In which we spotlight another Sensible Horse: meet Pureform Bunny!

Today's Sensible Horse is from my home Northwest Region:  
Pureform Bunny and her owner Heather Wimer!

This is part 4 of an ongoing series of posts about Standardbreds in endurance. 

Part 3:     Ink

Heather and Bunny
photo by Jessica Wynne
Bunny is a 15.1 hand 2005 Standardbred mare who raced prior to coming to Greener Pastures, and won about $40,000.  When she stopped bringing home paychecks, she was retired sound and donated to Greener Pastures, where she was evaluated and started under saddle.

Heather traveled to British Columbia in 2011 seeking a Sensible Gelding at GP, but none of the boys really suited her.  Alina, the adoption coordinator, suggested that she try Bunny.  Heather resisted...she really was seeking a gelding...but Bunny really was (and is!) the right horse.

Here's what Heather has to say about Bunny:

photo by Jessica Wynne
Bunny is such a joy to ride. Her athleticism has encourage me to get in better shape myself so that I can hold up my end of our partnership. She gets better and better each time we do a ride and I can't wait to see what the future holds for us.

We did our first LD ride in 2012, our first 50 mile ride in 2013 and our first 100 mile ride in 2014.

We have done 100 LD miles and 750 endurance miles, including 2 100 mile rides. She won the AERC High Mileage Standardbred award for 2012 and 2013. In 2013 we were 4th place in the middleweight division for the NorthWest. 

Mile 75 of their first 100-miler
Notice the mare's kindly, expressive eye
Bunny has the best work ethic of any horse I have ever met. She gives her all every time I ride her. She works very hard to please and has a tendency to take everything very seriously.  

(Truth be told:  so do I!)

We have had to work on not letting race brain get the best of us, as she is very competitive. We also make a concerted effort to relax and enjoy life.

Bunny is in charge--Heather was sick all day at the April Daze 2015 ride!
Photo by Monica Bretherton
I am flirting with the idea of riding the 100 mile AERC championship this year, just for the sake of experience. Bunny and I are also hoping to ride Tevis some time in the next couple years.

Bunny is the middle-sized Standie!
L-to-R: Pureform Syd with Kandi Robbins,
Bunny and Heather, Fiddle and Aarene.  Photo by Monica Bretherton

My long term goals with Bunny include seeing her reach at least 3000 endurance miles and achieving Decade Team status. 

I am so proud of Bunny and Heather.  They've come a long way as a team, and still have plenty of fun ahead.

If you are able to attend the 2016 PNER Convention in Portland (January 29-30), please stop in and listen to Heather's session on Friday morning!

I am seeking more Sensible Interviews.  If you know of another horse to include in this series of posts about Standardbreds in endurance, please contact me via the comment box.


  1. What about Dom's Ozzy? From Harness Photo?

    1. Dom has promised photos and stuff about Oz but she's kinda busy lately. I'll bug her again!

    2. I was just coming here to comment about the fact that I'm sorry to slack about this! Message me on FB and let me know what I need to tell you :) I'd love to participate even though he's retired now...


  2. You mention it in passing, but I can't get over how close she came to not choosing Bunny.

    I went with Heather to GP as "official baby holder" and extra pair of eyes. At the time, we were both lifelong gelding people. We weren't even going to look at mares, but the geldings GP had at the time turned out to be kind of a bust.

    So Alina brings out Bunny, and she looks like a lot of horses fresh off the track look - a little ribby, feet needing attention, cryo scars... but she had that bright, kind eye. Heather rode her and liked her try-try-try attitude, but she was just so green under saddle. She couldn't so much as trot a 40m circle without breaking into a pace. :) We went back to the hotel and debated pros and cons for hours. If I remember correctly, Heather even called her grandpa (old school cowboy type) to see if he thought getting this mare would be a mistake. I know she prayed hard on it too.

    In the end, like pretty much every horse purchase, it was a calculated roll of the dice. This one paid off bigtime. A lot of that is thanks to Heather's dressage background and drive - a lazier rider like me wouldn't have brought Bunny this far this fast. Some of the success, we learned later, is very much thanks to the upbringing of the Pureform horses. (Heather was able to visit the farm where Bunny grew up when she and Kandi went to look at Syd the Kid.)

    I just love telling the story of the 100-mile mare that could have just as easily ended up as someone's pasture-pet trail horse. I'm glad that Heather and Bunny found each other and that Heather took the plunge!

    1. Thanks Ruth for going with me to Canada. You are also the only person who I feel really realizes how far she has come. You saw our first acward rides and you have gotten to see a little bit of what she is now.
      Can't wait to see what she's like in a few more years!

  3. What about a half standardbred that could have done endurance? We always wanted to but never had the opportunity. I bred and raised him after training his STB mom to be a saddle horse

  4. Bunny is a gorgeous girl and I wish the two of them all the best on their goals.


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