Mallory & Cappy | Cedar Creek Equestrian Center | The Second Chances Project

Mallory in a white dress with Cappy at Cedar Creek Equestrian Center

Seeing Sarah’s submission to The Second Chances Project for her paint pony, Cappy, I knew immediately that they’d be the perfect fit for this project. Talk about a rags to riches story! Cappy went from the kill pen at auction to the jumper rings of HITS Saugerties! Mallory was the rider that piloted him to the title of reserve champion at HITS, and they have such a strong bond. She felt that the two of them had a really beautiful story to tell together; I have to say I couldn’t agree more.

Cedar Creek Equestrian Center at The Double K Ranch, Forked River, NJ

Mallory & Captain Morgan

Horse: Captain Morgan “Cappy”, 9 years old, paint, photographed at Cedar Creek Equestrian Center at The Double K Ranch in Forked River, NJ

Discipline: jumpers

how it all started…

I got Cappy from a mother and daughter who pulled him [from auction] right before he was supposed to ship out. He did two months of quarantine with them before I purchased [him]. [He was only] 2 1/2 years old; he was just getting his 3 year old teeth in when I got him. All he came with was a coggins and his proof of purchase from the auction house with his hip number. I did the rest of the digging to find out where he came from and some people stepped forward to help piece his story together.

Cappy was not my first horse. I run the farm and have been training for a few years now. He was my first solo rescue that I bought on a whim [right after meeting him] without a real trial. [He] is a jack of all trades. He’s a perfect lesson horse for able bodied and therapeutic riders, [and] he has shown with kids from lead line and up. Cappy also took a junior from the hunter ring to the .90 jumpers (13.2) and everyone [loves] watching him go around.

a little history…

Cappy was originally named “Buddy”. He was rescued from Harker’s Auction Company and then was put back into the kill pen at Camelot Auction. He never ran [to be auctioned] because he came with a note that said he was 6 years old and a nasty bucker (they over-aged him by 4 1/2 years!). A kid saw him and [she and her mother] pulled him [from auction] and quarantined him. I bought him from her 2 months later; the only training he had was on the lunge line and he would trot with a rider in a round pen.

how and when we met…

I needed another lesson pony and I went to see him the day his ad popped up. There was something about him [and] I knew I had to have him, [that] he was something special. [He was purchased] just to be a lesson horse and pack kids around. He has given me that and so much more.

Cappy was very untrusting and a nervous guy. He was being fed a lot of grain but it had no nutritional value; he was underweight when he came. His feet were done, but they were done by a farrier that didn’t know what they were doing. His teeth had never been floated. The first thing we did was get him nutritionally healthy and handle him for two weeks making sure [he would pick up all of his legs] before bringing the farrier out. I also got him up to date on vaccines within a week of having him.

[My barn family has been] so supportive! And even more so once we learned his whole backstory. We couldn’t wait to watch Cappy grow and thrive.

our lowest point…

Cappy has always been herd leader. So when I went to feed breakfast [one morning] and he didn’t come to his bowl I knew something was wrong. He was shaking and would only go backwards. We had the vet out and had to ship him to the hospital. He had a hairline fracture to his shoulder. It was a long two month recovery time where he [became] depressed, and he wasn’t allowed outside the entire time. [He needed} weekly vet checks and clearances.

our highest point…

The highest point was watching Cappy the tiny auction pony and my junior (at the time) rider be interviewed by the derby judge at HITS Saugerties. [She listened] to his story and watched him compete all week in the .90s and come home reserve champion. Everywhere Cappy goes he is recognized by an anchor that is clipped [on his haunch] and people love to hear his story!

where we are now…

Cappy has paved the way for more rescue/auction horses that have come through my farm [which] we retrain and find them their people. He has been nothing but a gem who gives back always. After his shoulder [injury] he showed how resilient he really is to come back time and time again after being knocked down. He is the littlest jumper pony with the biggest heart.

Some of Sarah’s photos of Cappy!

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