Kaymarie Kreidel and Witch Hunter the MVPs of the Preakness

Kaymarie Kreidel and her off-track Thoroughbred Witch Hunter

When Bodexpress acted up in the starting gate, throwing jockey John Velasquez, outrider Kaymarie Kreidel and her off-track Thoroughbred Witch Hunter sprung into action. The former jockey and her former racehorse knew better than most how to go after a loose horse and, equally important, how to keep said loose horse from getting into more trouble or causing a bigger pile up.

Kreidel gave most of the credit to her horse, who she said, knows his job is to draw even with a runaway horse, not pass them.

“They love it – these ponies, once they learn this job, they love it It’s just like being a racehorse – they take pride in winning a race, and these guys take pride in catching a horse,” she said.

“And when you don’t get to catch a horse, they get mad. They do. When you can’t get a horse, and you have to pull out of it, they get pissed off. They don’t want to pull out of it. They know their job. I’ve actually had horses that I’ve had trouble pulling them up [after I’ve caught them] and I’ve had my horse turn and make ugly faces at them, trying to get them to back off.”  (Paulick Report)

Although Hunter retired in 2011, he obviously hasn’t lost too much of his speed. And I love the fact that he’s being ridden in a hackamore.

As for Bodexpress, he was having fun.

“He was fine. He was playing games,” she said of Bodexpress. “I don’t know if you saw him come out of the gate but he actually lunge-bucked out of the gate and tossed the rider in the air. Rider had no shot at staying on. To him, this race was just a game and I was unfortunately the one who ended the game for him. I was the party pooper.” (Paulick Report)

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4 thoughts on “Kaymarie Kreidel and Witch Hunter the MVPs of the Preakness

  1. YUP! That’s exactly how I would have described Bodexpress’s exit from the gate. It was a “lunge buck”… a word she made up and which describes the action perfectly. I wonder how often she has to chase a loose horse. I did see her much later, with Bodexpress in hand, so to speak. And..I too like that Witch Hunter is in a mechanical hackamore.
    When I worked at the track, she’s right, those ‘ponies’ know their job. Talk about unsung heros! They have to put up with a hot colt on the way to the gate, and then, as in this case, chase down one full of “I’m free and you can’t catch me’!
    I just wish Kriedel had been wearing gloves. But that’s just me…after losing most of my lymph nodes in my arm after a bout with breast cancer, I’m very careful to protect my hands from injury and infection. I wear gloves ALWAYS around horses, or gardening, or just about anything. I knew a woman who got a rope burn when an unruly horse whipped the lead rope out of her hand…and she almost lost the arm to a pseudomonas infection. That was 30 years ago, before there was MRSA and other nasties.

  2. After my accident I’ve been much more careful about my hands. I’ve stopped wearing my wedding ring when I ride because I have this terrible fear that something will happen and my hands will swell. Years ago my horse slipped coming into a jump and I fell and hit my hand on a standard. Luckily I had the presence of mind to remove my ring before my hand swelled up because it turned out I’d broken it.

  3. I remember your post about that. I don’t blame you at all, and now you have me wondering if I should take my wedding band off when I go to ride. The hard part is the emotional ‘separation’, so to speak…my wedding band..designed by us, so they’re custom..is the only jewelry I ever wear, and it has enormous emotional significance to me. BUT. I love my fingers where they are. So I think I shall take a page from your book, ma’am, and start leaving it at home when I go to ride.

  4. I never take my jewelry off — for fear of losing it — so it was a mental leap for me to do that. I know too many people who have lost their engagement rings and/or wedding rings because they took them off. Lots of them left the rings on the side of a sink after washing their hands!

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