Our featured horse this week is Valentino or “Val,” loved by Tracy Venier!
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Valentino is an 11 (soon to be 12) year old OTTB gelding. I’ve been the proud owner of Val for almost six years.
When I first met Val he was a four year old recent rescue where I began taking lessons at Foxton Farm in Romney, Indiana, during my fourth year of veterinary school at Purdue University.
I did not grow up riding, only starting to take lessons during my sophomore year of college on well-broke school horses. I had never ridden young off-the-track horses and it was such a great learning experience and fun stress relief from school whenever I could get the chance in between the rigors of fourth year.
After graduation, before I moved back home to New York, my trainer Nicole very kindly gave me something to ride in my newly-found free time — Val. I had not ridden Val for a little while but looked forward to the opportunity. It didn’t take me long to realize how special he was and how lucky I was to be given to opportunity to call him mine a short time later.
Throughout the past five years, Val and I have had many ups and downs, but I refused to give up on him. No matter what, he can always make me smile and tries his heart out.
We settled into a great barn this past summer and have found our niche with an event trainer (a new discipline for both of us). I think I can say we have both never been happier. I am so excited for our future and am thankful every day that he came into my life.