We often hear stories of retired racehorses becoming successful show and pleasure horses after their racing days are over, but rarely does a high-profile racehorse like Icabad Crane make the switch from racing to eventing.

If you follow Thoroughbred racing, you’ve probably heard of Icabad Crane. In his former career this talented TB placed third in the 2008 Preakness, and won many other races before and after that. Icabad ended his racing stint with 33 starts and $585,980 in winnings.

 

 After recovering from an injury and coming back to work sound but without the desire to race, Icabad’s trainers – and now owners - Graham and Anita Motion decided to retire him.

 

 But Icabad just wasn’t happy sitting in a paddock; he needed a job. That’s when the Motions called Pennsylvania-based eventer Phillip Dutton. Icabad joined the crew at Dutton’s West Grove, PA farm and began his training as an eventer.

 

 To everyone’s delight, Icabad has taken well to his lessons so far. Dutton has taught him to jump, begun training him in dressage, and taken him cross-country schooling. Icabad is currently in Aiken, SC with Dutton and the rest of his string of horses, and will continue his education through the winter, attending events to watch experienced horses compete and get a feel for the busy atmosphere of a competition.

 

 Dutton is pleased with Icabad’s natural balance and willingness to learn, and time will tell if he will join the ranks of other racetrack retirees who went on to eventing greatness.