Admirals Express Takes Horse Show Division

Published: September 1, 2010 10:27 am EDT

It's always an anticipated event when the Ontario Standardbred Horse Association puts on one of its horse shows featuring retired standardbreds. On Sunday, followers had an extra incentive to check out the action, as

the incomparable Admirals Express was on course.

With his rider Wellington Charles in the irons, Admirals Express would go on to take the Keyhole event.

The horse show took place at the Touch 'N' Go Farm in Campbellville, Ont.

"We had an awesome day and saw lots of horse and rider combinations," said Joanne Colville of the Ontario Standardbred Adoption Society.

Madison Somerville (riding Delacey) captured High Point Novice, while Elaine Reid (Uncle Hughie) took High Point Games. Jayme Barnes (Whos That) captured High Point Western and Sarah Hirtle (Hilarys Conquest) took High Point Performance. High Point Overall went to Emma Christoforou (Spoonman).

The results of the day are listed below.

• Rider
• Horse

Mares Halter
• Jennifer Graham
• Shut Out Cammie

Gelding/Stallion Halter
• Darlene Sharp
• Not A Prude

• Aislin Rees
• Ambition Express

Novice Halter
• Madison Somerville
• Delacey

Novice English Pleasure
• Emma Christoforou
• Spoonman

Open English Pleasure W/T
• Sarah Hirtle
• Hilarys Conquest

Open English Pleasure W/T/C
• Alea Woods
• Party Gal

Open English Equitation
• Aislin Rees
• Ambition Express

Novice English
• Madison Somerville
• Delacey

Hunter Class
• Aislin Rees
• Ambition Express

Trail Class
• Elyse Leduc
• Standing Room Only

Steady Hand
• Carolyn Kitchen
• Jacquard

Open Driving
• Megan House
• Fredoras Lincoln

Obstacle Driving
• Tanya Martin
• Born To Score

Novice Western
• Madison Somerville
• Delacey

Western Pleasure W/T
• Jayme Barnes
• Whos That

Western Pleasure W/T/C
• Elyse Leduc
• Standing Only Only

Western Equitation
• Heather Hido
• Alcars Uptown Angel

• Paige Brenner
• Come Along Tally

Pole Bending
• Elaine Reid
• Uncle Hughie

Flag Race
• Elaine Reid
• Uncle Hughie

• Wellington Charles
• Admirals Express

Apple Dunking
• Carl Dawson
• Cynfuleyes

Costume Class
• Sophie Desroches
• Winelleaves Dreamer

Dressage A
• Megan House
• Fredoras Lincoln

Dressage B
• Shelley Higgins
• Delacey

(With files from OSAS)



Ok Lynne, I see ur point. Now look where I'm coming from, ur very first comment on this picture..
U say how harsh the bit is-when it wasn't even harsh
You claim I have a smile and the horse doesnt-action pic and trying not to run photographer over.
So when u see it from my point u will understand why I felt the need to defend myself.
I don't dislike ur Ideas, and I am understanding ur position with saving these beautiful animals, but that's what I am also trying, and yes a calmer picture would be better from selling and adopting, but what they tried to do is show how much a competitive and spirited this horse can be, he was a Warrior on the track as much as he is a Warrior competing, some people on here critisized my size, and mentioned my weight how sad they felt for him, and realistically if someone can't tell the diference when a horse is showing or to look more into the breed. They likely shouldn't own a horse, So Keep up the Good work on protecting these fine animals, and I will do my part in teaching and showing the Admiral. And Together we can get the word out on how Amazing STANDARDBREDS truely are....
Welly Charles.

In reply to by admiralsexpress432

Ok. Let's agree to disagree on some points and agree on others. In the end, the Admiral has a great home and is healthy and happy. That's the most important issue here. Best wishes with him.

I would like to issue my two cents worth on this. I am a huge fan of Admirals Express, and I had the wonderful pleasure and honor of meeting him in person on one of his race days in his comeback in 2009, and then was reunited with him again at the Grand River show. First off I would like to say that when I saw him at Grand River with Welly he was a much happier horse than what I saw back in 2009. Welly has done an outstanding job with the Admiral and deserves full kudos for an a job well done with him. Second anyone that knows Welly knows that he would NEVER EVER harm the horse in anyway at all. Old Admirals Express is always showered with love, care and compassion. So these naysayers of Welly need to get there head out of the sand and realize that Admiral loves what hes doing now!! Welly keep riding and hopefully I can see the two of you again at 1 of the last 2 shows!!!


