McCue is an elementary teacher by trade but her passion is re-training
Thoroughbreds. Seven years ago, she and her sister Evelyn Martin founded
Baltimore County-based EHM Stables, which gives Thoroughbreds a new
life after retiring from the race track.
next Saturday’s second annual Totally Thoroughbred Horse Show in the
infield at Pimlico Race Course, EHM Stables will be represented by
twelve horses and ten riders. Part of the Thoroughbred Alliance Show
Series (T.A.S.S.), the July 13 event is one of a handful of shows for
Thoroughbreds where each horse shows under its Jockey Club name.
Traditional show horses have their names altered often when they change
owners or circuits.
is a need for someone to help work with them,” said McCue, the wife of
Maryland Jockey Club photographer Jim McCue. “That is why we started
with lessons and we have grown to have some wonderful riders and
students who love Thoroughbreds.”
Among those McCue will be bringing are Baltimore Raven, Cayman Condo, Powered by Love, Prideland, Oregon Ridge and Saratoga Jet.
show almost every weekend during the summer but this event is more
meaningful to me personally,” added McCue. “Bringing the Thoroughbreds
to the all Thoroughbred show is really exciting.”
is psyched,” said Maryland Jockey Club Director of Racing Georganne
Hale, who came up with the idea of the event along with Stacie
Clark-Rogers, manager of the Adena Springs Retirement program. “I know
she would love just to teach riding as a career but she has to make a
living. Betty is more excited about having the summer off than most of
the students. She looks forward to it so she can devote all her energy
to the horses and kids. The girls love her and don’t come over just to
ride, they are there to help around the barn.”
of McCue’s top students is Anastasia Vialov, a 15-year-old rising
sophomore at Dulaney High School, who would like to eventually get into a
veterinarian program and become an equine vet.
don’t have a big group, about 12 that are dedicated to coming out all
the time,” McCue added. “When you come to our barn, it is everything.
You learn to do the stalls, you learn to do your tack, you learn to put
on bandages with the vet and the blacksmith. It isn’t a camp but they
seem to come early and stay late. Anastasia has taken it to the next
level. She is excellent. She will ride any horse and loves to talk about
what we are trying to do.”
will ride Prideland in multiple events next weekend. The son of Lion
Hearted was a winner of six races for nearly $160,000 during his 24-race
career, which included a third place finish in the Maryland Juvenile
Championship at Pimlico in 2004.
2008 Hugh McMahon was an assistant to Scott Lake and called me to say
they had a horse (Outcashem) to give us. I walked by Prideland’s stall
and wanted him, too, so Hugh called owner Robert Cole, who said ‘sure’.
Prideland won a lot but was going down the ladder in his racing career.
It took him awhile to wind down and relax. We gave him a year without
touching him. He has come back to be wonderful. Anastasia loves him
dearly. In our hunter show ring he is not always the winner because he
is not the most beautiful mover but he is the dearest, kindest,
more I ride him, the better our bond is,” added Vialov. “I can gallop
him on the field, bareback or jump him on the side without a saddle. He
is really sweet and attentive to me. I know his pedigree and his breeder
(Joanne Hayden of Dark Hollow Farm) sent me pictures when he was a
is not the first time this year that McCue’s crew has been heavily
involved in an event at Pimlico. During Preakness week, they were part
of the Sunrise at Old Hilltop Tour, a free, behind-the-scenes look at
were the last stop on the tour because we are the last stop for
Thoroughbreds after their racing career,” Vialov said. “It was really
cool being able to educate people on what happens to them because most
people don’t know what happens. Most think they go to a farm in Kentucky
and lead a happy life. We told them that is not always the case. They
can end up at a slaughter house. Our goal is to stop that and give them a
happy life after racing.”
set up a table and explained to the groups about the off-track
Thoroughbreds,” added McCue. “We had pictures of them both racing and
showing. The girls made a brochure that they handed out. By all accounts
they were impressive. These are all kids that live in sub-divisions and
didn’t grow up on a farm, so it gives me a tremendous amount of pride.”
McCue just completed her 12th
year teaching second grade at Timonium Elementary School. She believes
her teaching background does help in the transition of the Thoroughbred
into a second career and the development of her young riders.
elementary school for 35 years and having a full background in horse
racing because I was raised on a horse farm is important,” McCue said.
“I have patience as the horses learn a new career and the children work
with them and learn to ride. I carry that back and forth because just
like some horses need to learn in a different way, so do some children
in the classroom.”
Totally Thoroughbred Horse Show, which begins at 9 a.m. Eastern, will
include eight classes with six ribbons awarded for each class and nearly
$10,000 in prize money paid to the owners of the first three finishers
in each class (60%-winner; 30%-second place; 10%-third).
The inaugural event featured nearly 800 entries and raised $16,500 for the official charitable beneficiaries.