Redemption Ride is a 30-day trainers’ challenge that partners four horses with four of Ontario’s best up and coming equine trainers. Trainers will have one month to teach their horse a freestyle routine, and be able to compete against each other in basic competitive skills.

The 2017 edition has teamed up with Go & Play Stable Standardbred Adoption to have four Standardbred horses train and compete against each other. At the end of the competition, if the trainers choose not to keep their horses, those horses will go up for adoption through the Go & Play program.

“We are so excited to have Go & Play on board with us!” says Tess Hardy, producer of the Redemption Ride. “Standardbreds are often overlooked as riding horses, and together we hope to bring this versatile breed some much-needed exposure.”

The horses and trainers are paired as follows:

Rods Famous Ribs and Cory Machesney — Rods Famous Ribs is a twelve-year-old gelding who last raced in September 2016. He had over 200 starts in his career, with earnings over $200,000 and a racing mark of 1:52.2. He is a big, solid, handsome guy who has been hanging out and enjoying the life of leisure since he retired from racing, and he is ready to get back to having a job!

Cory has been riding and training horses for seven years. Cory knew from the start that he enjoyed Western style riding, and he dove head first into learning as much as he could about horses—how to feed and care for them, how to ride, and how to train. Cory restarted a Thoroughbred horse from a rescue centre, and he and the horse became the best of friends and partners. He taught Cory almost everything he knows, and he is still with him to this day. Cory then spent the next few years travelling back and forth from Ontario to Alberta and British Columbia, working on different ranches and feedlots out west and back to Ontario galloping racehorses and training his personal horses. Cory moved back to Ontario permanently last year and started his own business training horses.

Real Fool and Alicia Bateman — Real Fool is a thirteen-year-old mare who has been a broodmare most of her life. She raced twice at two and three before retiring and having seven foals; her youngest is now a yearling.

Alicia was never that horse crazy kid, and to this day she still hasn’t seen the film Black Beauty. It wasn’t even her idea to start horseback riding. At the age of 13, her mother took her to a riding stable in Ottawa, Ontario, where she had her first riding lesson. She was completely hooked before she even stepped foot in the stirrup for that first time. What followed was a branching out to Prince Phillip Games, and then as a working student she received coaching from Eve Mainwaring. Later she became a horse groom for Juniper Farms, which is the home of Jill Henselwood, a Team Canada representative for the Olympic Games in Beijing and London. She has started from fifteen to twenty horses under saddle, but has never done so professionally. Alicia is now going into her final year of university to complete her Bachelor of Science in Nursing, and plans to start a therapy centre using horses to treat a variety of physical and psychiatric conditions. Alicia’s approach to riding and training a horse is the same: be empathetic, accept compromise, and treat the horse with respect. She believes horses need variety in their routine, and it is important to remain calm and positive, regardless of the horse’s behaviour.

Foreigner & Kristine Collins — Foreigner is a five-year-old gelding who raced briefly, but was just a bit too slow, so he’s had a bit of downtime and is ready for a new career. His owner believed he was the perfect candidate for this program!

Kristine was born and raised in Whitby, Ontario. Her passion for horse started with her first ride at 17 years old. Shortly after, she started volunteering at a trail riding facility and became completely consumed by horses and horsemanship. Since then, Kristine has developed her skills both inside and outside the show ring, successfully showing her three mares in both Western and English disciplines. Over the years, she has expanded her knowledge by attending clinics with top clinicians and even apprenticed at Foundational Horsemanship in PEI. Kristine has coached many people in the saddle and on the ground with a simple approach: to listen to your horse to find out what they are saying to figure out what they need from you, offering consistent guidance and gentle pressure to encourage the horse to think and respond. Using positive and negative reinforcement she produces happy, confident, and willing equine partners.

Angietotherescue and Haley Knox — Angietotherescue is a nine-year-old mare who last raced in 2015. She has been a pasture ornament for the past two years while she had some down time after her racing career. She raced 117 times, with eight wins and a mark of 1:58.1.

Haley found horses to be her friends while she was growing up, and she loved being able to take a horse that had rearing or bucking issues and being able to turn it into a horse that people could trust. Haley learned a lot about training and horses from her older sister, and has continued to grow and learn throughout the years. Haley loves to help horses and people understand each other, and feels this a gift she can share. She feels this can make a huge difference in horses staying in the same home. Haley has done reining, Western gaming, vaulting, drill team and has a real skill with training safe trail horses as well as working with horses that have issues such as bucking, rearing, biting, kicking, being barn sour and much more.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to partner with the team from Redemption Ride, and be able to help showcase that these Standardbreds are so amazing as riding horses, just as much as they are awesome race horses!” said Kimberly Hale, president of Go & Play Stable. “Each horse comes from a different background, and so do the trainers, so it’s a perfect event!”

To learn more about Redemption Ride trainers’ challenge including the documentary that is being filmed about it, visit or on Facebook.

To learn more about Go & Play Stable, visit