When Tiffany Wandy finished graduate school and began working, she started looking for a horse. But not just any horse. Tiffany had set her sights on upper level eventing, and needed the right partner to compete with the best.
Where could she find the smart athletic prospect she needed?
At first, her search led nowhere. She checked out countless horses, ads and videos. “I knew what I was looking for, and I hadn’t really found the right horse. I was leasing a horse at the time and boarding up in Joppa, Maryland. The trainer knew that I was looking around and wasn’t really having any luck. And she mentioned that Kim has a really good eye for horses. She had heard she gets you with the right horse.”
Tiffany found a mare on the TPR website who looked like she might fit. But when Tiffany called, she learned the horse had just found a new owner.
But then Kim mentioned another horse — a new arrival which she hadn’t put on the website yet. Knowing Tiffany’s trainer, she agreed to show Tiffany the new horse.
“And that’s how I met James,” Tiffany said.
In James, she found a partner who was athletic and super smart. Now, four years later, he has developed the ability to compete safely and confidently at the upper levels in eventing. Tiffany and James are preparing to go to Fair Hill this fall.
You can come with Tiffany and James on a thrilling cross-country course (thanks to Tiffany’s helmet camera):
Next question: Could she find a second smart, athletic horse, similar to James? Last year, Tiffany called on TPR and Kim again. “I wanted the same kind of confirmation, I wanted good brains – something that was going be trainable; a gelding — ideally a bay. And she was able to put all of that together.”
Tiffany planned to see Titan after leaving from work at a hospital in Baltimore.
But on the day they were to meet, traffic was horrendous. It took Tiffany over 3 hours to get to TPR. Daylight was fading quickly by the time she arrived. Kim said, “I feel really bad you’ve come all this way. But I trust him, and I know you can ride – so if you want to get on him you should.”
Three Great Strides
So Tiffany rode by twilight. “All you really need to do is get three strides of canter on Titan to realize this horse is pretty cool.” They soon agreed that Titan would join James the following week, and begin his new training.
Already, Titan is showing tremendous aptitude for the sport: he has excelled in novice level eventing after just starting last year. “He was the first place, first year eventer for the Maryland Combined Training Association. He was very successful last summer.”
This spring Tiffany hopes Titan will be moving up to training level.
Here is Tiffany with Titan in his first recognized event, November 2015:
Why was it so hard for Tiffany to find the kind of horse she was looking for before working with TPR?
“It’s tricky to find one that’s going to be a good upper level eventer because they have to be more than athletic,” Tiffany explains. “They have to be smart. They have to be confident. And they have to have a really good work ethic in order to stick with it at that level. It’s a lot of work. It’s a lot of lessons – a lot of jump lessons, a lot of dressage lessons, a lot of gallop sets. So they have to really enjoy the job. Sometimes you have some of the pieces but not all of the pieces.”
Tiffany, Titan and James are ready to take on upper level competition. Since she has twice had success discovering that hard-to-find partnership through TPR, she offers a valuable tip for other riders seeking that equine partner with something special: “It’s really good for people to be thinking about these having these horses,” for their unique abilities:
There is definitely a place for people to take them off the track, put in some really good foundation… and make them more accessible to a lot more people.
But then there is also a group of folks out there who are looking for more. They are looking for a horse that can really take them to the top of their sport.
Kim has great eye. She is not only able to match people and horses as far as personality. But also she has a really good sense of what the horse is going to be able to do. Not just physically, but also mentally. Are they going to be able to commit to the training schedule that’s required for an upper level eventer? Some horses just don’t want to be ridden that much or have that much instruction or training in their lives. I think she’s really good at identifying the horses that have the work ethic for it.
TPR offers horses and riders more than retrained OTTBs. The quality of the partnership is just as important as the horse’s education after life on the track. Kim looks out for each thoroughbred, and each potential new owner, always mindful of those exceptional horses that offer something special to competitors.
For Tiffany, the answer is still TPR. “I’m in conversations with Kim about finding a third one to join the team.”
They Can Excel Because Of You
TPR is able to help athletes like Tiffany, Titan and James excel because of you. Your donations do more than save lives – they support new partnerships where horses and riders bring out the best in each other. Thank you for your continued interest and support.