With Rolex creeping steadily upon us, and with Dorothy Crowell, nee Trapp, a staunch supporter of the Off The Track Thoroughbred (OTTB), who better than to re-introduce our quiz after a brief hiatus. Dorothy’s best known horse Molokai was the quintessential OTTB turned eventer, winning, amongst many other prizes, a silver medal at the World Equestrian Games at The Hague in 1994, the national title at the inaugural CCI**** at Rolex in 1998, and capturing the hearts and imaginations of so many during his illustrious career. As OTTBs continue to increase in popularity and exposure in this new era of three day eventing, with a record number competing at Rolex this year, Molokai will also be making a comeback of sorts – he’ll be holding court at the Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center from Wednesday through Sunday. Dorothy told me that as long as he can be out in a field, ‘Mo’ will absolutely love the attention, pats and treats, and anything that she can do to help the OTTB cause she’s game for. To that end, Dorothy added, that provided Mo feels good, he and Dorothy’s MMSC graduate Hennison, (a four year old by Henny Hughes, by Hennesy, I think there may be a distant link to Mo there somewhere?) will also be attending the New Vocations gala at West Wind farm on Saturday night, alongside such luminaries as Bruce Davidson and Chris McCarron – you can still get tickets, hurry!
Dorothy described her two favourite memories of riding Molokai at the Kentucky Horse Park – her first, and “for sure top of the list” was her National title winning cross country ride in 1998, her last Rolex on Molokai, and the first year it was a CCI****. “There are so few times out on cross country when you feel like you didn’t do anything wrong at all, it was just a dream trip, which is so unusual and even more rare to have it happen at four star level. Being from Lexington Mo had a well-deserved fan club, and there were cheers and applause every single step of the way, sometimes it may only have been two or three people, and at the water and the bigger fences it may have been hundreds, but I could hear the applause for him on every single step of the galloping lane, it was so uplifting. Normally you tune it all out, but I heard it all on full volume.”
Dorothy’s second memory was Radio Flyer’s first cross country school at the Horse Park, shortly after Molokai’s retirement. ‘Red’ was a 4 year old, recently claimed off the track, so Dorothy rode him, and put a lucky student up on Mo to be a schoolmaster. Laughing, Dorothy explained that after all of three jumps they had to switch horses “as Mo was never that horse, and that was the last time we used him for that job!” Dorothy said it made her smile then, and still makes her smile to this day to remember that. Molokai, she tells me, is an absolute pleasure to be around, that the young horses just LOVE him, “we have to be careful if we put more than one other horse out in the field with him because they all want to be around him, they know he’s the man, which is as it should be.”
Many, many thanks to Dorothy for sharing her memories of Molokai and the Kentucky Horse Park with us, we look forward to visiting with him soon.
One of Dorothy’s students, Lara Borson Knight is becoming something of a regular on Eventing Nation – head trainer at the Makers Mark Secretariat Center we first spoke to her back in January at the Mary King Area 8 AGM, then again at Red Hills where she won the Jockey Club TIP Award with her MMSC graduate Shooby Doo, finishing 2nd in the Prelim division. I was sorry not to catch up with last weekend at the All Thoroughbred Show at the Horse Park, but that’s probably because she was so busy amassing more rosettes, and TWO more TIP awards – one for the best scoring in any First Level Dressage Test, and the second for winning her jumper division, and the Jumper Stakes Class for good measure! The MMSC was well-represented – they sent out 8 horses,three previously adopted, below from left to right Lara and Shooby Doo, Ann Dottore (2nd) on Marked for Action and Rachel Finlin (1st) on Noble Cause, with “Grandma”, MMSC Director Susanna Thomas on foot!
Five others that showed are babies that are available and they all placed in their divisions, and two more found homes during the weekend – Result! Please try and find time to visit the Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center while you’re at the Horse Park, or attend the function if you can, I’m sure you won’t regret it. Thank you again to Dorothy, Lara and of course the OTTB! Go Rolex, and Go Eventing!