11/29/2013 2:26PM

Clubhouse Ride to miss time after foot-trimming mishap

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Shigeki Kikkawa
Clubhouse Ride will begin training in earnest for a 2014 campaign once his hoof grows out.

ARCADIA, Calif. – The 2014 campaign of Grade 2 winner Clubhouse Ride will not resemble his outstanding campaign of early 2013.

According to trainer Craig Lewis and co-owner Rick Seidner, a flawed foot-trimming procedure will postpone the comeback of Clubhouse Ride, one of the top handicap horses in California during the first half of 2013.

Lewis sent Clubhouse Ride to a nearby layup facility in fall for what was intended to be a refreshing vacation away from the racetrack. When the horse returned to Santa Anita on Nov. 15, Lewis was stunned. Clubhouse Ride was unable to resume training.

“They trimmed his feet and they cut most of his foot off,” Lewis said. “It would be like if you took a fingernail clipper and cut your fingernail off. It’s going to grow back, but it’s going to take time.”

Clubhouse Ride could not be shod properly, Lewis said.

“There’s no foot to put a shoe on,” he said. “I’ve been training 35 years and I’ve never seen this before. It defies all reason.”

After walking for a week, Clubhouse Ride was examined by renowned farrier Wes Champagne, who fitted him with glue-on shoes. The horse resumed jogging Nov. 24.

“We just need to get more foot growth, and then we’ll start training him,” Lewis said.

Lewis said neither he nor his owners gave Winner’s Circle Ranch in Bradbury permission to trim Clubhouse Ride’s feet. Ranch manager Leigh Gray declined comment on the foot-trimming procedure.

She said Champagne indicated to her “there was no damage done” to Clubhouse Ride and that Winner’s Circle offered to reimburse the owners for charges related to his feet.

Runner-up three times to Game On Dude in 2013, Clubhouse Ride tailed off the second half of the season. After finishing fourth Sept. 22 in the $100,000 Ralph M. Hinds Handicap at the Los Angeles County Fair, Lewis sent him to Winner’s Circle.

“When the horse went out there he was perfect,” Lewis said. “We just wanted to give him a rest. We thought we’d get top care. It’s not the end of the world, but it’s very disappointing and it’s going to cost us a lot of money if he’s as good as he was last year.”

The 2014 campaign for Clubhouse Ride initially targeted the San Antonio Stakes, Santa Anita Handicap, and Charles Town Classic. He finished second in those races in 2013 before winning the Grade 2 Californian at Betfair Hollywood Park.

Meanwhile, the comeback is on hold.

“We just have to hope there is quick foot growth, but it’s going to take a while,” Lewis said.

Clubhouse Ride, 5, has won four races and $997,994 from 32 starts for Seidner’s Six-S Racing Stable and co-owner Niko Petralia.

Forego137 More than 1 year ago
What the heck were they thinking doing a procedure like that without the owners permission, most definatly Lewis should sue and the facility needs to be investigated. That nail trimming job was no accident and must have been very painfull foe Clubhouse Ride
MaryAlice Nelson More than 1 year ago
Incompetence is a common cause of 'horse problems'. Many of the so called horseshoers have a bad attitude not a lot of respect for the horse. The horseshoeing schools' turn out a number of people with an attitude and not much 'horse sense' or knowledge. Since horses can't cry, they suffer in silence- they will be luck if this incident doesn't turn in to laminitus
John More than 1 year ago
If there is a law suit, they wont have to go far ! CRAIG IS AN ATTORNEY ! I went to school with him and after law school, he got interested in the races.....end of story !
Christopher Clark More than 1 year ago
Horse trainer is defined as bad lawyer, and a bad trim job is code for bowed tendon on the backside
Laura More than 1 year ago
lawsuit! and frankly, since it's no doubt caused the horse pain, and something like that isn't done by accident, I'd file charges for animal cruelty
Diana Levy More than 1 year ago
Do you have horses? I've seen plenty of bad trimming jobs that weren't on purpose and certainly weren't animal cruelty. And Lewis saying "he has no foot" is most certainly hyperbole so don't worry, I doubt the horse was in any more pain than any horse who was poorly trimmed. If he could could jog at all , even using glue-ons, he wasn't crippled. Now, if the facility did any foot care work if they were told not to touch his feet is one thing, if they were told to do routine maintainance on him is something else. Most horses get trimmed every 6 weeks. If he was there for that period of time or longer and there were no specific instructions I can understand why they had him trimmed. It becomes the farriers' fault for taking too much off.
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
???? !!!