Apr 2014 Racing Calendar
1600 ExpositionStandardbred history of a different sort: The warhorse
Historical reenactments are increasing in popularity, it seems. Every weekend in California, groups of all sorts have some kind of event going that we can sit in on, or even get involved directly with including Renaissance events, Scottish and highland games, living history exhibits, and the like. How does this make a connection to harness racing? It's easy. The best of living history and reenactments often come with an equine element and something coming our way in Northern California has no exception. This event also contains a direct correlation to Cal Expo's racing program and we are proud of the connection we have.
One of the events coming to the Sacramento region this weekend is a Civil War reenactment. Specifically, it's on May 4th and May 5th at Gibson Ranch – a beautiful, vast open space popular for all kinds of equine events and numerous other activities. This reenactment, conducted under the auspices of The National Civil War Association, includes equine stars of their show that come directly from our racetrack. Retired standardbreds are an integral part of the act, and they clearly enjoy their time back out in the spotlight. One example is retired Cal Expo racer Kodiak, originally a longtime contender from the Wiseman family. Kodiak is now known as "Buster" around the reenactment family, and is one horse among many who is involved with the current activities.
It's a tribute to the talents and abilities of the Standardbred to be sure. One of the very best attributes of our breed is calm under pressure. California Historical Artillery Society board member and accomplished multi-breed horse trainer Katie Rejaian (also a proud member of the 3rd US Artillery regiment) explains "I've been working with these horses, this breed, for quite a while and I find them best suited for the job. They're comfortable with equipment on them already, and training them to ride is quick and much less difficult."
On Saturday, May 25th, you can easily learn more about their work if you come out to the races. The group will be on-track to promote their activities and raise funds. Equine sponsorships are available if you'd like to help their project. We'll have some pictures of the event at Gibson Ranch a little later this month that you can view at our website and around our social media.
Their website: http://www.warhorse.org/
Youtube video of the 2011 event: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zdlOXQy-e3g
- Leighton Worthey