By Garrick Knight
Jeremy Young was a pretty emotional man when Circus Boy won at Alexandra Park on Friday night.
The horse he spent three years waiting on and slowly nursing back to health, rewarded him as both the owner and trainer with victory in a $20,000 race.
“This would be one of the most satisfying wins of my career,” he told HRNZ post-race.
“To have a horse with a broken bone like he did make it back to the races and win on a night like this, it’s awesome.
“I looked after him, now he’s looked after me.”
Young took over training Circus Boy three-and-a-half years ago when sent the horse by Canterbury trainer Tony Barron.
He had seven starts for a win before injury took hold.
“He had a quarter crack that blew out so I gave him nine months out.
“He was back in and coming up good a year later then he came off the track at Pukekohe lame one day.
“I thought it must have been a stone under his shoe but we took an x-ray and he’d broken a hind pastern.”
Young wasn’t in a position to pay for the conventional surgery option, but also couldn’t bear to see the horse put down.
“He’s such a lovely, quiet horse and I like his character, so I rung my vet, Ivan Bridge, and asked him what the options were.
“Since I couldn’t afford to screw him, Ivan said let’s bandage him up and put him in a box for four-and-a-half months.
“So, that’s what we did.
“When the time was up, I brought him back out of the box and he was walking sound, but it’s in the back of your mind about whether the leg was going to last”
Just happy to have the horse safe and sound, and too scared to try him as a race horse, Young eventually just started working the horse as a guide to the rest of his team.
“I used him in front of my young horses. He’s just such a quiet, placid trotter.
“After eight months of slowly bringing him up I decided to try him again even though it was always in the back of my mind that it could fracture again.”
Everything went smoothly and, this week, after a couple of runs to blow out the cobwebs, he shot up the passing lane to win at bolters’ odds.
Young was noticeably emotional post-race and just so proud of the courage the horse has displayed.
“It’s just such a pleasure to train this horse.
“He’s part of the furniture; he can stay with me and maybe someone will want to ride him later on.
“It would be my most satisfying win outside of the Northern Oaks with Best Western.
“Because I saved his life and we’ve been through so much together.
“It’s just so pleasing.”