Valerie Ashker, an Eventer, horse trainer and mother of four-star Eventer Lainey Ashker, plans to set out on the 3,500-mile journey on May 8. Leaving from her home base at Crow’s Ear Farm, Calif. Ashker will ride her 7-year-old OTTB Primitivo roughly 10 miles a day along old Pony Express roads, looking to cross the United States following the Route 50 corridor.
“This is something I’ve thought about doing for a long time,” says Ashker. “Horses off the track have put us (Lainey and her) on the map. We’ve taken three OTTBs to Rolex and I’m doing this to raise awareness. These horses worked their bums off to be breadwinners for their (race) owners. And after they’re done with racing, usually at a young age, many people think they’re “done” altogether. What I’m hoping to demonstrate is that for a lot of these horses, the end of their race career is just the beginning.”
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