Journey to the RRP Thoroughbred Makeover 2020: Courtney Poole’s May Update

The journey to the Retired Racehorse Project Thoroughbred Makeover 2020 continues! Read on for our third update from Courtney Poole and RRP teammate Megan Thomas.

Horses are like Potato Chips.  You can’t have just one!

In 2018, I started venturing into the OTTB world again. I began researching about the Thoroughbred Makeover and what it is all about. I had always wondered why so many people had at least two (or more) fresh off the track thoroughbreds. I questioned: Is one not enough?  Fast forward three years, and I understand the addiction completely! I apologize for ever questioning those with the addiction!

We made the official decision to save Tomorrow Tomato for the 2021 Makeover.  For more detail on our decision to save Tomato for 2021, please read our April blogOur very close friend Kristen, whom also loves OTTBs, knew that we were looking for another potential 2020 horse. Kristen has always wanted to be a part of the Makeover but has not yet had the opportunity. She runs her own busy farm with a lesson and training program, and personal riding time is not always on her side. 

Nox was purchased sight unseen from this conformation shot. Photo courtesy Courtney Poole.

Kristen asked if we would be willing to train and show an OTTB with her to take to Kentucky. She was looking for a new horse to invest in due to some recent leases and sales. We jumped at the chance, and Kristen purchased an OTTB gelding named Fortlite. He just finished racing just over a week ago and shipped in this past weekend. Fortlite came from the same sales barn and the same trainer as our 2019 horse. How awesome would it be to have the same success and accomplishments with another horse that came from the same place!

Nox in the arena his first day at his new home. Photo by Courtney Poole.

Our first obstacle as a team was deciding how to shorten Fortlite to a suitable barn name. We decided to call him “Knox” (as in “Fort Knox”). However, Kristen is a HUGE Harry Potter fan, so we settled on “Nox.”  She says that if you are a fan, you will understand! Nox came right off the trailer very curious, inquisitive, extroverted, and full of personality! He was a complete ham in the wash bay being hosed off. We gave him a spa day.  He let us pull his mane, clip him, and give him a good deep grooming. These thoroughbreds gain so much experience and lots of handling on the track.  After a few weeks of downtime and R&R, we will re-start him. This will be another extremely fun process, and I am so excited to bring along another OTTB with my best friends!

About Courtney

Courtney has been riding hunters and jumpers her entire life. Her first horse was an OTTB named Skye (Jockey Club name, Elsberry); she competed with Skye in the Child/Adult hunters but also did Pony Club, eventing, dressage, jumpers, and fox hunting. Courtney is an adult amateur that resides in Locust, North Carolina with her husband, two horses, and two dogs.