#13. Michael’s Power, owned by Kailey Williams. This 8 year old gelding is by Camluck (Dale Frost-Meadow Skipper line) out of Michelle’s Jackpot (Abercrombi­e and Albatross breeding); tail-female is Harry Clay and MorganCana­dian. “Michael” was the 2012 winner of the Little Brown Jug, the world’s most prestigiou­s race for harness pacers, equivalent to the Kentucky Derby for gallopers. He was also Canadian Horse of the Year, and retired from racing in 2017 with $1.9 million in winnings. Kailey reports, “I began riding him in 2019, unaware of his prolific racing career. I had ridden horses as a child, and Michael was the first horse I had ridden in almost 10 years. Over the last two-and-ahalf-years, we have done everything together. We rode Western at first, added in English pleasure, trail courses and trail riding, inhand classes, showmanshi­p, gymkhana, and we are now hoping to add some driving at shows as well. We have competed at three National Standardbr­ed Shows with great success and lots of ribbons. My aunt and even my father have ridden him at these shows, and Michael was an angel for them.”

I present two photos of Kailey in addition to the conformati­on analysis because I want to emphasize how important it will continue to be for this horse to be ridden as well as Kailey is doing. The outline analysis points up the horse’s long, somewhat narrow coupling—far the weakest in this baker’s dozen. He also has rather crooked, highly-angulated hind limbs; this conformati­on assists the racing pacer but, while not an out-and-out disadvanta­ge, is not a plus for an English or Western Pleasure Horse. Michael has a lovely neck and an excellent shoulder, well laid-back and crisply defined. The key to keeping him sound and performing well into his 20s is Kailey’s ability to get him to “round up” in movement. It is strength in the core and abdominal muscles which raises the back, enabling the horse to round up and correctly collect. This levels the coupling and compensate­s for structural weakness there.

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