Updated: Oct 15
When you see Brink Point soaring down Belterra Park’s stretch and crossing the wire nine lengths ahead of his competitors, it seems impossible that he couldn’t even stand up when he was born. Today he is as strong as can be, with all the heart and speed it takes to win race after race. Three years ago, however, it was a different story.
Chelsey Wolterman spent many years working with horses, managing facilities, teaching lessons, and working with future or retired racehorses. Eventually, Chelsey decided that she wanted to see what kind of racehorse and riding horse she would have if she was there from start to finish. She planned to breed a Thoroughbred to race and once he or she retired from the track, Chelsey would train the horse to become a jumper.
To start, Chelsey and her mother Peggy split the purchase price of a broodmare named Ola D. Old. D is sired by Grade 1 winner Yonaguska and won five races during her time on the racetrack. They decided to breed her to a stallion named Mixmaster, who never won a race but was chosen because of his good temperament and nice size.
The resulting foal, Brink Point, was born on February 11, 2017. He was a beautiful bay foal with one white sock and a stripe cascading down his nose. However, it quickly became clear that something was amiss. Brink Point had tendon laxity; he had loose ligaments which could cause his joints to bend more than usual.
“The first 48 hours were super tough,” Chelsey recalled. “I had to go down every hour or so to pick him up to nurse. He really just didn't quite have the strength yet. I just remember being super sick myself and dragging myself out of bed to go check on him all of the time.”
Chelsey and Peggy had to order special shoes that would prevent him from walking on his heels. “We did wait a few weeks to put him out on pasture because I didn't want him to rub his heels raw,” Chelsey explained. “Eventually we were able to glue them on but that also proved a bit tricky because of how small he was and the glue wasn't good for a hoof that new.”
When young Brink Point was finally able to be turned out to pasture, he celebrated with a joyous gallop. The way he ran that day is the way he still runs today.
Despite his tough beginnings, Brink Point was a very sweet foal. He was so trusting that when he laid down, Chelsey could grab his hoof and pull him one way or another and scratch his belly like a dog. He would never fight it, just go limp and enjoy his belly rubs.
“I was super adamant about how it takes zero talent to behave,” Chelsey said. “Although we might lose races, which is inevitable, it will never be for lack of manners or good training.”
Chelsey and Peggy knew that owning a racehorse can get quite expensive and it wasn’t something that they were going to be able to afford on their own, so Chelsey took to Facebook to get recommendations for a syndication. Taste of Victory Stables was one of the first to be mentioned.
“I just wanted to believe that we could do horse racing the right way. Ethically. With a solid aftercare program and people that care much more about doing it the right way than about squeezing a horse for a return on investment immediately,” Chelsey explained. “I love horses and this sport could be so much bigger with more education and awareness and really quite frankly, monetary incentives to do the right thing. Syndicates are absolutely the right answer for so many people (even me) that lack the sheer $$$ of what it takes to make a racehorse from start to finish.”
Taste of Victory Stables seemed like the right fit for the Woltermans and their colt Brink Point. They reached out to the syndication and formed a valuable partnership with one another.
“The Woltermans contacted us with the desire to form a Private Stable Management group for their Ohio bred, Brink Point and we thought it would be a terrific opportunity to open a stable in a new market,” Taste of Victory’s West Coast Managing Partner Brian Richardson recounted. “Peggy and Chelsey had a group of 15 people who were big fans of Brink Point and wanted to be thoroughbred owners so we set up their Private Stable and Brian Waltz and Brink Point have done all the heavy lifting from there.”
The colt's trainer Brian Waltz did his best work to ready the colt for racing and Brink Point made his debut on June 26, 2020 at Belterra Park in Cincinnati, Ohio. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a flashy or promising debut. The Equibase chart reads, “Brink Point bothered badly at the start, forced into gap just missing the portable rail and eliminated with no chance.”
The colt’s next start one month later would be much more rewarding. Though he still broke slowly, he was able to rally to break his maiden in just his second start. Brink Point faced more problems in his next race. Though he broke well from the gates that time, he was bothered on the backstretch and never quite recovered - he crossed the wire in fourth.
[Video: Watch Brink Point #4 break his maiden at Belterra Park]
Since then, Brink Point has won two consecutive races despite not having the best of starts in both races. This Ohio-bred colt is getting better and better with every race. His connections are absolutely ecstatic to be a part of his journey.
“I've been thrilled that Brink has won 3 of 5 races. He loves to make us all sweat as he walks out of the gate but decides to kick it into high gear down the stretch,” Brian Richardson said. “This Ohio group has been so much fun and there have been 25-30 people in the winners circle every time he's won. We definitely want to expand our presence in Ohio racing and look forward to what Brink will do in the future!”
Brink Point’s owners have been so excited about his journey that they started a Facebook page dedicated solely to him. You can follow it at “Brink Point - Racehorse” to keep up with his career!
“I know we got lucky with Brink but I honestly bred the horse that I wanted to ride after he was done racing,” Chelsey explained. “I bred for a good mind and good feet and did my best to give him the best chance to succeed. Brian Waltz deserves a ton of credit and I was so pleased to find a trainer that I felt was going to trust to do right by my horse. I've over publicized a lot of details about our journey with Brink, but I really hope I sparked some interest in other sporthorse enthusiasts to do the same ‘farm to table’...or maybe it’s ‘farm to track to arena approach’...and have fun!”
Horses like Brink Point make our imaginations run wild. His early days were troublesome and sometimes he still struggles to break well from the starting gates, but he has still managed to transform into a successful racehorse for his owners. The love for this colt runs deep in all associated with him; you can see it clearly in every photo they have posted. From the time he was born to his early days of training to his trips to the winner’s circle, everyone in a photo with Brink Point has a huge smile stretched across their face.
[Video: Watch Brink Point win at Belterra Park]
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