Connie Black has been a club member at Wasabi Ventures Stables since July 2018. She also was the very first club member to become a monthly donor to The Horse Fund. I recently interviewed Connie to learn more about her passion for horses.
What is your relationship with thoroughbreds?
My first real connection with thoroughbred was winning a tiny piece of Willie The Whale with Wasabi. We have always owned quarter horses and began racing them in 2014. In addition to some of the Wasabi race horses and broodmares, I now own my own TB broodmare, who has given me two beautiful fillies, born on the same date a year apart.
How long have you been involved?
I’ve personally been involved with horses, in general, since meeting my husband in 1972. He grew up showing western pleasure horses in 4H, boarded others’ horses, then started barrel racing after we got married. Yes, he even got me to barrel race a few times. I think my life passed before my eyes every time I did it!
When did you first learn about thoroughbred aftercare?
I had heard about TB aftercare through trade magazines and social media before ever owning one. Even though I know very little about the RRP (Retired Racehorse Project), I’ve seen a few people working with horses aimed toward that when we visited our trainer, who used to take our quarter horses to Florida in the off-season from our racing in Indiana. They stayed at a training center next to the Florida Horse Park. The proximity to that drew lots of TB folks to stay at the same training center. It was fun to watch them work their horses in events I’d never seen before.
Do you have other involvements with thoroughbred aftercare?
I don’t directly have any involvement in aftercare, other than always trying to help any of our trainer friends try to find new owners/homes for horses they’ve worked with that just aren’t suited for track life.
What made you decide to become a monthly donor?
I’ve always been one to try to help when it comes to animal causes. My Amazon Prime Smile rewards go to a local animal rescue, His Hands Extended. I’ve been a supporter of The Barn Santuary ever since I first saw the TV show. Being able to have a monthly donation automatically made to The Horse Fund is so very easy. It’s become a permanent part of my monthly horse budget. I even gave up my mani-pedis so I could get another horse! I decided it was a better use of my “fun” money. My nails are always a mess after I come in from the barn anyway! 😄
What do you think people need to know about aftercare?
I think many people may not be aware of all the possibilities that exist for horses leaving the race life. Maybe they’ll go to eventing of some kind, a few may make it to the barrel pen, some may be able to transition to a therapy horse, be used for trail riding, become a broodmare, or my favorite, just be a pasture pet.
What else can The Horse Fund do for the horse racing community and/or thoroughbreds?
I’m thrilled The Horse Fund has been able to step in and assist a few horses start their race retirement years when others would have kept pushing them in a career unsuited to them. Setting a good example of what’s right to do for the horse and being a good steward of the funds collected are great ways to show the industry the best way to help horses post-racing. Maybe at some point The Horse Fund can extend far beyond the membership of Wasabi.
Is there anything else you want to share?
It’s been very educational to be part of the Wasabi family. I’m really grateful for all the information shared and so happy knowing I get to be a small part of helping make a better life possible for some horses through The Horse Fund.
“There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.”
“Horses do not care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
Many thanks to Connie Black not only for taking the time to answer these questions but also for continuing to be a valued part of our community.