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Margot and Redford in Atlanta winning a class in the High Adult Jumpers (2018). (by Alison Hartwell)
Margot and Redford at the Kentucky National Horse Show (2019) where they were champion in the Take2 Thoroughbred Jumpers. (Shawn McMillen Photography)
Compiled by Nancy Brannon
Margot Meyer’s NZ Redford, a veteran 23-year-old Thoroughbred, born in the land of the Kiwi, reminds us that age is just a number. He is Number 1 on the TAKE2 Thoroughbred League Jumper charts and pointing for the $20,000 TAKE2 Finals at the Kentucky National Horse Show in September (fingers crossed).
Kudos to the current leader in the TAKE2 Jumpers - venerable NZ Redford, who resides at Spring Mill Farm in Fisherville, TN and is trained by Dave Pellegrini. Says rider Margot Meyer: “If you ever need a poster child for advertising the longevity of Thoroughbreds, NZ Redford is 23 years old, and will be 24 competing at this year’s finals, hopefully! I have been riding him since he was 19, and he just loves his job in the jumpers! He's so athletic, and tries his heart out for me every time.”
Margot got together with the horse almost five years ago when he was 19, “when I started riding him at Dave’s suggestion when I was looking for a new jumper to ride,” said Margot. “There had been talk of retirement, but I think Dave knew then Redford wasn't ready. The woman who owns him, Tracy Treace, had him in California for many years after he came over on a boat from New Zealand when he was three. He was started for the racetrack but never raced. She actually traded a horse for him. She brought him up through the jumper ranks to Grand Prix, then sold him to an amateur, and years later got him back. I believe he'd been leased many times throughout his teen years, and had some injuries. Tracy currently lives in Florida, but Redford loves it at Spring Mill so she let him stay.
“Since I started riding him we started in the Low Adult Jumpers, worked our way up to the High Adult Jumpers. Then about a year ago, he told us that 3'6" was just a bit too much for him anymore, so we backed him down the 1.0m classes and discovered the Take2 Thoroughbred classes, which were a perfect fit.
“He is a kind, gentle soul and has perfect ground manners. When he’s in the show ring, though, he’s all business. He hears that buzzer and knows it’s time to go. He has such heart, is so athletic, and tries so hard for you. I think he truly loves being ridden, having a job, and having a person. He’s the horse of a lifetime for me. I have so many amazing memories, thanks to him. I’ve enjoyed finding out that he loves cantaloupe, watermelon, bananas, and his favorite cookie is Dimples horse treats :)
“He has had a great veterinarian and farrier here, and, of course, Dave as his trainer has helped him last as long as he has. It’s been one of my greatest joys taking care of him. He motivates me to stay fit myself because it only benefits us both in the show ring, as neither of us is getting any younger.”
I asked Margot about Redford’s feeding and exercise program – how she keeps him so healthy and fit.
“Redford has been eating Purina Active Senior for the last 4+ years, and eats Bermuda hay three times a day. He goes out in the mornings in a large paddock with a 4 year old Caymus that he babysits.
“For staying fit, I try to ride him 4-5 days a week and as often as weather permits in our back field. Mainly, just 45-minute hacks in the field including galloping (which he loves!) keep him fit. We have a lesson with Dave once every week or two.
“He lives on a daily Equioxx pill, since he is 23+ now, to help with any aches from being older. His veterinarians, Dr. Mark Akin and Dr. Katherine Wright, examine him at least every six months to make sure he’s feeling good, and for the past year, almost, he's been shod with poly flex shoes. He has ringbone and those seem to have really helped him since we switched. His farrier is Paul Dorris.
“I don't give a lot of supplements- just daily MSM and Equine Omega Complete oil. I think a big part of him still going, too, is the loading doses of Adequan injections he receives every 6 months. We've been doing that since I started riding him at 19 years old.”
Margot finally mentioned his high quality lineage: “You just can’t beat a good Thoroughbred! He’s actually a Spectacular Bid grandson, who won the Derby & Preakness” in 1979. Spectacular Bid was a grandson of Bold Ruler, and in 1980, he was named American Horse of the Year. He also won an Eclipse award in each of his three racing seasons – 1978-1980.
Redford’s TAKE2 Finals will be September 16-20, 2020 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY. Currently he has 579.5 points, over the second place horse with 507 points. Find out more about the TAKE 2 Thoroughbred finals at the Kentucky National at: https://www.thekentuckynational.com/take2-thoroughbred-finals.html. Find out more about the TAKE2 Thoroughbred League at: https://www.take2tbreds.com/year-end-standings/
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