Ambassador Horse Archive

The Ambassador Horse Program is undergoing a change in goal and mission that no longer involves retraining and placing Standardbreds. This collection of stories is a testament to ten years of good work and happy outcomes for 20 horses!

The Ambassador Horse Program continues in the form of public outreach, demonstrations and events promoting Standardbreds as pleasure horses, before, during and after racing careers.

Ambassador Horse Archive – 2014


Willow Lane D

foaled:03/13/2007; Berwick, ME
sire: Will Do Hanover  dam: Avon Jane D

Willow, AKA, Tonka Truck, is a 7 year old, bay, gelding, 15h, who raced three times. He was rescued from being shipped from a private facility, along with other Standardbreds. Willow immediately demonstrated excellent ground manners, was quite sociable, sound. These qualities, along with a sturdy confirmation, contributed to his speedy adoption and a very happy ending for his new life in a good home!

Ambassador Horse Archive – 2013


Naughty Narcissist

foaled: 01/22/2003; Rangeley, ME
sire: Arts Conquest dam: Dolly Dew
lifetime mark: 1:57.0

10-year old, 15h, bay gelding, with a white star and left hind, Naughty was donated when his owner decided to retire him to a new life as a pleasure horse. He quickly settled into his foster home and enjoys coming over to greet anyone who approaches his paddock. Naughty’s training under saddle progressed rapidly. He enjoyed trail rides, the beach, appeared in the World of Horses, and a show. He went to Scarborough Downs for Back to the Track Day where he remained cool and calm amidst races, crowds, and frolicking children. Naughty now lives with a lucky family in Maine whose two boys and parents are thrilled to have him!

Ambassador Horses Archive – 2012



foaled:01/22/2003; Osteen, FL
sire: Six of Diamonds  dam: La Diable Hanover
lifetime mark: 1:58.1
pacer, gelding

4-year old, 15.1h, very handsome dark bay gelding with a white right hind pastern, Nichols was born and raced in Florida, but his owners decided to have him retrain as a pleasure horse. He arrived in Maine with excellent ground manners and was quite sociable with everyone he met. He moved along very quickly in his retraining under saddle and pleasure driving, was shown at the World of Horses at the Cumberland Fair in September, in October he greeted the community at Wendy’s in Windham, went on a long organized trail ride with SPHO-ME, and enjoyed a trip to the beach. In just a few months Nichols found his pleasure home in Maine with a delighted new owner who is thrilled to add him to her farm.


Kandy Corners

foaled: 05/04/2001; Embden, ME
sire: Wallace  dam: Cutting Corners
lifetime mark: 1:56.2 
pacer, mare

11-year old, 15h, black with white diamond, Kandy raced as a pacer on several Maine tracks and , although she is sound, her owners decided she’d had enough and retired her. She always lived on the farm where she was born, but Kandy settled right in at her foster home and was soon trained under saddle and for pleasure driving. Kandy is now living on a farm in northern Maine where she enjoys her new life with a family and as a lesson horse for children.

Ambassador Horses Archive – 2011


Just Ask Lester

foaled: 3/28/2006; Saco, ME
sire: Computer Scooter   dam: JC’s Funny Face
lifetime mark: did not race

Lester was donated to the program by her owner when it became clear that she was not
cut out for racing. While in training, she continued to canter, which was a bonus for her 
new life as a pleasure horse. Even though she was only three years old when she came to us, Lester had a sweet temperament and was able to learn quickly with professional and volunteer training. She soon participated in local pleasure shows, trail rides, was driven, and even took part in World of Horses. After living with a family for a year, Lester returned to the program for more training and is now in her new home on a beautiful family farm with many other animals, including a rescued Standardbred. Her new owners look forward to riding and driving her on their extensive lovely trails.


Down the River

Down the River

foaled: 2005; Wingate, NC
sire: Red River Hanover dam: Draws Off 
lifetime mark: 1:59.2
pacer, gelding

River was donated to our program when he was 5 years old and his owners decided to retire him from racing. After a short time with ground-work training, this dark and handsome fellow quickly took to pleasure work under saddle and driving. An interested family requested videos, he won them over, and they soon came to get him in ME and take him home to MA where he is enjoying his new life.


Lindon's Broker

Lindon’s Broker

foaled: 2007; Hollis, ME
sire:Lahar dam: Duchess Tradition

Broker made it clear from the start that he was not cut our for a career as a harness racer, so his owner and breeder donated him to us in the summer of 2010. He seemed to have an aptitude for leisure and never lost it throughout his training, although he continued to be pleasant and fun. Broker was adopted by a family with several other horses where he has found his niche as an entertaining companion to all.

