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Meet the Horses

Strength Teamwork And Companionship

THE HORSE THAT STARTED IT ALL

Big

Breed: Thoroughbred

Birth: 2000 Gelding

Coat: Dark Bay

The gelding had been with Erin since the early 2000s. While working as a racehorse exercise rider, she bought Big for $4,000 with 5 other horses. Big ran up to 5 races before fracturing his pelvis. During Big’s rehab, Erin retrained him as an eventing horse. In September of 2004, she got kicked in the face but was given an offer to move to Masterson Farm. She brought all she had with her—Big and her dog. In 2010, Big and Erin made it to Prelim without a trainer. During his last show, the pair went double clear. However, Erin heard something in his chest and decided not to do the Cross-Country phrase. After having a vet check him out, he was diagnosed with degenerative lung disease.

What happened to the 5 other horses, you may ask? One horse was traded for a pool table, and 2 became broodmares.

THE ONE WHO CARRIED IT ON

Tag

Breed: Thoroughbred

Birth: Gelding

Coat: Bay

I was given Tag by Heather Craven, one of my closest friends. Before returning home to South Carolina, she worked as my veterinarian as well. Since Tag’s birth, she had known him (JC name Catrin). Additionally close friends with Bart Evans, his trainer, breeder, and owner. When Tag was eight years old, I got him, and he advanced to 4* very fast. We were scheduled to run in 2020 after completing the test ride for Kentucky in 2019, but then COVID-19 struck. We were all set to go when he got hurt the next year, and I made the decision to retire him. All the vets said I could carry on, but it was not for me. He deserves the best because he is the best. So he is living his best life, keeping GG and Buggs in line.

go big eventing
BIG'S DOPPLEGANGER

Buggs

Breed: Thoroughbred?

Birth: 2018 Gelding

Coat: Dark Bay

I had always wanted another dark bay without any white in it since I lost Big. My friend Kara was aware of this. She galloped for Ian Wilkes, so I would ask her if she had anything planned for when some of her horses retired from racing. She gave me a handful to test, but none of them truly spoke to me. I had no idea what tricks she was planning to pull. She called one cold morning, asking if I might come look at one at the track. No, I replied, I was occupied. I received a headshot of a dark bay from her. I could see no white on him. Saying I was on my way, I gave her a callback. My trailer was with me, so I brought him home that day. He was 4 when I bought him, and he is currently 6 years old and preparing for his first preliminary exam.

THE NEWBIE

Straight Up G

Breed: Thoroughbred

Birth: 2020 gelding

Coat: Bay

Jim Rome, the host of the ESPN talk show, gave me Straight Up G, or for short, GG, in October of 2023. GG was 3 years old when I acquired him; he is now 4 and attending training. Owning these two young horses is like owning Big and Tag again.