A horse named Solo won’t be spending much time alone at his new home at Maymont. The 12-year-old retired race horse recently joined fellow former racer, Arctic Warrior (“Artie”), as a member of Maymont’s two-horse carriage team. Both are male standardbreds, an American horse breed known for harness racing and other equestrian activities. Solo, whose official name was Sadie’s Soloist during his racing days, arrived at Maymont on January 20.
That same day, Maymont bid farewell to its much-loved long-time carriage horse, Danielle (“Dani”). Dani since has joined her former carriage teammate, Chauncy, the horse that retired when Artie was brought on board last April. Dani and Chauncy both moved to the same horse farm in Fluvanna County to live out their senior years, thanks to a generous Maymont friend.
Solo completed his first two-horse carriage drive with Artie on January 27, marking a successful transition to become an official animal resident at Maymont. The Maymont carriage staff takes several steps, including observation of behavior with the other carriage horse and carriage “test drives,” to make sure that a horse is the right fit.
“Solo did great during his first time leading the carriage with Artie,” said Armistead Wellford, Maymont Carriage Manager. “He and Artie are going to be really impressive partners as we take our guests on rides back in time.”
Solo and Artie both were adopted through the Standardbred Retirement Foundation, a New Jersey-based non-profit organization that finds homes for non-competitive Standardbred race horses and also assists youth at risk through therapeutic equine programs.
Guests can see Solo and Artie in a pasture at the Maymont Farm during their leisure time or leading a carriage, like the wagonette or surrey, for private tours, group rides, weddings, birthday parties and special events. For more information, visit maymont.org/visit or call the Maymont carriage department at 804-358-9492.
(Pictured: Solo, on the left, and Artie with Bobbie Franks, Maymont carriage staff member, just before their first partnered carriage drive on January 27.)