Pensioners on Parade

Stories about your favorite retired racehorses. For archived stories, click here.

Bid to Fore

In his “Broker’s Tip” column in the January 2021 issue of this magazine, Rick Abbott wrote:

“Some clients are a pain in the ass. Some know nothing about horses in general and Thoroughbreds specifically. Some clients are a dream come true, and Adele Paxson was one of those.”

Gold Scammer

The day after Maryland-bred Trifor Gold won the Sussex Stakes at Delaware Park, Anchor and Hope Farm’s Grace Merryman reached out to say she had “a fun Pensioner On Parade if you are looking.”

Last Enchantment

Beau Ridge Farm in Kearneysville, W.Va., is home to the state’s top stallion, Fiber Sonde. It is home to West Virginia’s top breeders, John and Cyndy (O’Bannon) McKee. And it is home to Last Enchantment, the quirky 26-year-old homebred gelding whose exploits are still remembered by many at nearby Charles Town Races 20 years after his retirement.

Master Manipulator

Eleven years ago, Patty Clemens bought her husband a horse. Then she decided to keep it for herself. OK, so that’s not entirely accurate; it’s the quick and dirty version. But the “husband horse” Clemens first spotted in a shabby stock trailer outside the New Holland auction morphed from a trail-riding buddy for her husband Mike into her own much-loved and trusted eventing partner.

Jackie Wilson

“Do you know who Jackie Wilson was?” Lucy Howard asked. “If not, watch some videos of him online, and then you’ll understand.”

Top Striker

On a mid-April Saturday in Camden, S.C., Arch Kingsley, Sue Sensor and Melissa Rice gathered at The Camden Hunt stables. Spring was in resplendent bloom, and so was Top Striker, the reason for the assembly.

High Spirited

The Jockey Club recognizes him as High Spirited. Racegoers at Mid-Atlantic tracks in 2006-07 probably wouldn’t recognize him at all. But in the realm of interscholastic polo, he’s instantly recognized as “Cholo” –  Chicano/Latino slang for gangster. His is a feel-good story. Call it rehabilitation, redemption, rebirth. But above all, call it what it is: the remarkable truth.


Betty McCue was window shopping. Picking up a retired Thoroughbred from the Laurel Park barn of her friend Hugh McMahon, McCue customarily glanced in the stalls to see what else might be waiting in the wings. McMahon was assistant at that time to leading Mid-Atlantic trainer Scott Lake. McCue, owner and operator – with her sister, Evelyn Hughes Martin – of White Hall, Md.-based EHM Stables, was always on the lookout for suitable candidates as lesson and show prospects for her students.


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