Final Countdown! Vote Donner for 2017 EquiRatings Horse of the Year

This is it, ya’ll! After 25,000 votes were cast in the preliminary rounds of voting, the original 12 nominees for 2017 EquiRatings Horse of the Year have been narrowed down to two. Voting is now underway in the final round, and what a fantastic tribute to the sport that we have two former racehorses facing off against each other for the title in Donner and Arctic Soul.

Donner, a 14-year-old Thoroughbred bred in New York (Gorky Park (FR) – Smart Jane, by Smarten), raced six times with lackluster results and retired as a 3-year-old. He then went to Lynn Symansky, who saw a diamond in the rough. Who would have thought that this scraggly, skinny thing …

Photo courtesy of Lynn Symansky

… would go on to finish top 10 at both Burghley and Kentucky? Donner has completed all eight of his career starts at the CCI4* level — Kentucky 3X, Burghley 2X, Badminton, Pau and the 2014 World Equestrian Games. He also competed on the U.S. gold medal team at the 2011 Pan American Games and traveled to Rio as the reserve horse for the 2016 Olympic Games.

Lynn Symansky and Donner at Great Meadow. Photo by Jenni Autry.

This year proved to be the best of Donner’s career to date. His dressage average of 47.5 is his best season average yet, and he delivered a CCI4* personal best of 45.5 at Burghley. His finishing score of 53.1 at Burghley, which saw him finish 6th as the highest placed U.S. horse, is also the lowest of his career to date. He also finished 2nd at Great Meadow to help the U.S. team win the Nations Cup.

We would be remiss not to mention a few more of his greatest achievements. Of course, Donner helped Santa deliver presents to children around the world on Christmas Eve …

Donner the Deer. Photo by Leslie Mintz/LSE.

He is an incredible dancer …

Donner says, “I MUST DANCE!” Photo by Jenni Autry.

He is pretty much the life of the party wherever he goes …

The look on everyone’s faces in the background = priceless. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Vote for the American-bred Thoroughbred who has made us proud both at home and abroad time and time again! Click on Donner’s photo below to cast your vote.

The polls will close at 2 p.m. EST tomorrow. Arctic Soul is a worthy opponent and certainly near and dear to our hearts as another ex-racehorse. If you’re torn on how to cast your vote, just let The Boss show you the way …

Don’t wait. Fulfill your patriotic duty. Go vote on the EquiRatings Facebook page now! Then SHARE and ask your friends to vote for Donner the Deer!