Just Another Day for a Racehorse
"I’m honored for you to print this fun photo," said Kathy Smoke. "Ilka took it with her cell phone. I hear from them all the time. We Skype and she’s always sending me photos and videos."
What’s a racehorse to do with his downtime? Hang out with his trainer of course! Storm Troupour (Nivour De Cardonne x ES Ornetta, by Monarch AH) is taking a well-earned rest with his trainer Stephane Leveque of IGL Training at St Wendreds yard in Newmarket, England. He is bred and owned by Paul and Kathy Smoke from Michigan. Kathy tells the story behind this enchanting photo. “This is Stephane’s first Arabian to train. He rode both Arabs and thoroughbreds for Godolphin for 10 years. After marrying Ilka Gansera (a veterinarian and Thoroughbred trainer) they began Ilka Gansera-Leveque Trainers in Newmarket. Trouper had a great beginning with Deb (Mihaloff at Cre Run Farm) and that continued until he went into race training. Something in his 3-year-old year made him an unhappy guy. When Troupour went over (to England) last May he was grumpy, biting and bolting when given the chance. As you can see he’s a whole different horse now. I can’t say enough good things about these two trainers. Ilka actually spent a year working with Monty Roberts in California years ago and then worked as an assistant trainer to some pretty good thoroughbred trainers here in the USA. These two understand horses. They are amazing. It’s hard to find the kind of horsemanship and training that our Arabians need. They are not thoroughbreds and cannot be trained exactly the same. Our horses need to connect with their handlers and when this doesn’t happen all sorts of things show up. I’m just so pleased that he’s a happy camper and loves his job now.” 48 • Arabian Finish Line • March 2016