Life After Racing - Blatant Lie

19 April 2012
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Blatant Lie winning at Moonee Valley 12/12/2003. Photo copyright Gary Wild.

Blatant Lie winning at Moonee Valley 12/12/2003. Photo copyright Gary Wild.

Swishing his tail peacefully and strolling the green hills of Clonbinane, the rotund bay gelding gives off no hint of the fame and fortune that was once bestowed upon him. To those who know him in his ‘new life’, this magnificent horse is known simply as Brogan. Women fawn over him and coo over his handsome physique and debonair charm, none more so than ‘his’ person, Stacey. Together they stride confidently around the dressage ménage, converting old habits into new skills. A once confusing transition, Brogan has re-trained his brain to leave behind the very skills that brought him greatness. His world has been flipped upside down and, in a whirlwind few months, Brogan left behind his alias ‘Blatant Lie’ and has been nurtured into a new career as a riding horse.

As a pacer, Brogan’s ability was apparent from a young age. The Internet is littered with success stories and high profile sporting articles about an inspiring young ‘speed machine’ whose introduction to racing saw him place first in five out of his six initial starts in the highly-competitive Vicbred and Breeder’s Crown arenas. In a career stemming five years, Blatant Lie amassed $410,403 in earnings. This is a pretty exceptional result, especially given that he was a bargain pickup at the 2002 APG Yearling Sales for just $10,000!
In 2005 harnesslink.com published an article outlining plans to sell Blatant Lie to the USA, amidst suggestions that the then four year old had ‘reached his mark’. Luckily for all concerned, trainer Andy Gath had faith in his horse and decided to listen to his instincts and allow Brogan to mature and remain in Victoria. This proved to be a very smart move with many wins achieved after this time, including a $100, 000 stake VicBred final during his 4 year old season.
Nobody is happier with the decision to keep Blatant Lie on Aussie soil than his now owner Stacey, who describes Brogan as her ‘perfect horse’. Stacey and Brogan met through their mutual involvement with Victorian ex-harness horse placement program Raising the Standards. Brogan was entered into the Raising the Standards program by Andy and Kate Gath (who have also entrusted the program with the futures of Ultimate Mark, Sir Lance and some ‘unknown’ youngsters), who wanted their special horse to find a bright future beyond the back paddock. Stacey rode weekly at Raising the Standards as a ‘Shared Standies’ rider; a program run by Raising the Standards which gives riders who are not in a position to own a horse the opportunity to ‘share’ a school horse. Stacey initially paired up with school horse Bailey, who had a questionable career as a pacer under the name ‘Eureka Lord’. Together they developed as a partnership and Stacey grew in her desire to one day own a horse again. Riding at a Standardbred training facility for two years gave Stacey a choice of over one hundred Standardbred horses. It was but a pair of kind eyes and gentle demeanor that won Stacey over and she has never looked back since inviting Brogan to join her family.
Brogan has found a forever home in the most loving of environments. He remains agisted at the Raising the Standards headquarters and so is surrounded by fellow Standardbred friends and showered in affection every day. Stacey has weekly riding lessons and plans to compete in dressage, Standardbred showing and one day will join an adult riding club. Brogan is one of approximately one hundred and twenty horses who have found a future via the Raising the Standards program. His story is an example of the potential ex-harness horses have to find a fulfilling future beyond the track. One only has to look into Brogan’s eyes to know that he is truly thankful for his second chance at life.
For any comment or for additional details please contact Gary Kairn, Operations Manager, Harness Racing Australia on (03) 9227 3003.
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