Ambassador Horses Archive – 2010



foaled: 4/8/1998; Falmouth, ME
sire: Radiant Ruler   dam: Vadagram
lifetime mark: 2:01.3
pacer, gelding

Shiner was trained by Robyn Cuffey and then privately owned for several years before he was donated to the Ambassador Horse Program in June 2010. He progressed quickly in a refresher course of training under saddle and pleasure driving, and was soon going out on the trail and being used in lessons. Shiner performed beautifully in a Standardbred drill team at the World of Horses and at a local pleasure show. He is a favorite of all who worked with him and we wish him well in his new home in NH.



foaled: 1995; Gorham,ME
sire: Awesome Almahurst dam: Max’s Star 
lifetime mark: 2:03:4
pacer, mare

Jonza’s life changed dramatically when her owner gave her to Robyn Cuffey in the summer of 2007. After racing, she was bred and was living with her dam and last foal, so leaving them to work in an indoor ring around new horses was quite an adjustment. She was able to go to a new owner and moved to northern Maine, then back to southern Maine, when her owner had to give her up and she came to our program. Despite several moves in a short time, Jonza continued in training and soon did very well in her first two shows, participated in World of Horses, enjoyed trail rides, and was steady in harness. This lovely mare and her new owner will have many happy times together. Congratulations to both!

Ambassador Horses Archive – 2008


Running Home N

foaled: 1993, New Zealand
sire: Holmes Hanover dam: Running Hot
lifetime mark: 1:53.3
pacer, gelding

Homer came to us at the age of 14 after a ceremony at the track that marked his last race. It took many months of patient handling before he was comfortable around people. He wouldn’t even eat grass while on a lead line! Such a strong work ethic served him well, however, as eventually he came to be at ease and took easily to retraining. Several SPHO-ME members look for him daily at his adopted home in Buxton, ME where he has many pasture buddies and enjoys relaxing trail rides in his well-earned retirement.

Happy's Pacemaker

Happy’s Pacemaker

foaled: 2000, Nova Scotia
sire: Happy Family dam: Tarport’s Takeoff
lifetime mark: 1:58.3
pacer, gelding

Happy was happy from the day we got him! He was comfortable around volunteers who began working with him in snow in the dead of winter and was soon carrying a rider and being driven in an indoor ring. He was so well-mannered that he was chosen to be one of our “teachers” at our spring Driving Clinic, and this is where he met his new owners. Now he resides at a beautiful old family farm in Augusta, ME where he goes on trail rides, and also excels in driving a variety of antique carts, wagons, and sleighs that have been in the family for generations. We often get glowing reports of this perfect gentleman who has won the hearts of three generations and a firm place in their family traditions.

Ambassador Horses Archive – 2007

Snap Jack

Snap Jack

foaled: 2000, ME
sire: Snap Hanover dam: Arnies Babe
lifetime mark: 1:59.2
pacer, gelding

This dark, handsome fellow came to us when we had several months of good weather to concentrate on his retraining – and it moved right along. He was all business at first, but soon relaxed and, after careful ground training, was working under saddle. A teenage girl had her eye on him as soon as she saw him. Fortunately for her, Christmas was fast approaching. The dream of many a young girl came true when Snap Jack went home with her to a lovely farm in Sebago, ME. Lessons at home and at Photo Finish Farm continue for this perfect match who will have many years together.

Tiger by the Tail

Tiger by the Tail

foaled: 2002, OH
sire: Village Connection dam: White Linen
lifetime mark: 2:00.4
pacer, gelding

Tiger’s owner was so generous and concerned that his horse be in good hands, that he donated grain, apples, a check, and several pieces of equipment along with his horse. It was obvious from his attraction to people that Tiger had been well cared for. His retraining went quickly and smoothly on the ground, under saddle, and hooked to drive. He willingly did ring work, trail riding, and went to the beach. Not surprisingly, Tiger was soon adopted by an SPHO-ME member and continues to be seen at local shows and fairs.

