otto the great (GB)

holy roman emperor (IRE) - vayavaig (GB) by damister

bay gelding, 2009

Record: 22-2-3-1 | Earnings: $40,414

"I adopted Otto The Great from Changing Leads in Birmingham, Alabama.  Otto arrived in Wisconsin in January 2015.  "Why Alabama?" was thecommon question.  The answer is a nice story about Megan Jones who was aware that my thoroughbred mare had died.  When she suggested that she might have a horse for me, I listened because I respect Megan as a person and a horse person.  Megan is involved in racing syndicates in which I am a partner and is concerned about the after track lives of the horses.  In addition, she is one of the founders of Changing Leads, an off the track Thoroughbred retraining organization, which is how she knew of Otto.
If Megan thought we'd be a good match for each other, it was worth a trip to Birmingham.  It took 10 minutes to recognize that Otto was a sweet, people-friendly horse -- a sound basis from which to begin.  I spoke frankly about my age, 70, and health conditions to the resident trainers/owners at the farm, explaining that I might not be able to provide a "forever" home for Otto.  In return, I was informed that Changing Leads would take Otto back if I could no longer care for him. 
The "happily-ever-after" part is under construction.  Otto and I are learning about each other every day.  In one of our first outings to introduce him to the farm, I slipped on ice and while I was wondering if I broke a hip, I realized that a more immediate concern was that I was under Otto. Luckily for me, he is a very mellow fellow and didn't move.  His gentle demeanor has continued to make him a great companion and focus for my days.
I am grateful to all the good people who have handled Otto with kindness throughout his life."

- Otto's New Owner, Bobbie Abendroth

Photo credit: Sally Moskol