Kelly Conner

“My name is Kelly Conner, and I am a radiographer and amateur hunter/jumper rider. I began riding at age 2 by taking lessons with Mary Warner. I had the privilege to ride with some great coaches on many great ponies and horses.

I am 100% ‘The Thoroughbred Girl.’ The former racehorse is usually a trying, smart, athletic sport horse. My goal is to get people interested in the OTTB with an injury and give it a chance. Don’t look for one that must pass the vet. Do not let the ‘racehorse jewelry’ scare you.

I was born into a racehorse family. My dad Sonny was a blacksmith who shod Northern Dancer. My brother John Conner and his wife Erin McClellan train out of Penn National. My nephew Tyler Conner is a jockey.

It is an honor to be part of this wonderful event. Please support these charities. Every OTTB deserves a post-racing life, and we can provide that.

My mount is named Even Smarter, and he is 18 years old. I fell head over heels in love when he came to my brother’s barn to be broken as a 2-year-old. He was owned by Ben Ritchey, the son of Tim and Janet Ritchey. I followed his racing career, and one day I got to the barn and my brother said ‘You have an old friend in the other barn.’

I ran to that barn in tears as fast as my feet would get me there. I think I collapsed in the stall. I was so excited to hug him, but saddened by his giant bowed tendon. After recovery, he was to be a stable pony. Smarty was not having that. The tendon tightened up and he went back to racing. Then the other leg started to bow.

Ben loved him too, so there was no hope for Smarty and I to have a show career together. I decided to write a heartfelt letter to Ben, professing my love of Even Smarter. I promised to love and keep him forever. My barn was always open to visit or ride him. The Ritcheys gave me my dream partner. We have been together for 13 years, but in love for 16 years.

Please vote and donate for my best pal and me to win Real Rider Cup 2020!”

Click here to watch Kelly Conner and Even Smarter

Even Smarter (MD)

TB, B, H, FOALED MAY 12, 2002

Breeder: Lisa S. Fender

Starts Firsts Seconds Thirds Earnings
4 1 0 0 $10,330