Radiant Molly Shines at Spurwink!

Radiant Molly, with owner and driver Lori Pennell and groom Pam Rhodes, had a beautiful fall drive at the annual Spurwink Farm outing in Cape Elizabeth on Saturday, October 8.  After the drive, several regular participants gathered to catch up over a picnic lunch on the grounds of the lovely farm amid horses, Belted Galloways, and views of the sea and meadows. Many thanks to the Sprague family and their neighbors who generously offer this unique experience. Molly was rewarded with a good roll in the sand pit after she gave us a splendid ride!

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Spread the Word: World of Horses!

Bring family and friends to the ever-popular World of Horses at the Cumberland Fairgrounds, 5:30 PM, October 31, in the pulling arena. For information regarding sponsors, performers, volunteers, etc., contact Brenda Bryant   bbriona@gmail.com

Benefit FUN DAY great success!

The SPHO-ME FUN DAY to sponsor FUTURES FOR STANDARDBREDS was a great success! Beautiful weather contributed to safe conditions for all participants at the five stations: dressage, gaming, versatility, jumping, and driving. This annual event has become a favorite for many who return each year to tune up for the show season, but mostly just to have lots of fun! Thank you to all horses and riders who raised funds for STANDARDBREDS IN NEED!

Click here to view a slide show.








FUN DAY for Futures For Standardbreds!


SPHO-ME will once again sponsor the FUN DAY to benefit FUTURES FOR STANDARDBREDS at the Hollis Equestrian Park on April 24.



Message From The President

Robyn with Butler's trophy, Annual Banquet 2012SPHO-ME 2016

We are looking forward to another action packed year for SPHO Maine. The year end awards banquet will be held in February and will be the first for our NERAP awards program. 2016 NERAP will have some additions so take a look to see what has been added. This is the time to sign up for the upcoming show season.

In the works already is the spring Fun Day at Hollis. This is an event sponsored by SPHO as a benefit for Futures For Standardbreds. The event is a great way to get some practice in before the show season starts or just a day to play at different disciplines. Your participation helps support horses in need.

June is busy with two shows. We are “bumping” up the rating of our pleasure show to make it a class C MHA affiliated show and moving the location to Hollis. The very next weekend is our annual dressage show which is affiliated with SMDA. As an addition this year we have added a Standardbred only Intro B class. The show always has a high score Standardbred award for the day.

WOH is the grand finale at the Cumberland Fair and is a full year’s worth of work. Brenda is always looking for different disciplines and breeds to feature. Contact her if you would like to participate.

There are many events not yet scheduled such as our spring training clinic and events at the track. Stay tuned.

SPHO-ME Rocks Equine Affaire!

The Standardbred Team

The Standardbred Team

SPHO-ME Rocks Equine Affaire!

One way to promote the Standardbred breed is to demonstrate its versatility to the public, and it could not have been done better than the team who worked for months raising funds and planning their program for this year’s Equine Affaire. It’s not easy to fill a coliseum, but the substantial audience that gathered to watch the breed demo reacted with cheers of praise, and they certainly left informed and impressed.

CC Bagaluck, in race harness, hobbles, and hooked to a race bike driven by Katie Flaherty, entered the arena first. It’s safe to say that the audience had seen nothing like this!

Panzo Two, hooked to a wooden road cart with Wendy Flowers driving, appeared next demonstrating the transition to pleasure driving. Both Pan and Wendy presented a delightful picture of fun and ease.

Gone to Carolina, ridden by Kathleen Bailey and owned by Amy Higgins, stunned the crowd with a demonstration of beautifully executed dressage, proving that Standardbreds are capable of precision and balance under saddle.

Lindon’s Rose Me N, ridden by Meaghan Martin, streaked into the spotlight and obviously took great delight in flying over jumps. The crowd loved this perfect finale that ended the demonstration on quite an exciting note.

