TRF warhorse to represent OTTBs in Calif.
by Susan Salk, Off Track Thoroughbreds
At 20 years old, Viva Pentelicus is far from slowing down.
Instead, the poster boy for Healing Arenas in California will be back to work at California Agriculture Day – AG Day 2016 – on Wednesday, March 16 on the West Steps of the California State Capitol in Sacramento. The event is hosted by the California Department of Food and Agriculture.
National Agriculture Day is Tuesday, March 15, and is billed as “a day to recognize and celebrate the abundance provided by agriculture.”
Handling the crowd at AG Day 2016 will not be a problem for “Veev.” He made 96 starts as a racehorse and earned close to $350,000. He joined the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation herd in 2005, and was adopted from the TRF’s Flying Y farm in Oklahoma in 2012 by Founder/President Julie Baker at Healing Arenas in Escalon, Calif. Since then, “Veev” has established himself as the stable star and the go-to public relations horse.
“When I first saw him, it took about 15 seconds for me to realize how much class he has and how much I wanted him,” Baker said. “He has always had so much class. He worked in the TRF’s Second Chances program, he’s worked with children in our Stable Kids program and last summer, we used him to launch our pilot program `Stable Survivors,’ that assists veterans in their fight against Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He is a classy, old-school horse.”
At AG Day 2016, Baker is certain that “Veev” will put to rest many misconception about racehorses, mainly that they are too high-strung for any activity but racing. He was a stalwart as a racehorse and handled traveling so well that he fashioning a career record of 22 wins, nine second and 14 thirds. Starting at Sportman’s Park in Illinois in 1998, he raced at more than 20 tracks across the country until his last race at Remington Park in Oklahoma in 2005.
It is his patience and intelligence, however, that has kept him busy with Baker’s various programs.
“He’s not very big, only about 15 hands, but one look at him and you know how special he is,” Baker said. “He’s a warhorse, and right after I met him, I made up my mind that he would never leave me.”
Viva Pentelicus’ debut at AG Day 2016 will begin at 10:30 a.m. For one hour, elected officials and staff will tour all of the exhibits. At 11:30 a.m., AG Day 2016 will be open to the public, and the Stage Program will begin at noon. Festivities will end at 1:30 p.m. To learn more about California’s AG Day 2016, please visit www.cdfa.ca.gov/agday