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Ashley Stump and Golden Giant compete in the Thoroughbred Makeover competition in Kentucky last week.

Lenox Woman Scores With Retired Racehorse in Thoroughbred Competition

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff
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LENOX, Mass.— Ashley Stump and her horse Golden Giant are celebrating a job well done on their performance in the Retired Racehorse Project's $135,000 Thoroughbred Makeover competition in Lexington, Ky.

"He was actually fabulous, we had some really good hunter rounds and the jumper rounds went really well with only little minor things overall," Stump said. "Against the professionals and juniors and amateurs we had placed 12th in Jumpers and 17th in Hunters and there's well over 50 horses in each."

Out of about 50 competitors, the duo ranked 6th place amateur in the Hunter Division and 7th place amateur in the Jumper Division.  

They also ranked 12th in the Jumper Division and 17th in the Hunter Division against professionals, amateurs, and juniors.

These competitions focus on a horse's pace, style over fences, manners under saddle, rhythm, relaxation, and style of movement. Horses and trainers come from 46 states and four Canadian provinces to compete.

The Thoroughbred Makeover competition ran from Oct. 12-17.

The event is presented by Thoroughbred Charities of America and is the largest retraining competition in the world for retired horses. It is designed to showcase the versatility and athletic potential of thoroughbreds beyond the racetrack.

Golden Giant was adopted by Stump from ReRun Thoroughbred Adoption in East Greenbush, N.Y., which is known as a leader in thoroughbred adoption and aftercare.

Stump, who is a Lenox native, is an advocate for retired racehorses and makes it a mission to provide them with happiness after their time on the track. An equestrian and current off-track thoroughbred owner/trainer, she owns seven horses located in the Berkshires.

By doing the competition, she was able to connect with Golden Giant's first owners and will be provided "baby" pictures of him.

"She's been sharing all our posts like so happy, and then his owner that bought him at 18 months old to start trading for racing, actually, we have gotten in contact with, too," Stump said. "I haven't gotten to talk to him too much but he's been under all the Facebook posts and everything, so I'm like, 'Oh my god, this is so cool,' we were able to find all of his previous owners and will get baby photos, he had quite the fan club when he was a baby as well."

Golden Giant will not be able to participate in the same competition again but Stump is on the lookout for another horse to compete in it with. Of course, this doesn't mean that Golden Giant will be sold, as Stump doesn't believe in that.

"We had people come up to us the second we walked out of our own building, the first time we went in wanting to buy him and we're like 'no,'" she added.

Stump's next goal for Golden Giant is to compete in the Take2, a program that has sponsored her in the past.

The Take2 is sponsored by the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association, among others.

"Any horses off the track are allowed to compete in it as long as they had raced before and there's no like time limit on when the race is just as long as they raced, you're allowed to do it, but the jumps are a lot bigger," Stump said.

"It's like 3-foot Hunters and 3-foot-3 Jumpers, so that's our next goal, which we have to travel statewide to do them so that is kind of like our goal we're working towards now," she said, adding she was "definitely looking for another horse for 2022. It was a great, great time."

Stump fundraised money in preparation for the Kentucky competition and was able to raise about $800.  All of the funds were spent making Golden Giant comfortable, including a couple of massages, chiropractic work, and a post-workout horse treatment called MagnaWave.

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