This eye-catching and fun demo delivered the message of the versatile Standardbred in every way! Along with hours of fundraising, travel, and practice, the team presented an attractive information booth. Charlotte Gelston from CT, who works tirelessly for Standardbreds, enthusiastically engaged the public for hours with stories and facts promoting adoption and involvment. Please read the accounting below of the four day adventure written by Wendy Flowers, and view the album on the PHOTO GALLERY page. SPHO-ME and Standardbreds everywhere thank this team for their persistence and hard work. Well done!

Five Days at Equine Affaire, by Wendy Flowers

The Standardbred team all arrived home safely on Sunday evening. We are still resting up from the adventure. Hundreds of people stopped by the booth and talked to us in the C Barn about the horses and the breed. It was a positive experience for Standardbreds, SPHO of Maine and the U.S. Trotting Association. We received great feedback on both the demo and the Breed Pavilion booth. People commented that the demo was one of the better ones they have seen and that the booth was better than ever. Strong representation in both areas. Charlotte Gelston drove up from CT and spent an entire day in the booth talking up the breed. We also had not one, but two horses in the Equine Fundamentals Forum (formerly known as the Youth Pavilion) on Saturday afternoon, which made for a varied and enriching presentation.

Here is the video footage, compliments of Sharon Hardy, as well as photos by Rachel Ferrante and others.

In short, an exhausting but worthwhile trip. I believe we did the breed proud. And I am proud of our horses and the team for holding it all together in what is a week overflowing with activity and crowds.

Thanks to the U.S. Trotting Association for sponsoring the Breed Pavilion booth and stall.  And thanks to Brenda Bryant, Rachel Ferrante, Marcia Flagg, Kevin Flaherty, Charlotte Gelston, Heather Goodyear, Sharon Hardy, and Molly Blyth-Olson, all of whom played in important part in the success of the event.

Standardbreds rock!


Spurwink Drive

Radiant Molly, with owner and driver Lori Pennell, and groom Pam Rhodes, enjoyed a drive in Cape Elizabeth on Saturday, 10 October. The Sprague family kindly opens their farm for a ten-mile drive through a varied course that changes each year; meadows, orchards, dirt roads, deep woods, ocean beach, and around lovely private estates; followed by a picnic lunch and conversation. The crisp fall weather, colorful autumn foliage, and varied unique turn-outs added up to a perfect day!





Thank You to the World of Horses Sponsors

SPHO of Maine extends its thanks to our World of Horses program sponsors, volunteers, exhibitors, and crew.  This event would not be possible without each and every one of you – thank you!

Thank you to our sponsors

SPHO-ME Member in USTA’s Hoof Beats

Lonesome Cowboy S, aka Mon Petit Tresor, aka Treasure was the first Standardbred that Pam Rhodes owned. Here is the first installment of a two-part article in which the author describes their years together. The second part will appear in Hoof Beats in the October, 2015 issue.

Click Here to read article.


September 1 I had the opportunity to attend the Retired Racehorse Summit hosted by the New York State Gaming Commission. The event was located at the Fasig-Tipton pavillion in Saratoga Springs, NY. 
The biggest group represented were members of the Thoroughbred race industry but there was one panel of Standardbred enthusiasts that participated. Regardless of the breed the ongoing issue was funding for a very large and long term problem. Due to the long life span of the horses, it was stressed that retraining and rehoming was the only solution as there would never be enough funding to support every horse in retirement. 
There were many ideas about raising the money to support all the retraining and rescue facilities that would be needed. It was stressed over and over that any and all people connected to the racing industry needed to step up and take responsibility for the horses that they benefited from. Everyone in that room gained financially from the race industry ( employment, purses, stud fees, winning bets, money from casinos, etc,) but no horses got anything in return. 
I was able to talk to Ellen Harvey from the US Trotting Asso.(Ohio), Judy Bokman from the Standardbred Retirement Foundation ( NJ) and Kate Starr from Sunshine Horses (NY). We all agreed that the Standardbred industry was WAY behind the Thoroughbred in their racehorse aftercare support. I came away with ideas and frustration and hope that something positive will come out of this summit for the future of retired racehorses.