The moment Brianna DiRocco-Toy put her leg over Summit County and sat down on the now 8-year-old gelding’s back, she knew this was her horse.
“One of the volunteers there kept telling me, ‘You have to try Summit County,'” she recalled of her visits to TAA-accredited MidAtlantic Horse Rescue.
“The minute I sat in the saddle, I knew he was the horse for me. We clicked instantly. I absolutely fell in love with him. I just had a feeling that was pushing me toward him—call it fate for him and for me.”
And after that ride, the son of Any Given Saturday was hers.
Out of the multiple stakes winning Katahaula County mare Socorro County, Summit County ended his career on the racetrack in July of 2017 with a 10-4-13 record from 62 starts with earnings of $206,185. While he raced for most of his six-year career in the claiming ranks, he made a few starts in stakes races, including a fourth in the Bourbon Stakes (G3T) before an off-the-board effort in the 2012 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1T). Once his racing connections decided it was time for him to move on to a life off the track, he was retired through Delaware Park Horse Aftercare Initiative before making his way to MidAtlantic Horse Rescue.
But now, Summit County is being introduced to a variety of disciplines—dressage, jumping, trail riding—and is taking it all in stride.
“Since the day we became partners we have grown everyday as a team,” DiRocco-Toy said. “He is super smart and eager to please, and he just amazes me with his soft, quiet soul. He has an abundance of confidence and actually has given me more confidence in myself.
“The retraining process is going great, we have been working on ground work and a lot of flat work, focusing mainly on dressage and some small jumping. For fun, we go on trail rides around the farm and he loves it.”
For what the future holds for the pair, DiRocco-Toy is mostly looking forward to their retraining journey together and not necessarily the end result.
“I plan on continuing to build our friendship and partnership through going to as many clinics as we can and getting him used to as many different types of surroundings as possible,” she said.
“As he grows, I grow along with him … teaching each other new things daily. I look forward to this journey with this amazing horse. I am thankful for him everyday.”