In which we meet another Endurance Standardbred: welcome, Eli!

In my not-even-vaguely subtle attempt to promote Standardbreds in endurance, 
I'm writing a series of posts spotlighting some of the fabulous competitors.  
This is Part 2 of the series.
Part 1: Shag

Today's featured Standardbred is a SouthEast region horse:  
East Meets Westowned and ridden by Patricia Clark.

East Meets West, aka "Eli"
photo by Becky Pearman

Eli is a 15.3  hand, 2005 model so he is 11 this year. He raced 21 times, won once and earned $7,000 (to non-race fanciers, $7000 isn't a huge amount of money). 

He is registered with the United States Trotting Association, a son of Western Paradise out of MD Has for those who pay attention to pedigrees.

Eli and Patricia
photo by Becky Pearman

Here's what Patricia has to say about Eli:

In 2009, I applied to be an adopter for New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program. After seeing this video clip I adopted him in less than two hours and had him shipped home to me in NC: 

We hit it off immediately. He is honest and works so very hard. He picked up trail riding quickly. He has legs of iron from years of jogging on the racetrack. He can trot for hours at 10-13mph and his bursts of speed dazzle the imagination. His arsenal of gaits include a 5mph walk, the trot, the pace, the stepping pace and a slow rack. 


His disposition endears him to everyone. He is particular about where he eats and how he is treated. He will throw his feed bucket in his water tub and play with it like a sailboat. He does not like to eat off the ground and he would prefer it if you were punctual when feeding him. He has the work ethic of his breed and does not like to be left at home. Eli wants to please, wants to succeed and he wants to be out on the trail with me. 

photo by Terri Strickland

We did a year of LDs in 2010 and he completed his first 55 mile endurance ride at the end of that year. Now in 2016 we are looking at our 7th year of endurance competitions. As of January 2016 he has 980 Endurance miles including two 75 mile rides and a first in one of those. He also has 445 LD miles so one of these years we will actually win our LD medallion. 

photo courtesy of Patricia Clark, stolen from the USTA website
He was the first recipient of the AERC High Mileage Standardbred Award in 2011 and in 2015 he was awarded the SERA 10 Consecutive Finishes Award. 

photo by Becky Pearman

The greatest thing about Eli is that he has simply changed my life. He is my friend, my partner, and my rock. We have completed so many adventures together from riding our first LD to traversing the dangerous Spine Ridge at Thomas Divide in the Smoky Mountains, to sharing those quiet moments during solo training rides when it is just the two of us. Eli has touched many other lives as well. 

He is a New Vocations Ambassador and I will maintain that his $300 adoption fee was the best money ever spent. Not a rescue in any sense, his transition from his kind racing owner to his life on the trails with me has been seamless because of the help of so many people. 

photo by Becky Pearman

We are looking forward to a fun and successful 2016. We would like to tackle a tough 50 miler on our home training grounds that will be a true test of grit and endurance. I'm looking forward to Leatherwood, Biltmore and of course Sandhills and the Carolina rides. 

In every way, Eli has become such an important part of my life that I cannot imagine it without him. 

You can follow the adventures of Eli and Patricia on the Racknabout Stable blog or like his Facebook page

Coming soon:  a Standardbred Horse of a Different Color!


  1. Wonderful write up, Lippy and I miss being on the trail with you, Patricia! Of course now I'm perusing the New Vocations website. You two are great ambassadors!

  2. Hey!!! I think I saw him last year!! Very cool :)


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