Highlighting: Sarah Parlier
Sarah Parlier is a Thoroughbred lover from Long Beach, CA that I met many years ago online when we both belonged to a forum called "Exracers.com." At the time she was galloping at the track and was thinking about developing a program at Los Alamitos Racetrack to help trainers sell their horses once they retired from racing. Sarah had her start on the track in 2005 when she began galloping in the mornings and also acted as an assistant trainer for a short time. She originally had her start when she was 13 in the hunter/jumper ring. However, once she had a taste of the track she realized how much she adored working with the breed. Not to say she hasn't done her share of helping other types of racehorses. Los Al also has races for Quarter Horses and Arabians, both of which she had the opportunity to gallop as well. Sarah said as far as her favorite breed, hands down Thoroughbreds. Why? " Their heart!!!! They are so driven, smart, willing, motivated, intelligent, athletic, versatile, have a strong work ethic, and teach you so much. There is just no comparison," She said.
The first year Sarah worked at the track she found there was a strong need for someone local to help trainers find new homes for their horses when they were ready to retire. The harsh reality was that trainers were disposing of unwanted horses at local auctions. After doing some research to see what exactly was happening to these horses, Sarah decided to take action. She figured if she was able to list horses online and bring buyers in, more horses would find homes and be less likely to take the ride that usually does not end in happily ever after for the horse. That is when www.equineracers.com was born. Things quickly took off from that point.
Sarah also practices what she preaches. She owns two horses off the track and always leaves room for a resale or rescue as a third horse. She currently owns "Every Last Detail" and "Superchupacabra." Every Last Detail is a tall gelding that never raced because he bowed both front tendons during a workout. Sarah gave him time and brought back "Big" as an event horse. They competed together through Training Level and now focus primarily on Dressage. "Big" was named after Mr. Big who is a charactor in the show "Sex in the City." She says she always thought of this horse as tall, dark and handsome so the name fit perfectly. SHe said she and Big have been together for 7 years. It's hard to believe how quickly that time has passed from when she used to be his workout rider. Sarah's second horse, Superchupacabra was originally a resale horse that she purchased as unplaced in 7 starts. He was a ridgling at the time so she had him gelded and eventually found him a new home. Three years later his owner called Sarah and asked if she wanted him back. She didn't hesititate. As I've seen her do on many occasions, Sarah will help her buyers, as well as those that buy horses she lists for other trainers, should they need to find new homes for their horses. So this horse made his way back to her. To date they have been showing at Training level dressage and in the jumper ring. She says she plans on eventing him this year and thinks he needed time to mature and become the talented horse he is now.
For those of us that are not only heavily involved in racing but also help find homes for horses once they retire, it is easy to come across horses that strike a cord with you. The horses that you never forget about. The horses that really have something special. For Sarah, the one she remembers as one of her favorites is "Sir Dave." Sarah had a little to say about him, "Not only did he run in the Breeders Cup Marathon the same day Zenyatta won her race in 2009 but he made over $221,000 on the track and was a multiple graded stakes placed horse. After racing until the age of 6, all 17.3hh of him, he retired with both broken sesamoids, he recovered and served as a track pony horse until the age of 11 when I purchased him and fully retired him as an occasional trail horse. His funny personality and spirit remained strong and just goes to show you how big the hearts of TBs really are."
Sarah has partially "retired" from working at the track full time but still continues to help place horses. If you are from the west coast and are looking for horses off the track, you can reach Sarah at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her website at www.equineracers.com