Read the Success Stories for these former Bits & Bytes Farm horses.
*
Former Prospect Horses bought directly from the track or trainer.

Thoroughbred | OTTB Success Stories | Ex Race horses

* Prospect Horses are horses that were bought from our Web site photos and a vet check. Read "How to Buy a Prospect Horse" for more information.

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Click here to see Christian's Hope's aka "Bobbi's" new home. "Bobby" as he is now known, is available for sale and may be tried at SummerWind Farm.

Interested parties can
e-mail John Parker at or call 770-502-1272. There is a video of Bobby on the SummerWind Farm Web site.

 

Christian’s Hope former owner was the late John Davies of Cincinnati, Ohio.

After the passing of his son John III in 1990, the John & Shirley Davies Foundation was established. Dedicated to helping health, education and arts organizations in the community, it also assisted individuals who could not get help anywhere else.

Through his love of horses, John was able to give
generously and innovatively to various area charities.
The horses Wellness and Lynn’s Vision ( "Bubba") donated money to the Wellness Community.

Christian’s Hope ("Bobbi") benefited a young boy (now 9) who was stricken with cancer of the eye at age three.

John was personally involved with many of the charities and individuals that he helped. His passions included the Wellness Community, where the memory of his son motivated him to help other cancer participants fight for recovery.

Our Bargain Barn horse Absultootly is another of John Davie's horses that needs a home since his passing.

 

"Bobbie"at the track.

Click here to see Bobbi's Prospect Horse For Sale page.

Bits & Bytes Farm Success Stories

Our horses > success stories > Christian's Hope

Christian's Hope aka Bobby is For Sale! September 16, 2007

Bobbi wins his first dressage class!

September 16, 2007

Hey Elizabeth,

   Bobby went to his very first show this weekend!   I am sure John will send you pictures and his own update, but I wanted to give you mine as well. 

We entered Bobby in Intro Test A.  I only entered him in one walk trot test, because I did not want things to be stressful his first time out. I got on him about 45 min early and like all young horses he found plenty to look at. I gave him a minute to let his brain settle and then I began to require his undivided attention. I was amazed when he gave it to me. He warmed up beautifully.  

Frequently, at the schooling shows, I find the warm up area to be a very frightening place for young horses.  It is littered with kids darting to a fro with no plan or attention to others in the area. So, I choose to warm him up in an area where is was just us and another horse. This meant it was on uneven ground which made it a bit more difficult, but he was great.

I ride a lot of young inexperienced horses so I knew that just because he was great in warm up did not mean he would be great in the ring. As soon as the person in front of us did her final halt we began trotting around the ring. The judges stand was a truck, which of course was a horse eating truck.  I just kept him at that end and went past it as many times as I could before the judge blew the whistle. I then made my turn to trot down the centerline. He immediately spooked at the letter A.

He then went in and was a little super star. He listened to all of my aids!!!  He did round circles!!!  He made the transitions when I asked for them instead of at his will. He kept his his frame steady, although he could have been looser in his back and stretched his neck out more. He even halted straight and remained immobile long enough for me to salute.  All together he was great.  I did not care what place he was in I just wanted to see what the judge said about him. So I was very anxious to see his dressage test results.

I was thrilled when I saw on the score board that he had won his test with a 65%.  There were seven other horses in his group and I watched a lot of them go. They all appeared to be well schooled horses who have done this for a while, which made me even more proud of Bobby. When I read his test the judges comments matched what I felt. The best part was that he got an 8 on his final halt!  Keep an eye out this guy is going be around and doing well.

Ashley

And John's Update:

Dear Elizabeth,
It has been awhile since we sent you an update on Bobby, and after this past weekend, I have some exciting news to report. Since we have been concentrating on Bobby's flat work in the last month or so, we entered him in the dressage-only component of a schooling show at Big Bear Farm in Pine Mountain, Georgia.

I'm please to report that he was splendid in the dressage ring, and finished 1st out of eight horses competing in his class! I am attaching a photo of Ashley riding him in the test. (Note that his tail has gotten longer !)

He has done so well that we have decided he is ready to be put on the market as a horse in training, so he is officially for sale. Although he has the jumping basics down, we will now be working on refining his skills over fences. Ashley reports that Bobby has a lot of scope, very powerful hindquarters, and doesn't like to touch anything when he jumps.

Becky's description of him as having a lot of personality has certainly proven to be true -- he is the personality kid around our barn, and makes us laugh almost every day. We think he will make a great young rider's horse or a very nice horse for a smaller adult.

