Follow along as Dyana and I work through my proven 4 C's Training Model: Consideration - Communication - Connection - Confidence
Lady Dyanaformer, commonly known as Dyana, is my homebred filly who went on to be my very first racehorse. After working to help transition more than 100 off track Thoroughbreds FROM racing in my career, I decided to transition in the opposite direction of my horses and go INTO racing for several reasons. Primarily, I wanted to share the good I have seen in racing, but I also wanted to be involved firsthand so that I could better understand the language Thoroughbreds learn during their racing careers. I also firmly believe that you can never truly impact change without having personal experience and walking alongside the people (and horses) you want to support or influence to change.
After taking a very slow and thoughtful approach to Dyana's training and care, she ran her first race on June 15, 2021 at Belterra Park in Cincinnati. She won that first race quite impressively, and I was regularly reminded that a horse winning on her first try is the exception more than the rule - let alone a first time breeder who is also a first time owner. We were all very blessed and excited for Dyana's future as a racehorse.
With such a strong start to her career, we decided to enter Dyana in an Ohio Stakes race for her second race on July 2, 2021 again at Belterra. This race was against more seasoned horses and was considerably longer than her first race, but Dyana did not disappoint and turned in a very strong performance to finish 3rd.
Unfortunately, after that race Dyana developed some minor inflammation in her front left ankle. We jumped into action with veterinary exams and diagnostics and discovered a tiny bone chip that we elected to have surgically removed. You can read the full account of that decision on the Mareworthy blog at https://www.mareworthy.com/blog/surgery-for-lady-dyanaformer-and-the-future-of-mareworthy#/
After surgery we gave Dyana lots of time for rehab and recovery, and she returned to race three more times in 2022. Her first two races were short distances to help ease her back into racing after her time off, and she finished both in 3rd with a strong closing energy. Thankfully a longer race came up for her on June 29, 2022, and she won!
Sadly, history seemed to repeat itself, and Dyana's front left ankle began to give her some issues so we once again jumped to veterinary exams and diagnostics only to discover another tiny chip had developed in the same ankle. We opted for surgery once again, brought her home for the first month of stall rest and rehab, and then moved her to the world class KESMARC rehabilitation facility for cold saltwater, aqua treadmill, swimming, and other treatments to give her the best chance at a recovery that would bring her back strong enough to return to racing again.
Unfortunately, at her 60-day post surgery re-check we discovered yet another chip had developed in the same ankle and the bone bruising we had been closely monitoring had not resolved. Considering Dyana hadn't even been turned out for the 60 days after surgery and was limited to hand walking and swimming without any stress to the joint, we made the decision to retire her from racing and continue to monitor her bone health as I transition her to a new career.
This may mean we never get the thrill of watching her gallop across an Eventing XC course because I don't know if her ankles will hold up long-term to the stress of landing after a jump, but I still plan to get her going for Dressage, Western Dressage, and Trail obstacle competitions - I'm even planning to build a professional trail obstacle course on the property to keep her mind active because I know that being very intelligent she will get bored if I just turn her out to pasture.
It's hard to feel like we're retiring her before we really got to see her run at her top speed, but it's also a wonderful feeling to know she'll be in the backyard again for daily snuggles. And we have been incredibly blessed to have such a successful racehorse our first time out. We may not have made a profit in the long-run, but Dyana did have a better record and earned more money than most racehorses so we are truly blessed. If you want to read more about the dollars and cents of our first year racing Dyana, you can find them in my blog post on the Mareworthy website at www.mareworthy.com/blog/horse-racing-profits-exposed#/
What's Next for Dyana?
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Kyle Rothfus (aka Kyle the OTTB Mare Guy)