Life on the racetrack just wasn’t in the cards for Bonaparte Jr. The son of Cactus Ridge made 16 starts before retiring with a record of 2-2-3 and earnings of $17,190.
“I went to MAHR to look at a different horse who ended up not being a good match,” Pennypacker said. “Bev Strauss pulled out Bonaparte Jr, a little 15.1-hand fuzzball, and I knew I had to try him. I loved his attitude and spunk and knew we’d have lots of fun together.”
Pennypacker was won over by the Kentucky-bred’s size and demeanor, which reminded her of another horse.
“My first horse was an OTTB who was the same size and I showed him as a junior jumper,” she said. “Smaller horses are often overlooked and I have a soft spot for them.”
Bonaparte Jr, now known as “Reese,” battled a few health problems over the years, but thanks to Pennypacker’s dedication to his health, he made a full recovery.
“Reese is coming 13 but lost a lot of training time to illness–Guttural Pouch Mycosis and unsoundness,” she said. “After a year of turnout and three summers as a leased trail horse, he is now sound and jumping small courses.”
According to the American College of Veterinary Surgeons, Guttural pouch mycosis is a serious and sometimes fatal fungal infection of one or both guttural pouches that is treated with antifungal medications or surgery. Recovery can take months with the possibility for additional surgeries or lifelong nerve damage.
Pennypacker is thrilled to report her dark bay pocket rocket has taken to show jumping like a pro. Looking forward, this team has their sights set on qualifying for the 2021 Thoroughbred Incentive Program Championships.