Follow me as I explore and experience the life of a race-horse, offer my insider views on different aspects of the racing industry and keep up with the general goings on and the latest scoop. So many people ask questions about the life of a race horse and what the human fascination is with horse racing; the perceptions are so vast and varied and the industry seems to maintain a certain mystery to outsiders. This is my view and my life story – I am The Lotsky.
And so it has begun – my career as a race horse. This is after-all what I have been bred to do, so the excitement is great while there is some apprehension and confusion as it is all so new.
I was foaled in October 2013, the second foal of my dam Blue Ballet, on the Bosworth Stud farm in the Klerksdorp area of the Free State. My sire, Global One is the resident sire on the farm and was selected as a worthwhile suitor for Blue Ballet, based on conformation, racing form and pedigree. I am the result.
My first two years were spent on the farm, growing and running with my fellow foals in as natural environment as you could find. The importance of correct and optimal growth in these formative years cannot be emphasised enough and a knowledgeable and experienced stud team are invaluable.
Since my owners and breeders decided not to sell me, I did not go to any auction sale. So instead of being prepped for a sale as an 18 month old, I had a few extra months on the stud farm simply being handled and taught to walk in-hand on a halter.
In September me and my “half-brother”*, also by Global One were loaded onto a large truck for the trip to Johannesburg.
*In horse terms a half-brother is only called such if it is actually a horse out of the same mare. The relationship to the same stallion will always follow as being BY and the relationship to a mare is always referred to as OUT OF. If a horse is a full-sibling, it will be referred to as a full brother or sister but reference to a half-sibling is only if they share a mother.
So while the stallion plays a very big role in the pedigree it is really the mare and her history that mostly influence the pedigree strength. Remember, the stallion can sometimes have up to a 100 chances to produce a decent horse, per year, while the mare only gets one opportunity in the same time-frame.
We arrived together at the Turffontein training yard of Joe Soma Racing and have spent the past two weeks getting used to our environment.
There are some very smart race horses here, so I feel a bit awkward still. Fortunately, we are two of about 12 “babies” – this seems to be what we are called by everyone- so at least we have “safety in numbers”.
The yard is broken up into 3 sections- going (racing) horses, unraced- but in training youngsters and then our section for the new babies who have just been or are about to be backed. Backed is a term used when a horse learns to accept the saddle and bridle and then eventually a jockey climbs aboard. We will then start lunging to assist us in getting fitter and stronger and any day now we will be proudly walking around the track with a jockey aboard.
Our daily walks out to the paddock give us a view of the other horses, the training tracks and the race course here at Turffontein. In the afternoon, we all go for a long walk around the track, in hand and led by none other than former Presidents Champion Challenge, Grade 1 winner- Happy Landing.
Although he is retired from racing, he is responsible for guiding us and teaching us the ropes and still seems to have a lot of spring in his step for an 11 year old.
It all looks so different to the farm at Klerksdorp but it is becoming more familiar with every day.
My half-brother The Blue Streak, who is now racing in Mauritius, was in the yard previously and they said he had an infinite amount of attitude. Talk in the stable passage is that I too am quite a handful. They are going to have to get used to it – I am who I am – I am The Lotsky!
Apparently my owners are coming to visit me tomorrow and will be taking updated pictures, so you can see how I have grown since my foal pic. I will be posting regularly, so keep tuned and if you have specific questions about our Thoroughbred life I will do my best to answer!
Just keep Racing!