I am a harness racing fan and have recently had the honour & pleasure of seeing the Admiral & Welly at a Standardbred show.

If you met this wonderful grey up close and in person, you can clearly see how happy & well taken care of he is. Wellington has done a wonderful job with him. I love this picture of the Admiral -- it shows his competitive spirit. Become a fan of Admirals Express -- he has his own Facebook page and you can see a number of nice pictures of the Admiral either at the standardbred shows or pictures of him just relaxing.

Keep up the great work Wellington!!!

Marie Stoyles-Moura

What aren't you understanding? It's about perception. The photo posted here and on facebook is telling its own story. I agree with it being a GREAT action shot but is it a picture that is just as great at telling people just how gentle these horses are who may be looking to take a retired standardbred home? Isn't that the main purpose of these shows? I am not accusing you, Welly, of hurting the horse in any way. I am saying that, from this photo, it doesn't come across to the public in general (usually people who want a nice, gentle, well-trained, quiet pet) that this is the kind of horse that they would want to have in their barn. The Admiral may very have all of those traits but this photo doesn't show them. First impressions are long-lasting. Please do not think for one minute that I am criticizing the care that you give this horse. I was thrilled to hear that you were taking him at the end of his racing career and am happy that he is still able to compete in the showring. Many of us are trying to find homes for our retired race horses so the best publicity is more likely going to be a photo of a more subdued looking horse. Do you understand where I am coming from?

I thank all the gr8 comments from everyone who knows of me and Admiral, and to everyone else I welcome U to the farm where I keep the Admiral. I will give U a tour of his daily routine, his stall his paddock buddy's and of me training him. And maybe if U come and see how happy he is when he is working, and how he is taken care of, U will then understand the horse. I honestly ask for nuthin to do this I shoe him myself, I take him to the shows and if u would like to contact me for other pics of his training I will send them. ADMIRALS EXPRESS Will be at the last 2 shows, come visit and bring a carrot he loves carots....

I just asked a visitor what she thought of the picture and what it said to her. "The rider looks like he's having fun but the horse looks like a renegade--uncontrollable--difficult or maybe in pain". No prompting from me. Enough said.

Ok so everyone is talking about the treatment of the horse here. I really think that its just all about what an outsider thinks when they see this one picture, ( Admirals) or not. If u were wanting to adopt a Standardbred for your child or your self and saw that as a first picture the first thought is "wow what am I getting my self into" we need to show that these animals are not just a fast race horse but can also be a nice calm riding horse and this picture does not say that at all.

There something to be said about those whom have never had the honour to befriend a Standardbred whom has taught you as an individual so many life lessons. Horses are no different than people... we all need a purpose, mental stimulation and love. Welly has provided and received that exact recipe from The Grey.

Perhaps adopt a retired Standardbred, buy yourself a bitless bridal, hire a photographer and state your grace.... Perhaps rent Seabiscut... The famous quote "just cause a horse ain't good for one thing, don't mean he ain't for something"....

Perhaps with your meager eyesight you see only negative. For those whom have share and lived in the greatness of this Grey shows the fierce spirit within.. the champion...and determination. Welly's smile... represents the pride of a true horsemen, who utilized his horsemanship skills to stimulate this horse's ability and skills.

I was born and raised in harness racing. Became a trainer, driver myself and also competed with Standardbreds in endurance and competitive trail riding.

Casting such harsh judgement on this pic is quite silly. Opinion are like bum holes..and everybody has got one... Perhaps he tossed his head up and the moment. Give her head a shake...extend your hand.. and give kudos to Welly, Joanne and Carrie. These people make a difference in the lives of retired Standardbreds everyday.

There is no shame in this picture at all. This picture represents and celebrates the strength and character of this horse's spirit. This horse is one of the many fortunate soldiers of harness racing... he is an Admiral, a spokesperson and a hero.

Until you have befriended and lived in every moment of this majestical being... spare your harsh comments and adopt one a prove your point.

