All the Way Jose is a Jonathan Sheppard home-bred who raced for Buttonwood Farm. He won the Grade 1 Lonesome Glory in 2017. Jose retired in 2019 with 37 starts and earnings of over $450,000. Jose’s owner in retirement, Erica Gaertner, is prepping Jose for the 2021 Thoroughbred Makeover. Erica gives us an update on their adventures!
By Erica Gaertner
June was a very busy month for Team Jose! He started the month off competing in the show jumping rally for Pony Club with Jaidyn Shore. Both Jaidyn and Jose learned a lot at this rally – the fences were rather spooky, and Jaidyn learned how to use her leg and keep Jose straight. He was not a fan of the Maryland Flag themed in and out (I mean he is from Pennsylvania!) They got better each round and had nice trip at the end.
The next day Suzanne Stettinius and I shipped him up to Covert Farm in Pa for the Real Rider Cup, where he was ridden by flat jockey Ferrin Peterson. It was brutally hot, but they had a great round. He got a little rest after that and Wednesday morning shipped up to Saugerties, NY.
I am still recovering from some complications with my clavicle, and my friend Jonathan Ojerholm and his partner Walker Pozzi have a show horse stable there, and agreed to take Jose for a bit and get him some exposure at the bigger shows, while I still cannot ride. Jonathan used to ride and work for Billy Mesiter, Neil Morris, and Julie Gomena, so he is very familiar with steeplechase horses. Walker jumped Jose around at the farm a couple of times and they took him to Saratoga for 2 weeks to show. I was unable to get up there, but it sounded like Jose remembered Saratoga as a place to race. He was a little anxious at the beginning, but settled in after a day or two and had some nice rounds with Walker riding him. Walker is a Grand Prix rider, but Jose is the first thoroughbred he has competed. It took them a bit to figure each other out, but I am grateful to have such a talented rider work with Jose. I get daily updates, and it looks like Jose is living quite the pampered life.
I do miss seeing him in the barn and snuggling with him. He will probably stay with Jonathan and Walker for a bit longer and I will go back and forth to ride him, now that I am going to be back in the tack. As much as I like sharing Jose, I am looking forward to enjoying him from his back again.