Unlikely to compete again is a phrase that performance horse owners dread hearing. Kathy Padhgam of Hay Lakes, Alberta, was no different. After learning that her beautiful bay Morgan, Northern Exposure a.k.a. Robin, severed 90% of his Semitendinous muscle in 2009, she thought that he would never compete again. Her vet recommended Robin be castrated to keep him quieter and better able to heal. Since his show career was thought to be over, Padgham thought it was a good decision for his well-being. “It was my gift to him,” says Padgham, “As a gelding he would have a chance at a normal horse’s life.”

But as it turns out, Robin is not a normal horse. “In his heart he was still a show horse,” says Pagham. So after a year in the pasture, he started the rehab process in March 2010 under the guidance of Michelle Hanson of Spiritwood Arabians. To everyone’s surprise, he not only started competing again but he competed so well that he was named Equine Canada’s Breed Sport Morgan of the Year for 2010. Overcoming such an injury is no small feat for a horse, especially one that is 19 years old.
Born in Leduc, Alberta, at Dawnville Farms in 1992 from sire Southerly Conowingo and dam DVF Remember Me, Robin spent the first nine years of his life being shown as an English pleasure horse and at stud. He has sired 34 horses, many who have gone on to successful careers including Tamarac’s Express who was the Canadian Morgan Horse Association’s (CMHA) 2008 Reserve High Point Western Pleasure Horse.

In 2000, Padgam, an amateur rider, bought and began to show Robin. He has had many successes in the show ring in a variety of events. Between 2001 and 2010, Robin has been the CMHA National Champion in western pleasure four times, versatility five times, English general purpose two times, western general purpose six times, in-hand one time, and overall champion three times. Robin has competed at the Morgan Grand National and World Championships where he has been the Reserve World Champion Western Pleasure Youth, World Reserve Champion 4th level dressage and Reserve World Champion 2nd level dressage. He has also been Grand National Champion in western and English trail as well in 2nd & 3rd level dressage.

At 19 years old, this incredible horse still loves to play on the lounge line and has professionals astounded at his age.  Early in 2010 after his injury, the barn assistant took the “old man” out for a lunge. Robin looked around, but he was docile and well behaved until the signal was given to go out on the line.  Robin kicks up his heels and takes off like a horse that has never been out on the town.  The handler was surprised and the crowd got a good laugh, proving that age isn’t everything. Padgam says Robin epitomises the qualities of the Morgan breed, and is a horse that “never says never.”


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