Clare Pinney and Holiday Stone and Secret Town


Clare Marie Pinney has been riding for 37 years and has been a horse trainer for 28 years. Pinney trains and rides out of Hyde Away Farm in Lynnville, Tenn. This was Pinney’s third time competing in the Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium, presented by Thoroughbred Charities of America.

Photo by CanterClix

Tell us about your OTTB: I have two horses. Holiday Stone raced at Belmont Park, Trudeau, Saratoga, and Keeneland to name a few. I found him through Jennifer Reisenbichler and Natasia Linnd. I love Eventing and Foxhunting and he is so workmanlike I thought he’d excel in these disciplines.

Secret Town raced at Belterra, Turfway, Mahong, Mountaineer, and Ellis. I found her through her owner Lei Ruckle. She is super relaxed so she is doing Field Hunters and Dressage. 

What other breeds and disciplines have you ridden and shown? The list is long! I have ridden and shown Welsh ponies, Friesians, Warmbloods, Arabians, Tennessee Walking Horses, and Quarter Horses.

In your opinion what makes the Thoroughbred special? The heart and courage they have and the drive to win. 

What has been the biggest challenge throughout the retraining process? Time! I manage a full service equine barn and I am a professional whipper-in for the Mells Foxhounds. Making time to focus solely on them has been tough. 

What did your OTTBs pick up on quickly? Holiday Stone – Jumping. Secret Town - relaxation and translations. 

Who has helped you the most during this retraining process? Boo Montgomery (fellow pro whipper-in at the Mells).

What were you most excited about leading up to RRP? Showcasing these horses’ talents. 

What were you most nervous about? How my horses will cope in a fast group again. 

What are your hopes for these horses? Holiday Stone will be a staff horse for Foxhunting and I hope to Event him at upper levels. Secret Town is going to be a Field Hunter for her owner. 

Advice you would give to anyone looking to purchase an OTTB? Go with a reputable reseller and always have a PPE (pre-purchase exam), but remember you can’t ride the X-rays. 

What keeps you motivated throughout the training process? My love for training horses. 

One word that describes your mount? Holiday Stone – Workmanlike, Secret town - Kind

JJ Sillman photo

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