Horse Experiences, Memories and Opinions

My name is Tom Simmons. I have had Morgan horses since 1963. I have trained almost any breed you can think of. I have had a good amount of success. I have written articles for Western Horseman, The Morgan Horse, and The Carriage Journal. In the 47 years that I have worked horses, I have seen a lot. I would like to share with you some of my experiences, opinions and memories. Please feel free to email your thoughts. I will try to address them. Tom

Location: North Carolina

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Super Con
Talking about thoroughbreds made me think of Super Con, a thoroughbred gelding that I knew and did a little training on. A few years ago I had a customer that had a couple of Morgan horses in trainig with me. He told me that his father-in- law had a 5 year old TB that had never been sound enough to race. But this year he looked good. His father-in- law has asked if I would be interested in training a TB. My reply was that I had always wanted to train a TB for the track. I could not train on the track, but I sure could work him at home. I always felt that if they were mannered like regular horses and trained to be a little more user friendly, they would run better times.
So when I got Super Con I put a stock saddle on him and started trail riding him. I rode him in the woods, in the fields and everywhere. There was a large field way back in the woods that had not been farmed for a long time. The footing was uneven but good and the land was rolling. This is where I started to galloping Super Con. After about 2 months of trail riding and galloping around this field I told his owner that he was ready for the track. I will never forget the first time I asked him to run. We had been just galloping along up to that point. So as we were galloping along I just dropped down on him and asked him to run. I will never forget the way he left there. The field was about ½ mile around and we were burning it up. After two trips around the field I thought I would bring him back to an easy lope so I took a hold of him. He just dropped down and put it in overdrive. We really made a trip around the field that time. So I softened up on him and relaxed my seat and he came back to me. That was quite a ride.
When his owner took him to the track he told his trainer at the track that the horse was ready to run, enter him. The trainer said that there was no way a horse that just come off the farm and could be ready to run. But they found that when they started to work him that he was ready to run, so they entered him. He won his first race after being on the track just nine days. That summer Super Con won most of his races. I never went to the track to see him run, but the son-in-law would always bring me win pictures. Looks like the whole city of Tell City, IN was in the winning photos. He was the pride of the town. Sometimes he would be second, just loosing by a nose. He was a late runner,coming from way back and sometimes he didn’t quite get there. But all around Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky, the announcers got to know him. And when the horses turned for home, the announcers would say “AAAANNNNDDDD HEEEEERE COMES SUPER CON!!!! After about a year he was back to where he was before. But for that one summer he was something to behold.