What do Leah Lang-Gluscic, of Freeport, IL and Emily Daignault-Salvaggio of Coatesville, PA have in common? Besides being talented riders and really fun to interview, they both have a knack for picking a prospect out of a sea of horses. For both women, this ability to pick quality horses is starting to pay dividends. And their breed of choice, when asked? Without a doubt – the Thoroughbred.
Leah is on the road to Rolex – riding her AP Prime, a horse she picked up by pure chance as she was heading back from Tennessee to pick up a new trailer. She happened to see his ad and decided to drive six extra hours to see him; six months later, he was competing in his first event. She remembers the first thing she noticed about AP was his beautiful head, and hoped that he would be the one they pulled out of the stall.
Leah Lang-Gluscic and AP Prime
This happens to be a big part of how she picks her prospects – she has always paid close attention to the horses she liked to ride over the years – which ones gave her a powerful feeling? What did they look like? How did their aesthetic compare to their conformation and what did that mean? Leah includes, “Some of them, you’re not sure why they go as well as they do, looking at how they are built!”
Leah’s advice when looking for a prospect: Be patient. If you put all your ideal factors into one basket, it can take a while because that horse may be like looking for a needle in a haystack; sometimes, the best prospects are the ones who will run for a while at the track – the War Horses, as they are called. Most of the mistakes people purchase are the ones they buy in haste. She suggests investing in an expert to go along with you if you are inexperienced in shopping – most people, when properly compensated, are worth asking and willing to help.
Emily Daignault-Salvaggio has a long history of involvement with racehorses – she has worked on tracks on both the East and West coasts for some major trainers and galloped some impressive horses. Talking to her, you realize she is probably one of the most knowledgeable people you’ll ever meet, but she’ll be the first to tell you, “Horses are like golf, you can die without knowing everything.” Her background and knowledge about the Thoroughbred lineage is what brought her to her horse Gin Joint, whom she found partly because she liked his name. She watched him on television at Charlestown, watched his race videos, saw what she liked and ended up driving to West Virginia in an ice storm to pick him up.
Emily Daignault-Salvaggio and Gin Joint
In the finale post of our OTTB series, we’ll learn more about Leah and Emily’s programs, and what success looks like for Gin and AP. The future is bright for these two!
About the Author:
Stacy Bromley Cheetham, MPA grew up riding horses. She currently resides in Raleigh, NC with her boyfriend, her two rescue Pomeranians, an ornery calico cat, and is working with a promising young OTTB, Indelible (Hanna No Sir) who came from the Track to Tranquility race rehoming program. She is a fundraiser for a local nonprofit and is the Silent Auction Chair for Duke Jump for the Children, an AA rated horse show benefiting Duke Children’s Hospital.