Winstar Farm

By Evie
Photograph is Exaggerator winning the Preakness. Photograph does not belong to me.

For those who follow my Twitter, it is easy to notice my obsession for the American horse Exaggerator. For those who don’t know, I’ll give you a brief explanation as to who he is.

By multiple Group 1 winner Curlin and out of Vindication mare Dawn Raid, Exaggerator was an American racehorse, and is now an up-and-coming sire. He was Group 1 placed at two, and went on to be the first American horse since American Pharoah to win three Group 1s as a three year old, one of these being the Triple Crown race the Preakness Stakes. He was a mud specialist (meaning he ran his best on wet ground), which has lead many to believe that he would have been more than comfortable running on turf. Upon retirement he entered Winstar Farm, and was bred to several quality mares, such as Sacre Coeur (dam of Lady Eli) as well as the dams of 9 Group 1 winners.

(I’m so obsessed with Exaggerator that I’m honestly planning to take a cardboard cut out of him to my prom, which sounds worse written down than it does when spoken.)

But from there I discovered Winstar Farm, who I believe is one of the industry leaders for animal care and interactivity with fans.

One example of this is the constant updates they pump out about their horses. This includes videos of the stallions, such as them in their paddocks or in their stalls, and a new feature on their website, which is GoPro rides on their stallions (which consists of videos direct from the helmets of the riders aboard the stallions). This helps people, including long time fans, interact with their favourite horses, even into their retirement. I believe that this should be replicated in the UK, as it would be nice to see update videos on some of our favourite retired racehorses and how they are doing as stallions.

Another example of this is the several Twitter competitions they run throughout the year, which can lead to prizes such as stallion caps, locks of mane and sometimes horseshoes. This is absolutely amazing and can lead to fans of the horses being able to keep a part of their favourite horse.

This next feature really helps interact people with the horses they watch. Winstar Farm have a store in which memorabilia of your favourite horses can be purchased, and I’m really holding out for Exaggerator merch for Christmas.

As with most stud farms, they also run stallion tours. Unfortunately I live in England, so its not like I can just go and view my favourite horses. But if I do get the opportunity to go, you can believe me to force whomever I’m going with to visit Winstar.

Now, I’m not the biggest fan of American racing, as I disagree with a few methods they use, however I would jump at the chance to visit Winstar and see all the horses that are famous even in Europe. It would be great if more places can have the openness and interactivity that Winstar have, and I would like to see more places following in their footsteps.

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