Until than, kudos and congrats Welly and heartwarming Grey.

the old saying.... never judge a a book by its cover...if you knew both the horse and the would know Welly would not hurt this famous horse for a million dollars they both know each other for over a decade, that I know's
not because the horse is famous..its because as much as Welly can be an " Admiral" of the game so can the" Admiral"of the horse they love to both of you. I wish you well and keep on moving... jean

With comments like that you have to consider the source & look at their history of constant complaining. I'm sure the Admiral is being well taken care of & likely is enjoying his new career. Beat of luck in the future with him, he sure gave harness fans quite a few memorable races.

I really must agree with Lynne, no matter how soft the bit is, a horses mouth is very tender. The picture tells the story loud and clear. As a rider for many years before I got into our business, I certainly know that this is not what the judges were looking for, neither was I, and I know my horse wouldn't have either. This horse is an amazing animal.

As a standardbred owner myself, having a horse that raced for 12 years, he hates just standing in a feild. And since he worked his whole racing career, he loves working as a riding horse. Just like dogs, german sheppard as an example, they love working, so people put them to work picking up sticks or keeping them busy with things around the house. It is the same with a Standard bred that has raced for so long. And Admiral here is a big boy, Wellington is not too big for him. If he was, Admiral here would prove his own opinion by bucking him off etc. which hasnt happened. Also if admrial didnt like being a games horse, he doesnt have to move.... i have seen many horses to move if they dont want to do something, and to a point where even if you spur them they wont move. Admiral loves he new lease on life, and Wellington is doing an awesome job getting him there.

I'm getting tired of this, so what U are saying is that Admiral should just stand in a field or for that matter any standadbred. My Admiral is no diferent then any race horse that has stepped a foot on the racetrack, and yes the admiral has had a tough road but so has every other horse. Admirals Express brings Attention to people at these shows, they learn about him and the cause. So U can say SAD RETIREMENT all u want.... ADMIRALS EXPRESS will continue to show. Maybe before cutting up this U should come see how much Work these Ladies do...

horrible does nothing to showcase Admirals (and Standardbreds) beauty and versatility, in fact it does the opposite.

I actually find it disturbing that the public and photographers were allowed anywhere near the inside of the ring..just asking for someone to get hurt and the organizers to get sued.

And one more thing...being an honest,hardworking and hard used race horse for 12 years and winning well over 2 million dollars for your connections should earn him actual RETIREMENT!! Becoming a "games" horse at 14 and lugging around a "not small" rider
is far, FAR from retiring...sad

In reply to by shanna

As the organizer of the event I must say our photographer did an excellent job! Before positng about this horse please know the facts. This horse was retired and came back to the races. He IS NOT HAPPY just standing around in a field. He is happy being ridden each and every day and WElly has done a great job. Keep riding my friend you are a true sport! The Admiral has a huge following and was excellent with the kids Sunday!

When a photo is posted on an open forum, people have the right to comment. My comment was more to the way that the photo could be perceived. It is a great action shot but the horse does not appear to be happy no matter what the situation of the moment was. I'm pretty sure that Mr. Charles loves this horse to bits and takes very good care of him. That's not the point. We, in the industry, are trying to put forth a good picture of our horses and how they are versatile, talented, good-natured, easy to handle, etc. Remember, we are trying to find homes for our retired standardbreds. This is not the impression that this photo portrays. It doesn't matter what the story is behind the photo. The photo is the story. Some people will love it, others will view it as being cruel. Some will know the difference--others won't. It's how it is perceived and the impression that it makes.

I have taken enough of these comments. The Admiral is looked after very well and treated the best. The shot is an action shot and perhaps those that are not familiar with speed events or what happened on the day should just stop with the comments. He has a very soft bit in his mouth. The horse loves speed and always has. It is a great shot! Even the judge has posted on here and I commend her for that.
I have seen worse racing and breeding and comments about this horse and his bit are uncalled for. This horse has come a long way and those that know Welly and the horse applaud him. Keep up the good work and see you at the next show. The horse is a show stopper and a crowd pleaser. He shows the versatility of the breed quite well. I have seen the odd photo of one of the horses I am using now with his mouth open - that does not mean I am using the wrong bit or I am abusing him or the photographer should not have taken the picture. Please let's concentrate on issues that really need to be addressed. (I am an accomplished western gaming rider.)

