Before The Big Race, It’s Business As Usual

Building a plan and adjusting as needed has led to success on the harness track for farrier-trainer team

One client. How many full-time farrier practices are sustained by working for a single client? Very few are, and not very many would want this arrangement. Instead, most practices are financially protected by working for dozens of clients. If one client leaves, there are others still on the book that will provide income.

East Windsor, N.J., farrier Conny Svensson has the unique one-client practice. For 23 years, he has worked for Jimmy Takter, a hall of fame trainer who was named the U.S. Harness Writers Association Trainer of the Decade in 2014. For the past 5, Svensson has worked for Takter exclusively.

A visit to Jimmy Takter Stable days prior to the Aug. 8 Hambletonian delivered insight into Svensson’s role in keeping the harness horses on the track. Although the barn was buzzing with activity generated by harness racing media and international travellers touring the stable prior to the Hambletonian, it was a standard day for the farrier.

Consistency Is Key

Most horse barns operate on strict regimens — when horses are fed, bathed and trained. Here, Svensson and his job are part of that consistent operation. Svensson likes to start early, especially in the summer to avoid the humidity. Generally he gets to the barn around 5 a.m. to feed his horse Captain Primeau, an accomplished trotter that eclipsed 100 starts at the Meadowlands in July 2015.

After that, he begins work in his dedicated workspace adjacent to the exit to the training track. His shoeing trailer sits outside…

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Jeremy_mcgovern

Jeremy McGovern

Jeremy McGovern has been a journalist for nearly 20 years. He has been a member of the American Farriers Journal staff for 7 years and serves as the Executive Editor/Publisher. A native of Indiana, he also is a member of the board of directors for the American Horse Publications organization of equine media.

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