We will have a video of Bobby posted shortly on his page on our SummerWind Farm Web site. Prospective purchasers may contact us about Bobby at

We'll keep you posted on Bobby's progress and the results of his competitions.

All the best,
John Parker

April 6, 2007

Christian's Hope learns to jump with Ashley
Christian's Hope learns to jump with his trainer Ashley.

Dear Elizabeth,

I finally got a decent photo of Bobby jumping. (I'm having difficulty shooting the "point of takeoff" ; perhaps you should include some photography tips in your training tips !)

Elizabeth's Photography Tip: Buy a fast camera. Check the shutter speed of a camera before buying. I shoot with a true SLR Canon camera. A great Web site to learn about digital cameras is: www.dpreview.com

A good book to read for shooting photos of horses is: "Photographing and "Videoing" Horses Explained" - Digital and Film by Charles Mann

Ashley reports that Bobby has tremendous power in his hindquarters, and will likely be happy to jump anything he is put at once he learns the basics. He's getting there quickly.

Bobby continues to do well and has become an established member of our "herd" -- his best buddy is our old schoolmaster, 17 year old Chase, my first horse. Ashley plans to take him off the farm for an overnight soon, in simulation of going to an eventing trial. We hope to have him in his first competition in early fall.

I'll keep you posted.
John

Elizabeth's Note: Notice Bobby's form even when he is learning to jump. Thoroughbreds are the athletes of the equine world. They can do anything if you take the time to teach them carefully. Do not rush their training. Ashley and John are taking the time to train Bobby and are not in a hurry to show him. Taking him off-the-farm several times before actually going to a show will teach Bobby that he is not "off to the races" just because he is getting into a trailer. Watch for great success with this horse and get on the waiting list to purchase him as John and Ashley's goal is to retrain Thoroughbreds for eventing and find them good homes. We look forward to helping them find Bobby's replacement!

Bobby and his trainer Ashley.

March 16, 2007

Hi Elizabeth -- I finally broke down and bought a digital camera, so thought I'd send you a couple of photos of Bobby that I took with it.

Bobby in March 2007

He continues to do well. Ashley is working with him almost every day, and he is doing a little beginning jumping. We had a horse chiropractor in to see him, and she felt he would need only one treatment. He seems to be moving a little more freely since then. I don't think he has any soreness at all now.

Hope all is well with you all.
John

February 27, 2007

Christian's Hope with John Parker and Ashley Giles
Christian's Hope now at his new home at Summer Wind Farm in Newnan, Georgia.

Hi Elizabeth,

I know you and John have been corresponding about Bobby's progress, but I thought I would let you know a little bit about how he is doing. I know when you and John talked he told you that he was back sore. It was more like whole body sore. I figure this was probably due to the fact that he was used to such a tight work out schedule and he had not been worked for a month or two when we got him. We have been giving him warm baths and I have been working him on a regular basis. I think the work has been most beneficial and I think he is really starting to feel good.

I have been working him on the lunge line with side reigns so that he could learn how to stretch into the contact. I have also been riding him on a regular basis. I find it easier to do most things on the horses back, than on the ground. That is just kind of my way, I think everybody has to figure out what works for them. I have been working on just the basic stuff with him. He is learning to go straight and stretch through his neck and back. As this process has been taking place I have noticed a large improvement in his movement. I have mostly worked him at the trot because I find these basics to be one of the hardest things to teach, but crucial to any horses training. I think once he gets these things down he will move along pretty quickly.

Like any horse some days are better than ever, but he seems really eager to learn. The other day we had a great day so i decided to trot him over a x-rail. He zigged and zagged into it, but he went ahead and went over it. It was really low, but he was still unsure of how to get all four legs on the other side with out hitting. He hit it with his hind leg and got a little bit nervous. I was very pleased when we re approached the fence and he trotted straighter to it and really used himself over it. I think he is going to be a very scopey jumper.

We do a little bit of cantering, and it always makes me laugh that he picks up the right lead easily and has trouble with the left. He is actually better at the trot to the right as well. I figure this is because he it stiff on his right jaw and shoulder going both ways and I am just better at softening a horse on the inside than the outside.

One of my favorite things is his personality. He has a little bit of white around the outside of his eye so at first I thought he might be a little bit flighty. However he is actually a teddy bear. He loves to lay his head over my shoulder and put the entire weight of his head and neck on my shoulder and close his eyes while I stroke his head and hug and kiss him. I also was so thrilled the first time a pulled into the farm and he was out in the field. I rolled down the window and called to him and he came trotting up to the fence. I think he and I are going to have a good time together.

