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The Painted Pony Adds Jumper To His Skill Set

A horse is never too old to learn new tricks. Or so it seems with the wonderfully different Standardbred The Painted Pony as he's recently added 'jumper' to his diverse resume.

A very uniquely coloured harness horse being a red roan/grey, The Painted Pony's main occupation these days is as an ambassador for the Ontario Standardbred Adoption Society. He participates in many of OSAS's Meet & Greets which allow race fans to get up close and pet and take photos with him and also in the very popular HOPE (Horses Offering People Encouragement) program.

Because of his unusual colouring he attracts many who just want to catch a glimpse of his coat. The Painted Pony also participates as a post parade leader for special events at a number of Ontario racetracks.

OSAS's administrator Joanne Colville coveted the horse for several years before having the opportunity to purchase him seven years ago.

"I had admired him for a long time and tried to buy him when he sold as a two-year-old but he went beyond my price point," Joanne remembered. "When I finally did get him he was pretty hot so I sent him to a trainer, Emily Mahood, to break him.

"He spent several months with her, there was no rush. When he finally figured out he didn't have to race anymore he started to settle down. She did a marvelous job with him. He was very hesitant to canter which was understandable as he'd be trained not to make a break when trotting."

The last two years Joanne's daughter, Emma Christoforou, has been using The Painted Pony as her horse in the Standardbred Showcase Series. This year they've expanded to open jumper shows and the horse has responded well winning three ribbons at his most recent show.

"It's wonderful exposure for the Standardbred breed to have a horse like him doing well at the open shows. The more people who realize how trainable Standardbreds are for other disciplines the better," Joanne noted.

And it certainly helps that the Standardbred in the open shows is as striking at The Painted Pony.

"He draws a crowd wherever we take him. This summer I'm hoping to have he and Hiltons Hot Stuff (a beautiful Standardbred mare who looks like a paint horse), together at some events, I think people would love to see them together."

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