She has never ever stopped at a jump or pole with me and is the bravest horse I’ve ever ridden. We are now doing the meter Jumpers together and it has been the best journey. We placed okay at the Makeover, nothing special and nothing terrible, but Bella consistently wins at more shows than not in the Jumpers and has competed all over the East Coast.
The Makeover is just the start of anyone’s journey. It's the most amazing community to connect with others going through similar things at the same time. It’s truly a once in a lifetime experience for those of us that don’t run huge facilities and the memories last forever, but it’s one show and despite how you place, it’s an absolutely unforgettable experience”.