Second Career Star: Awesomer

Second Career Star: Awesomer

The only thing better than a second-career star is a dual-career star.

Second career racehorse Awesomer

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By Andrea Caudill
 

Awesomer lives up to his name.

The race-winning gelding is a family horse for Jill and Robert “Bobby” Dahle of Roy, Utah, but he is much more than a racehorse. He is also a chariot racing horse, a riding horse and a family companion – all at the same time. 

The 8-year-old gelding is by Volcom, who has sired the earners of more than $5.7 million, and out of the Dashin Is Easy mare Jado Dashin. He was bred by Jim and Donna O’Neal of Jones, Oklahoma, who also bred recent Ruidoso Futurity (G1) winner Jess Savin Candy, and made his first two career starts in Oklahoma. 

The Dahles acquired him in the fall of his 3-year-old year, after he had made only two race starts in Oklahoma. Jill saw him on Facebook, and their interest was piqued because he shared some similar bloodlines to horses they had owned in the past. They bought him sight-unseen and brought him home.

In a unique twist, though, Awesomer is proving his versatility by having dual careers: He is a flat-track racehorse in the summer, and a chariot horse in the winter. In between, he provides joy as a family and riding horse to the Dahles. 

“He has a very, very good disposition,” Bobby said. “He’s easy to be around, he’s good to be around, never causes any trouble. He’s good to pick his feet, brush, trailer. I mean he has a really, really good disposition.”

As a racehorse, Awesomer to date has made 21 career starts, lighting the board in about half of those efforts and bringing home $10,037. 

Immediately after the Dahles bought him in the fall of 2016, they put him in chariot training, which he also flourished in. He was a third horse for the Virginian team, owned by Darcy Quinton.

“He was not the main horse on the team, but he did run four to five times with them, and he did an awesome job as a chariot horse,” Bobby says. 

When the chariot season was over, he got a rest and then returned to the flat track, where he immediately won several races under the guidance of trainer Reed Nelson. 

“He did really well,” Jill said. “From there, we went back to chariot racing.” 

The adaptable horse has proven he’s a willing runner no matter what sport, but his kind disposition also makes him a favorite for the Dahles.

“I ride him all the time under western saddle,” Bobby said. “He’s good to be on.”

Awesomer’s biggest fans might be the smallest family members – their grandkids, Kaytri Coombs and Bryden Hudman, love interacting with the horse.

“My granddaughter has named him, he’s her horse, she can’t say ‘Awesomer’ so she calls him ‘Amer.’ We brought them up around these horses since they were babies. She’s his biggest fan,” said Jill  with a smile.

Awesomer is currently back to work as a racehorse under the guidance of trainer Scott Warr, and contested the July 9 Bank of America Pocatello Championship Challenge under Nutrena Champion Jockey Nakia Ramirez. 

“It’s amazing. I love horse racing,” Jill said. “My husband’s been in it his whole life, I’ve only been in it these past 15 years. This is what I love.” 

Second Career Stars is an ongoing series on retired racing American Quarter Horses in new careers. If you know of a horse that should be featured, write to acaudill@aqha.org. AQHA News and information is a service of the American Quarter Horse Association. For more news and information, follow @AQHA Racing on Twitter, "like" Q-Racing on Facebook, and visit www.aqha.com/racing.