Pete 'n Earl

Pete ‘n Earl

foaled:1993, ME
sire: Ambro Derek dam: Luck’s Lazy Lady
lifetime mark: 1:58.1
pacer, gelding

Pete had a long racing career and retired at the mandatory age of 14 when he was donated to SPHO-ME. Due to his intensive working life, he was somewhat standoffish at first, but soon came to trust people and took easily to retraining. He did quite well under saddle and that was just what his new owners wanted. Now he lives on top of a mountain in southern Maine with another Standardbred, where they both enjoy relaxing trail rides. It’s a pleasure to see this horse at local events, as he is now sleek, serene, and is obviously happy in his new life.



foaled: 1996, NJ
sire: Presidential Ball dam: Leslie Hanover
lifetime mark: 1:53.2
pacer, stallion

This horse was our first donated stallion. He was handled with a stud chain, although he was well-behaved, but he did not socialize at all with other horses. Fortunately, he was immediately adopted and gelded by an SPHO-ME member. After a few natural horsemanship clinics and a lot of patience, he settled down and quickly came to trust his new owner, who now feels that she can take him anywhere and with any other horses. Plans are for Pi (his nickname from Pilot) to participate in three Versatility Trail Challenges in August, September, and October of 2009. Happy Trails!

Ambassador Horses Archive – 2006



foaled: 2001, NJ
sire: Laag dam: Anastasia Lobell
lifetime mark: 2:04.1
pacer, gelding

Contrary to popular belief, not all Standardbreds are bay. The great gray Laag sired Maat, who perpetuated his colorful heritage. At the age of four, Maat had convinced his owners that racing was not for him, and they were mainly concerned that he go to a good home. During his training, he exhibited plenty of youthful antics, but also displayed willingness and great athleticism. He enjoyed a trip to the beach and took part in the Turner, ME parade. Through our Web site, a Vermonter who had owned Standardbreds expressed an interest and came all the way to Buxton, ME to meet him. It was love at first site. Maat’s owner has steadily worked with him and kindly sent reports of parades, jumping, a little dressage, and trail rides.

Grady's Falcon

Grady’s Falcon

foaled: 1991, OH
sire: Falcon Almahurst dam: Grades Homepage
lifetime mark: 1:51.1
pacer, gelding

Grady took forced retirement at age 14, but although he was physically tough enough to race this long, his temperament was extremely kind and gentle. He accepted his foster home, volunteers, and retraining with apparent ease, but was especially attracted to one who spent countless hours visiting and grooming him. He was a dream-come-true for this young woman who adopted her first horse. She decided to board him at his foster home in Scarborough, ME where she participated in his continued training, including letting her friends, young cousins, and a disabled child ride him. Today this gentle giant and his new owner have many stories of fun trail rides and shows. We wish you Happy Trails!

Ambassador Horses Archive – 2005

Cutting Edge

Cutting Edge

foaled: 1992, CA
sire: Leading Edge dam: Marbaya N
lifetime mark: 1:54:1
pacer, gelding

His owner and trainer had close bonds with Cutter and felt that at age 13, this horse had earned himself a good retirement home. In fact, it was a bit difficult to let him go and he has often inquired about his welfare since. It was obvious that Cutter had been treated well in his long racing career. He adapted quickly to his new training and enjoyed interacting with people. Besides traditional retraining to become a pleasure horse, Cutter went on a twenty-mile trail ride, was ridden through downtown Gorham, and participated in a visit to the Willowbrook Museum in Newfield, ME. It was here that his new owner saw him. This new owner was wise enough to continue training with his new horse, and now Cutter enjoys a relaxing life being ridden and driven in Brownfield, ME.

Ambassador Horses Archive – 2004

Getinany BlueGrass

Getinany BlueGrass

foaled: 1992, KY
sire: Fortune Richie dam: Glass House
lifetime mark: 1:59
pacer, mare

Blue’s last race was in Bangor in 2004, when she indicated that she was ready for retirement. The owner contacted SPHO-ME and Blue soon went to work with volunteers long lining, longeing, and driving. Perhaps she demonstrated her honesty most readily as three Red Helmet ladies rode her on the trail! Blue went to shows and fairs where she collected ribbons in a variety of classes. It was at Common Ground Fair that she won the hearts of her new family who took her home to their farm in Dixmont, ME. We all fell in love with this gentle lady and wish her well.

Henry the Hunter

Henry the Hunter

foaled: 1999, KY
sire: Camtastic dam: Tarpot Julianne
lifetime mark: 1:57.4
pacer, gelding

After Henry came in second in his last race at Saratoga in 2004, his owner decided that he deserved retirement and sought out an SPHO-ME member who he knew might help place him. Henry eventually found his way to our new Ambassador Horse Program. After two weeks of adjustment, Henry took easily to training in long lines, longeing, driving, and carrying a rider in the saddle, working both outdoors and in an indoor ring. Word-of-mouth soon found interested adopters who took him to live on their farm in Massachusetts. They report that he settled in quickly. He is mellow and quite the perfect gentleman with their other horse and with his new family. Congratulations Henry!

Ambassador Horses Slideshow: