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From racehorse to riding horse

From racehorse to riding horse

Christopher Riddle’s travels continue

By Mark Deane

Christopher Riddle’s story picks up with a scenario that was very familiar to the
thoroughbred:  a change in ownership and a new home. 

In researching this series on Christopher’s life, I have tried to account for every one of Christopher’s owners; however, to be honest, it is impossible to know exactly the number of times he changed hands. One thing is certain: Christopher was born under a lucky star, because he always found himself with a loving owner who cared to find him a good new home when the time came for a change. 

Such was the case with Lisa Carney, who was Christopher’s owner at the time we resume our story. Although Lisa was very fond of Christopher and got along with him well, she came to the realization after a year that he did not meet her needs.  

To increase the odds that Christopher would find the right new owner, Lisa sold him to her friend Lynda Payne, a horse broker. According to Lisa, “Lynda has a wonderful knack for figuring out what a horse will be good at doing, and then matching the horse with the right owner. She has many return customers, so I knew she would be able to find him a good home.” 

Lynda Payne and her husband, Donald, have run their business, D and L Livestock, near
Charlottesville, for more than 30 years. During those years, countless horses have passed through the D and L gates, and Lynda has learned that there is the right person for every horse, and the right horse for every person. “Some people might consider me a ‘horse dealer’ and people with that label don’t always have the best reputation,” Lynda said candidly. 

Lynda has worked very hard to change that image. She stands behind her horses and provides support to her customers: If a horse does not work out for a new owner, she will trade the horse for another so that the perfect match is found and both owner and horse are happy in their new partnership.  

“I have sold and traded back for some horses two or three times, until a suitable home is found,” Lynda stated. “Will I be rich or drive a fancy car, doing business this way? Probably not. But can I sleep at night? Yep!”  

Lynda is motivated to do her part to improve the lives of her equine friends. As she noted, “I have learned that, if the situation does not go well for the new owner and the horse, and the owner is not happy, the result is the road to the auction house for the horse.” Lynda’s commitment to her owners and horses helps prevent a tragic end for the horses that pass through the barns of D and L Livestock. 

When Lynda met Christopher, she thought the thoroughbred was attractive and a good mover. “As with all of Lisa’s horses, he had been taken care of well,” Lynda recalled. “He was a good boy, but a little silly at times.”

Christopher was with Lynda only about two weeks before Lynda sold him to a large riding school as an advanced lesson horse. Christopher was in his new career for about a year before the 

school contacted Lynda and asked her to trade him for another lesson horse. True to her commitment to her horses, Lynda did just that. “Trey (as Christopher was called at the time) had cut himself severely, and it took quite a while to heal the wound,” she said.  

Once Christopher had returned to Lynda and the two became reacquainted, Lynda found Christopher to be a “sweetheart.” She wanted him to find the perfect owner, this time someone with whom he could spend the rest of his life.  

Lynda had someone in mind, so she gave the prospective new owner a call and had the lady come out and give the thoroughbred a try. As soon as Lynda saw the pair together, she knew she had made a good match — it was love at first sight.  

Trey instantly fell in love with his eventual new owner

“Trey instantly fell in love with his eventual new owner,” she sighed. “I truly wish an animal communicator could truly hear  a horse’s thoughts, so we could find the perfect match every time.” Next month, our series will pick up with Christopher’s next travels. ML

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