By Rebecca Roush
Iver With an E, Iver for short, came to Canterbury Park in 2014 to race with trainers Mac Robertson and eventually Nevada Litfin, in a career that began in 2012 at Oaklawn, Arlington, and Hawthorne and took him to Kentucky as well. His final race was in Shakopee on Sept. 1, 2017.
Following that race, Minnesota Racing Commission Chief Veterinarian Dr. Lynn Hovda along with his trainer, suggested that Iver should retire from racing and get some needed lay-up time along with some rest and relaxation. The Illinois-bred had earned it. He completed his career with 49 lifetime starts and more than $96,000 in earnings.
Stephanie Neises, an accomplished equine rider who also is Compliance Administrator for the Minnesota Racing Commission, began working with Iver to “keep his mind focused,” she said. A few months later, Iver had begun the preparation process to transition into dressage riding, a high level of horse training where the horse performs predetermined movements when directed by the rider.
Neises entered an application into the Retired Racehorse Project Makeover in late January, and Iver was soon accepted.
“The makeover is for horses that have raced or had a work in the last year and could not have started retraining for a career until after December 1, 2017 [for 2018 makeover]. Iver is perfect for it. He is calm, kind, willing and will give you his entire heart and soul,” Neises explained.
Neises and Iver have been showing dressage successfully. In his last show he placed first in all three of the classes he entered : Intro A,B, and C.
Check out the link to his Intro B ride: https://youtu.be/cq9rO-QwukE
Iver and Neises will be riding dressage at the 2018 Retired Racehorse Project Makeover in Lexington, KY October 4-7. “Iver goes to show just how much these horses can accomplish after racing. If we make it to the final five our ride will be live streamed.”
Neises says she hopes to represent Canterbury, the MRC, and Minnesota racing as a whole while in Lexington. “We need more people interested in adopting these lovely horses,” she said.
Racehorses are professional athletes and when it comes time for them to retire, they need to be in a positive and active environment. Neises says that people like Dr. Hovda and Dr. Bowman, of Bowman Second Chance Thoroughbred Adoption, work hard to send these horses in the right direction when the time comes for a new beginning.
To learn more about the Retired Racehorse Project Makeover, please visit: https://retiredracehorseproject.org/