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Drivers Promote The Sport, Retirees

Published: April 16, 2014 11:21 am ET

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With the busy schedule of the country’s leading catch drivers and trainers, it is very rare that you will find them giving up a day off to come to a national equine expo.

Although, on April 13 at Equine Affaire in Columbus, Ohio, Ronnie Wrenn Jr., Aaron Merriman, Trace Tetrick, Mickey Burke Jr., and Luke Ebersole participated in the harness racing demonstration followed by meeting fans and event goers at the USTA and New Vocations Racehorse Adoption booths.

The horses used in the demonstration were also quite notable. Anvil Raider N, who was the winningest pacer in 2013 teamed up once again with 2013’s winningest driver, Ronnie Wrenn Jr. Special Report, earner of over $1.5 million in lifetime career earnings was matched with Aaron Merriman who has over 6,000 wins. Leading second trainer, Mickey Burke Jr., teamed up with recently retired Viking Kemosabe who had over $180,000 in earnings, and Trace Tetrick – who had just come off of five wins at Hoosier Park the night before and has 2,500 wins – drove Investor, who races monthly at the Meadows and also is a successful show horse. Driver Luke Ebersole drove the retired Starry Night Star, who made 133 starts in his career. After a few laps around the coliseum, Investor was unhooked by Tetrick and owner Julie Allison hopped on his back to demonstrate racing under saddle.

New Vocations Standardbred Program Director Winnie Morgan Nemeth stated, “To see so much talent in one arena was really amazing. Aaron Merriman, Ronnie Wrenn and Trace Tetrick wear our ‘NewVocations.org’ patch on their colours and they have always been happy to promote our mission. I felt what a great way to really bring this full circle by having them driving these past champions for the general public. It is a great way to show how amazing the sport is and how our industry does care about the horses and their lives after racing.”

Wrenn said, “I was a little nervous to get behind Anvil Raider N again as the horse would not stand for a win photo for any of his 23 wins last year, but now that he’s been let down and ridden, he jogged in and put on a show with no problems. It is great to see him happy and doing well outside of the track.” Anvil Raider N was used for under saddle demonstrations as well as driving at this event. He will be available for adoption in the next few weeks through New Vocations.

“We have an amazing sport and talented, versatile horses, I feel the event on Sunday was huge for harness racing and we are already getting positive feedback from it,” Nemeth said. “Each driver and trainer that participated came because they care about the industry and know the importance of Standardbred aftercare. It is a win-win scenario for everyone involved. I really appreciate these drivers taking the time to do this.”

For more information on donating a Standardbred or on adopting one, visit newvocations.org or contact Winnie Morgan Nemeth at 734-320-7918. New Vocations successfully places over 350 horses annually. They are the leading racehorse adoption program in the United States.

(New Vocations)


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