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September 30, 2019 Hoof Beats Magazine
by Megan Rider
Reaching the Summit
Solar Partner finds second career as an elite endurance horse
Standardbreds are consistently showing their versatility, whether it’s for riding or driving, for show or pleasure. Hoof Beats is happy to share stories from readers about their favorite retired Standardbreds. This month, Megan Rider writes about retired pacing gelding Solar Partner, who now goes by the name Trooper.
Bruce Weary has been an endurance rider for more than 35 years and has traveled over 13,000 miles in competitions. When he first began, Weary rode mostly Arabians.
“The sport of endurance is dominated by Arabians because they are desert-bred animals,” he said. “They are efficient with hydration, have denser bones, handle the heat well, and are bred to run like the wind across the desert.”
Weary, however, began to experiment with gaited horses about 15 years ago and has enjoyed success with them, including one by the name of John Henry, a Tennessee Walking Horse.
Hundreds of miles and many competitions later, John Henry and Weary conquered the Tevis Cup Ride and earned Weary his very first buckle in 2009.
Instituted in 1955, the Tevis Cup is the world’s best known and most difficult equestrian endurance competition. It consists of 100 miles of historic trails ranging from the Sierra Nevada Mountains to just east of Squaw Valley in California. Weary has continued to search for endurance prospects who have a chance at conquering this event yet again and he may have found a new partner in a Standardbred by the name of Solar Partner, who is now known as Trooper...
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