As the photographer that Welly was trying to avoid running over, I give thanks to Welly's quick thinking to go to the left. I never gave any thought to where i was standing, at the end of the ring.... when you use a zoom lens, the actual distance between myself and the horse is distorted. I can tell you that after this incident, i did stand to the outside of the marked ring... So i accept part of the responsibility of all the comments that have come hence forth. I would be the first to tell you that everyone is entitled to their opinion, no matter how strong, or misinformed that opinion may be. They are still entitled to it. Having spoken with Welly before the barrel racing class and having taken numerous photos of him warming up in the ring, I would be the first to tell you that Welly is incredibly proud of the Admiral, and also his public perception. I watched a lot of people approach him: many of them children, with parents who watched the Admiral throughout his racing career. I appreciate Ms. Magee's opinion about the bit that Welly used, and i do know that she has some knowledge of such bits... but this one did not have a burch, or a curb, or a spoon in it, and was just a plain snaffle.

My father told me once that to respond to something like this is a waste of time, and i know that he is right: Because my opinion holds no greater value than those that precede or follow. However, if i have offended anyone in the posting of this photo, then i apologize. It appears that it caused reason to attack someone who was just doing his best to avoid me, and not intentionally hurt his horse. I stand behind this photo. Just as i stand behind OSAS, Welly Charles, and the Admiral. This is an organization that does wonderful things for the retiring athletes of our industry. The people at this show gathered together to celebrate our athletes, not to harm them. It was a great day, and I look forward to many more, just like it.

Carrie Clarke Scott

That fine horse as you say probably is better cared for than your kids..As for how harsh the bit is,did you personally go and check the bit and his mouth,I think not!So get of the band wagon of bashing people before you open your trap.And as for Wellington Charles,I say way to go to keep Admiral young at heart..I am sure he loves his new career.

That's a huge snaffle, and he doesn't even have a wrinkle in the commisure of his mouth. This horse is so loved by so many, I'm sure if he was being mistreated there would have been an uproar at the show. Good luck Admiral!!!!

OK, as the judge, I would like to put in my two cents worth........I tend to agree with the rider's comment.......although it was a VERY bad choice of picture to accompany the article!!!

The exit to the ring was in the right-hand corner as the horses were heading for home........with no gate or barrier of any kind & many people AND children standing in the corner, even inside the ring itself..........several times I asked people to leave who were sitting in lawn chairs inside the ring with their children sitting on the ground at their feet.........the ring was short for the games with not a lot of room to get stopped past the timer line........the photographer was standing in the ring taking pictures as the horses were running for home & people were trying to turn their horses left to get room to stop......Admiral was pretty determined to head out the gate & I'm not so sure that's a smile on the rider's face.........perhaps a grimace as he really doesn't want to run anyone over!

There really were some very nice horses at the show & perhaps a different picture would have helped the cause of the OSAS show to showcase how WELL these horses can adapt to a change of career, rather than continuing to focus on the extreme speed these horses possess......and if you look at this horse wearing a snaffle & compare to similar games horses of other breeds & what some people will put on their heads & in their mouths to control them......Admiral's a pretty sweet guy!

Wow are you people serious??? Welly you do not have to defend yourself or what happened during this photo. You are doing a fantastic job with Admiral and we love seeing the two of you compete at our shows. Get this shot blown up poster size my friend!! GIDDY UP :)
Susan Woodyatt

So glad to hear that you had a good day and all went well. This is a very worthwhile event in the effort to showcase just how talented and versatile the standardbred horse is. Unfortunately, the photo accompanying the article is not going to win approval from too many people that have an understanding of just how harsh that bit is in the mouth of the great Admiral Express. I understand that riders get excited and carried away when competing but it should never be at the expense of the comfort and well-being of the horse. Even though the rider has a smile on his face, the horse does not. There are much better ways to properly ride a horse - even in western games. I hope the current caretaker of this fine horse will take a good look at this picture and make the necessary adjustments in his next outing so that the Admiral enjoys it as much as he does.

In reply to by Lynne Magee

Ya this is Admirals, caretaker new owner or whatever u want to call me, it is comments like that, that make people think of Abuse. He happends to wear a soft snaffle, it aint a rubber one but has a coating to make it softer. In this picture it was try to swerve away from running over carrie or run he over. She was in the middle of the ring and Admiral would have made short work of her, so before sayin how I'm smiling and he isn't get ur facts straight...

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