I hope to try to get him to schooling shows by this summer. However I always believe that each individual horse will tell you when they are ready for knew things. I will keep you posted on how he is doing.

Thanks for helping us find him.
Ashley

February 13, 2007

Bobby continues to settle in well. He has made one of the easiest transitions (knock wood) that any of our former racehorses have made. Tell Becky no squealing yet. Maybe he'll do that after he's been to a horse trial or two and knows when he's on his way to the cross country course.

John

Christian's Hope with John Parker and Ashley Giles

 

February 10, 2007

Christian's Hope with John Parker and Ashley Giles
Christian's Hope with John Parker and his new eventing trainer - Ashley Giles.

Bobby continues to settle in well. Tell Becky that he remembered about longeing, even to the right ! Ashley got on him today, and he even stood still while she mounted up. (Becky will be surprised at that too). She took him over a single ground pole, and he did a nice little hop over it the first time. We think he might be a little back sore, so we gave him a "spa treatment" with some hot wet towels on his back inside the barn -- he really enjoyed that!

Thanks!
John

Elizabeth's Note: Many horses are back sore after racing or will be made back sore by riders doing too much too soon. Stay off their backs when cantering and don't do sitting trots until you build up their back muscles with lunging and hill work. The polytrack surface, new at many racetracks, seems to make the horses more back and muscle sore. This soreness will go away with time and proper training. The "spa treatment" of hot wet towels, chiropractic, acupuncture and laser treatments will all speed up the healing process.

Christian's Hope with John Parker and Ashley Giles
Christian's Hope with John Parker and Ashley Giles

February 9, 2007

Dear Elizabeth,
We arrived at Summer Wind Farm here in Newnan about 7:00 pm after an uneventful trip back from Kentucky. Other than stomping in the trailer before we left Scroggin's Stables to let us know he was anxious to get on the move, Bobby was good on the trip.

We had hoped to get back in daylight to turn Bobby out for a few minutes, but as it was dark when we arrived, we put him in his stall straightaway. He rolled in the fresh shavings, took a good long drink from the water bucket, and settled into his feed with relish. When I went back up an hour or so later to check on him, he was peeing and there was a pile of manure, so it was good to see that all systems were working with regularity after the long journey. When I checked on him the last time before turning in, he was lying down snoozing. The boy can relax in a new place, it seems.

We turned him out by himself this morning in our riding ring for a few minutes. There were some ground poles in there, and he paid them no mind. He greeted a couple of 20+ year old retired eventers in the adjacent pasture, and was very polite to them, even though one of them was squealing at him -- lots of licking and chewing.

After he had gotten his kicks and bucks out, we turned him out with our old schoolmaster for new or young horses, 17 year old Chase, my first horse. They ran around a few times, which gave Ashley a good chance to watch his way of going, and it looked good on first impression. There is a small grassed "dip" (not really even enough to call a ditch) in the middle of that pasture caused by natural rainwater runoff flow, and when Bobby would come to it at a run, he would jump it without breaking stride. A pretty good sign for a prospective eventer ! After he and Chase ran around for about 10 minutes, they settled down nicely, and are now "eating the same blade of grass" as the expression goes.

The farrier is coming over this afternoon to take his racing plates off, get a good first look at his feet and start shoeing him for his new career. All in all, it's been a good first day.

Please note my changing of the spelling of Bobby's barn name. I was not able to abide the feminine spelling of his barn name and was even thinking of changing it altogether until I watched the movie "Phar Lap" (for about the 10th time), about the great Australian racehorse, and was reminded that Phar Lap's barn name was Bobby. So maybe some of his greatness will come to Bobby if we leave that his barn name !

Becky called me this morning to see how he's doing, which I appreciated. It gave me a chance to ask her some more questions about Bobby's former owner John Davies and how he came to give him the name Christian's Hope. I make it a point to learn as much as possible about both my horses' and my Greyhounds' rearing, their racing careers, and their general backgrounds, as the stories are often interesting, or even fascinating, as in Bobby's case. Becky said you would have a copy of Mr. Davies' obituary, as well as some e-mails from his secretary. I would love to have copies of those if you can send them when you send the registration papers. I enjoy telling the story of how Bobby got his registered name, and want to make sure I'm 100% accurate in the re-telling. Becky is sending me a copy of a winner's circle photo, but if you have that in electronic form and can e-mail it to me, I would be grateful. I am also going to see if I can get any photos of him as a foal.

I'll keep you posted.
John Parker

Click here to see Christian's Hope's Prospect Horse For Sale page.

Click here to see Christian's Hope's Prospect Horse For Sale page.


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