A famous racing adage is ‘a good horse can come from anywhere’ and that is the case with Ada Storm, who might not have been a star on the racetrack, but he has done many big things since he was retired.
Today, the 15-year-old chestnut gelding with the large white blaze is the precious friend of 13-year-old Mack Moore of Uxbridge, ON who rides ‘Clyde’ in the fast and exciting sport of barrel racing.
“Him and Mack get along so well together,’ said Mack’s mother Sarah, an accomplished horsewoman and outrider at Woodbine racetrack. “He is a super smart horse and he looks after her.”
When Ada Storm was born at famed Eaton Hall Farm in King City, ON in 2004, he had all the pedigree and looks that anyone could want in a thoroughbred. A son of the quickly-popular stallion Stormy Atlantic, the chestnut came from a long line of top runners for the Eaton family. His young dam was a half-sister to multiple stakes winner Tethra and speedy stakes winning filly Celmis.
At the races, however, Ada Storm had a hard time finding success and after four races, was retired.
Word got to Woodbine’s head outrider Rob Love, considered one of the best hands with horses in the province, that Ada Storm could be his next track pony. Love worked his magic with the gelding and in no time, ‘Clyde’ became a star on the racetrack after all.
“He became Rob’s top outriding pony,” said Sarah. “I remember one time when a horse broke from the gate and lost the rider, Rob and Clyde tore off after the horse and caught him by the turn, it was amazing.”
For nearly a decade Ada Storm and Love were the masters of the races, leading the runners on to the track and corralling any runaway racers. They even made public appearances on occasion. Being a descendant of the great Northern Dancer, Clyde was on hand when the new Northern Dancer Pavilion was unveiled at the Canadian Film Centre on the former Windfields Farm grounds in Toronto.
When Love decided to retire Clyde from the rigours of outriding in 2017, he sent Clyde to live with his friend Sarah, her husband Dan and daughter Mack.
Mack took an instant liking to Clyde and the pair were soon trail riding together.
“Mack was already doing barrel racing at the time and one weekend, at a rodeo in Orangeville, her horse got injured and couldn’t compete on the second day,” said Sarah. “I called up Rob and asked if it would be okay if she took Clyde to the rodeo. He told us to go for it and Mack and her team went on to win an event. Clyde had never even done barrels before.”
Clyde and Mack are now regulars on the rodeo circuit and will be tackling the National Barrel Horse Association of Canada’s circuit this spring and summer.
“There is now an incentive fund for retired thoroughbreds that do barrel racing through the Jockey Club in Kentucky’s Thoroughbred Incentive Program,” said Sarah. “You can register your horse, accumulate points and at season’s end you can pick up some Christmas money.”
It already appears as if Mack and Clyde have each received the best present ever in finding each other.
“He is just something special,” said Sarah. “You can take him anywhere and he just wants to impress you and make