Friday, October 30, 2009

Rock-A-Bye Barbie

Isn't it fitting for a horse called Barbie to run in a race called the Princess Elizabeth? The Princess Elizabeth is no ordinary Thoroughbred race: each year, it showcases some of Canada's top two-year-old fillies, its Canadian-foaled classification making it an important stepping stone to next year's Canadian filly classics. The Princess Elizabeth is no ordinary race, but then again, Barbie is no ordinary horse.

Barbie is the pseudonym for Silent Wisper, a blonde-highlighted red head by Wando, out of Silent Course. At two years of age, Barbie seems to have grown into a patchwork of her parents, her slender build and cantankerous personality a mirror image of her mother. Barbie has a sweet side though, and this and her brightly burnished copper coat are the trademarks of her father.

Silent Wisper was born February 22, 2007, at around 5:15 p.m. While I have attended and assisted in a few handfuls of foalings (as many as possible) at Schonberg Farm, the birth of Barbie marked a special evening for me for two reasons: while I had observed a few foalings, Barbie's was the first birth I assisted in. Secondly, Barbie was our first Wando. This spindly little filly was by the horse that has been the cornerstone of my life with Thoroughbreds.

As I toweled off wet little Barbie that cold February evening, I was overcome with the exhilarating emotion of it all. It was at this time that my future was decided: I would spend my life in broodmare barns, caring for broodmares and helping little ones grow. About 10 years previously I had decided on a career with horses, but no pathway had yet been paved. My options were many, but on this night, because of Barbie, I knew that this was what I had to be doing. While I hope to spend the next few years dabbling in many facets of the Thoroughbred industry, my heart is still calling me back to the foaling barn.

Three weeks ago Barbie broke her maiden at Woodbine, becoming our first Wando winner. This week, she was our first Wando entered in a stake, and tomorrow, we will be cheering for her to become ours, and Wando's, first stakes winner.

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