LOPE is doing a series of blog interviews with riders who are bringing warhorses or racing warriors to the 2018 Retired Racehorse Project TB Makeover.
- Horse JC Registered name: Mount Diablo
- Current Age: 10 years old
- Description: @16.1H bay gelding
- Barn name: Diablo
- Number of races: 56
- Earnings: $190,330
- Age when retired from racing: 9
- Pedigree: http://www.pedigreequery.com/mount+diablo
- Owned by: Brittany Bommarito
- RRP Status: Amateur
- RRP Selected Discipline: Dressage
About Mount Diablo
How did you acquire Diablo?
I bought him from his trainer at Fairmont Park via Canter Illinois.
What made you choose Diablo? What was special, that called out to you?
There’s no denying [that] he catches your eye. Though he doesn’t have much chrome, he attracts attention. He has a kind eye. And when he was walked out of the barn at the track, Diablo was one of the few being lead without a chain — plus he seemed pretty laid back.
Tell me about Diablo’s personality.
Diablo absolutely hates to be groomed — but loves to be clipped (he’s currently body clipped). He also loves to be bathed — but DON’T use warm water. Diablo isn’t an overly affectionate horse — unless he chooses to be. He is always looking around out of curiosity, but isn’t spooky. And Diablo will do anything for food!
What does your horse love to do the most?
Diablo loves to be ridden even if it’s just to walk or around or a short ride. And being turned out to run around with his OTTB buddy June Storm (Linus).
What is harder for your horse to do (like math was for me in school)?
Diablo struggles with relaxing during work and being able to bend through his body. But he he’ll try all day long for you — and the minute he knows he did it right, he’ll try harder.
What discipline(s) are you considering for Diablo in RRP Makeover?
Dressage and possibly freestyle.
Anything extra special or unusual about his racing history?
His racing career began in Canada before going back and forth between Ohio and West Virginia – and ultimately ending up in Illinois. The bulk of his races were claiming races.
Does your horse have any old sports injuries?
No known injuries from racing, however shortly after retiring, he managed to fracture his hip somehow out in the pasture. But he is now back to work.
Are you currently rehabbing any injuries for your horse?
We are currently addressing back soreness issues but continuing to work and do very light easy rides.
What are your training goals between now and June?
There are several local Dressage schooling shows between now and then that I’m hoping to take him to, maybe do a hunter pace, trail ride and ride around the field at home. Mostly just getting out of the indoor arena would be welcomed (due to winter weather)!
If Diablo could have one song as his soundtrack, what would it be?
You’re The One That I Want (The song at the end of Grease). Diablo’s a bit like John Travolta’s character, Danny Zuko. He acts tough, but really isn’t as tough as he acts.
Are you Amateur, Junior or Professional?
How long have you been riding OTTBs?
I got my first OTTB in December of 2011 however when I was younger the training barn we were at started getting a lot of OTTBs in for students to project.
Describe a favorite moment you had with a special horse in your life (where you learned something important or had a horse truly bond with you, etc).
There’s been a lot of learning over the years with horses. My first horse taught me a lot. I attempted to barrel race a horse that had no desire to do so, showed him western pleasure for awhile when I quit trying to force him into being a barrel horse and ended up doing dressage. We were both green and inexperienced when I got him and learned a lot from each other. He was the first horse I rode bareback on, the first horse I fell off of and for a long time the only horse. He taught me to pay close attention to his body language and know when not to push my luck. He was inclined to buck when you first got on him after a few minutes of walking he’d be fine, but sometimes he’d get a look in his eye and you knew it wasn’t worth even attempting to get on, sometimes you could tell by his mood that a ride that day would be nothing but spooking. He taught me how to long line, and learned to pony off of my sister’s horse, we learned liberty work together. We rode in a mounted police clinic and he did all of the obstacles, rode through a town and set off car alarms when the officer wrote tickets and in parking garages.
What’s your experience in the discipline(s) you are choosing for RRP?
I’ve been riding and showing Dressage since 2007.
What are your social media pages for you and Diablo’s training progress?
What’s your favorite story about Diablo?
When I first met Diablo I wasn’t seriously looking for a horse to buy. I was volunteering with Canter Illinois to take pictures for horse listings. Diablo was one of the horses I was taking pictures for his listing. There was just something about him when he walked out of the barn. When I finished with Canter Illinois, I immediately went back for a second, closer look. Two days later I returned to Fairmont with my horse trailer and after his pre purchase exam brought not only him but another OTTB (Linus) home.
LOPE would like to wish Brittany and Diablo the best of luck at the RRP TB Makeover!