Katie Ruppel is back in Montana after a year’s hiatus, and this time with her lovely young OTTB Houdini to contest the CIC 3*. Although he’s pretty special to watch now, Katie told me that she spotted him at Charlestown Racetrack and because it was raining she didn’t even see him trot up but went on gut and how much she liked him walking down the shed-row.
Houdini’s transformation to fancy Advanced horse has not been all smooth sailing though; Katie shared that as a youngster he was very spooky and didn’t have a terrific natural jump, and she actually tried to sell him or even give him away several times. As a four year old she had him sold to go fox-hunting but as fate would have it he twisted a shoe and trod on a nail on the way to the vetting so didn’t pass.
Katie credits Buck Davidson, who she trained with for several years, for playing a huge part in turning ‘Huey’ around and persuading her not to give up on him. By Hot Rock, who Katie thinks may be distantly related to Mr Prospector, Houdini is now her top level horse, and she kindly took some time to chat to EN and tell us a little bit more about her plans for him this Fall.
Katie now trains with Jon Holling down in Ocala and said she’s enjoying a new perspective after five years plus with Buck and sang both their praises! Many thanks to Katie for chatting, and wishing her and Houdini the best of luck both here at Rebecca Farm and in the future, I’m excited to watch this pair go on to great things. Go Ocala Eventers and Go Eventing!