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Success stories A lifelong journey with Saint Arch

28th February 2024
Emma and Saint Arch

Written by Emma Link

Since the age of nine, my journey with horses has been a lifelong passion. It all began when my parents gifted me riding lessons for my ninth birthday, sparking a love for horses that would shape my entire life.

Fast forward to 2014, at the age of 34, and my ultimate dream of owning a horse became a reality. Encouraged by my fiancé and partner of 15 years, Steve, I found Saint Arch, known as Archie through connections. Steve not only supported my dream but also contributed half of the funds to purchase Archie. Little did I know, Archie was a former racehorse, having competed in five races and triumphed in three, with his final race under the skilled jockey of Frankie Dettori.

Tragically, just two weeks after bringing Archie home, I lost my soulmate, Steve, leaving a profound void in my life. Despite the darkness, Archie became my saving grace, providing joy and purpose in those difficult times.

Digging into Archie's past, I connected with his breeders, Beth and Don Blowe of Ascot Thoroughbreds, who lived in Canada when they bred him. Through our friendship on Facebook, Beth shared pictures of Archie as a foal and believed that his true purpose was to be with me.

Archie's journey unfolded as I traced his racing days, his retraining with Darley, and his time with his previous owner, who later became our jumping coach. Together, Archie and I explored various equestrian pursuits, from dressage and jumping to cross country, hunting, beach rides, and even Christmas fancy dress rides.

In 2020, I planned a trip of a lifetime to be a cowgirl on a ranch in Canada for my 40th birthday. Although postponed twice due to COVID, the unexpected silver lining emerged when I reached out to Beth. I visited Beth and Don in Kentucky in 2022, creating unforgettable memories over four incredible days to then proceed on my trip of a lifetime.

During my stay, Beth and Don orchestrated an array of Saint Arch related experiences, including a tour of Claiborne Farm where Archie's sire stood at stud. Meeting Rodeo, Arch's groom for 10 years, and exploring the place where Archie was conceived made the visit profoundly special.

Other highlights included visits to Keeneland racetrack during the yearling sale, Shawhan Place, the Kentucky Horse Park, and the Spendthrift farms' 85th birthday party. Beth and Don's generosity turned the trip into a holiday of a lifetime, solidifying our bond, and making them my Canadian parents.

Upon returning home, I expressed my gratitude by creating a photo book capturing every moment of Archie's life for Beth and Don.

The blessings continued as Archie brought wonderful people into my life, including Beth, Don, their daughter Elissa, Archie's previous owner, and our jump coach Ros. Weekly lessons with my childhood riding buddy and introductions at Palace House in Newmarket kept the racing connection alive, sharing Archie's story with groups during arena tours. My journey with Archie transcended mere ownership, becoming a testament to the power of horses to heal and connect people across continents.

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