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.

Horse & Pony Ride Event Photos

THANK YOU to our friends at Royal Silks Equestrian Center of Topsham, Maine for hosting this event to benefit SPHO of Maine.  And thank you Rocky Ridge Orchard and Bakery for letting us use your beautiful venue.  Many a happy child had their first horse ride at the pony ride event.  It was a wonderful day with good friends, old and new.


Fun for all ages!  Beautiful, sweet horses!

Join us Labor Day Weekend (Sep. 5) at Rocky Ridge Orchard & Bakery, 38 Rocky Ridge Lane (Route 201), Bowdoin, ME 04287 for horse and pony rides.  Come one, come all!

This event is being graciously coordinated by Royal Silks Equestrian Center (RSEC) in Topsham, Maine.  RSEC is a full service equestrian center, offering boarding, training, lessons, and leases.  Contact Cohne at filly_mare_horse@yahoo.com for more information.  Pony Rides Ad

All proceeds to benefit SPHO of Maine.

“No hour of life is lost that is spent riding a horse.”
  ~ Winston Churchill

Lobstah Raffle – Winners Announced

Lobster Raffle

Update: August 29

Congratulations to Cathy Small, Kate Race and Mary Sullivan, winners of the lobster raffle!  Cathy won the grand prize of 30 pounds of lobster, followed by Kate with 20 pounds, and Mary with 10 pounds.

Thank you for participating!  Thank you to Kevin Flaherty for the generous donation of lobster for this event!




SPHO-ME Members Publish Articles

The following articles appeared in the “Life After Racing” series in the USTA publication, Hoof Beats. If you’d like to publish your Standardbred story, see the instructions for submission at the end of this post.

A Road Worth Taking

Member Wendy Flowers’s article about her adventures with Panzo Two appears in the current issue.To read the article, click here.

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So Much Fun!

Member Pam Rhodes published an article about fun with Nipa’s One, in the same series, in the March 2014 issue. To read the article, click here.




Former Ambassador Horse, Happy’s Pacemaker, also appeared in this series. Click on NEWS on the Home Page and scroll down to read that article.

Have a story you’d like to share in Life After Racing? Send your submission one of these two ways:
E-MAIL hoofbeats@ustrotting.com MAIL Life After Racing, c/o Hoof Beats, 6130 S. Sunbury Rd., Westerville, OH 43081-9309.

Fun Day Sampler Benefit Show

A GREAT TIME WAS HAD BY ALL! This year’s third FUN DAY was bigger and better than ever with 40 participants who spent the day trying their own, and their horses’, skills on each of the 5 stations. Some horses were ridden by several riders, and some riders swaped horses – it was just another addition to the fun with no pressure or judging. As always, there was a lot of laughter and surprises at unexpected accomplishments, whether at dressage, versatility, jumping, driving, or games (which included barrel racing and pole bending).  Some came out to gain a bit of experience in a relaxed atmosphere as a precursor to show season. There are many reasons to enjoy this nothing-but-fun event.
We thank all those who spread the word, participated, volunteered, and contributed to this SPHO-ME sponsored show benefiting STANDARDBREDS IN NEED through FUTURES FOR STANDARDBREDS.
View the slide show of this event on the Photo Galleries page. 


SPHO-ME horses, members, & volunteers participated in the national ASPCA Help A Horse Day event on April 26 in Kennebunk. The day began with a parade of various breeds, followed by info displays and demos at the Mousam Ring. Long Hill Soprano driven by Robyn Cuffey, with Gloria Steiger as groom, led off in the four-wheeled Eagle behind Emma and Dominic Pierrotti carrying the SPHO-ME banner. Debby Dubois followed riding Looking The Part who was turned out as a show horse winner wearing her champion ribbon. Nipa’s One, with Pam Rhodes as driver and Pat Cooper as groom, was in full race harness completing the theme showing the evolution of pleasure disciplines from harness racing. We hope the point was made to the public lining the street!

ASPCA Help A Horse Day Parade, Kennebunk

Meanwhile, Marilyn Ives was at the Mousam Ring fighting the heavy breezes & setting up display tables for both SPHO-ME and Futures For Standardbreds, where she and Pat got the word out to the public.



Demos in the ring focussed on a variety of breeds along with narrations specific to their histories, rescue stories, and subsequent new lives. Robyn and Soprano captured the onlookers’ attention with a spirited and elegant drive while Marilyn told their story emphasizing what Standardbreds from the track can do.


Pam long lined Nipa doing various figures around the ring impressing the crowd with the Standardbred’s typical willingness, obedience, and kind disposition, while Robyn narrated his personal story,

demo at ASPCA Help A Horse Day, Mousam Ring

then continued on with a superb delivery detailing the life of a harness race horse, and all that it entails from “start” to “finish”. Comments from the attentive onlookers indicated their surprise and interest about the breed, and emphasized the need to continue our mission. We all felt that it was the perfect climax to a day devoted to humane treatment of all horses.

SPECIAL THANKS to Brenda Bryant who helped us navigate the parade route and who stopped busy traffic to ensure our safety!