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[RC] the $3 million pony horse - Tx Trigger

From the horse:

Funny Cide Gets the Last Laugh
by: Marsha Hayes
July 04 2008, Article # 12186

This July 4th marks the one-year anniversary of Kentucky Derby winner Funny
Cide's last race. The champion didn't rest on his laurels, though: just 48
hours after crossing the finish line for the last time, Funny Cide found
himself employed in the same industry, but with a different job title. He
became a pony horse.
Funny Cide won $3,529,412 in his amazing career. He carries wins in the
Kentucky Derby and the Preakness on his résumé. On July 4, 2007, he won the
Wadsworth Memorial Handicap. So why the career change?
Trainer Barclay Tagg explained Funny Cide's retirement: still perfectly
sound, the 7-year-old gelding had done plenty for the owners of Sackatoga

Robin Smullen, assistant trainer to Tagg, supported the career change.
"Once a horse has led the life of the racetrack, it's hard to give that up,"
she said. "He would be unhappy in the pasture and never understand why he
was just standing around.
"He enjoys being out here on the track," said Smullen, who has ridden Funny
Cide almost every day since September of his 2-year-old year.
Funny Cide's pony job is not honorary. He works hard. He goes out with six
or seven sets of racehorses every training day. Some of his "students"
require him to jog the entire track with them. Smullen noted that Funny Cide
can read his equine pupils well and knows which youngster to be firm with
and which to handle more gently.
Then there are situations that require the former competitor to stand
patiently and watch. His intelligence aids him in his work.
Is Funny Cide aware of the difference in his occupation? "Absolutely," is
Smullen's quick response.
The decision to reassign Funny Cide from the CEO level to a more blue-collar
position was the right one for the horse, she said.
"Sure, it's a business," Smullen observed, "but I've got 40 children out
there in the barn and I want them to be happy."
Happy anniversary, Funny Cide.


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