Why Not Whiskey came to New Vocations in September of 2016 when he retired from a $190,000 racing career. A sweet chestnut gelding by Whywhywhy (who stood at Spendthrift Farm), Whiskey finished his 26-start career with a bowed tendon in his left front leg and was sent to a farm in Florida to rehab and heal before being donated to New Vocations. After reviewing "Whiskey's" ultrasounds with the New Vocations veterinary team, he was cleared to begin retraining, where he began learning the basics of being a riding horse, like how to crosstie, how to get turned out and how to walk, trot and canter quietly in a ring under the watchful eye of Facility Director Melissa King. Melissa soon discovered that one of Whiskey's biggest challenges was becoming comfortable with turnout. He was anxious in fields and paddocks, both alone and in groups, and would run to show his displeasure. In December, after a consistent routine for a few months, Whiskey settled into turnout with buddies and into his riding routine. As horses stay in the New Vocations retraining program longer, they garner additional retraining, and Melissa began working Whiskey over ground poles and crossrails. After 147 days in the New Vocations Program, Whiskey found his person: Keely Bechtol of Lexington, KY. Keely is an active Pony Club member and was looking for her next showjumping mount when she found Whiskey. Did the fact the Whiskey had an old bowed tendon bother her? "We [Keely and her mom Lisa] were slightly concerned about his tendon, but after seeing his scans and having our vet look at them, we were comfortable with it," she explains. "I was very excited about adopting from the beginning and other than his tendon, I wasn't worried about anything." Keely chose not to do a pre-purchase exam on Whiskey. "New Vocations was very helpful with giving us the scans and X-rays that their vet took on all the horses we looked at. After I decided on Whiskey, we showed his scans to our vet and got the OK to take him home." "I felt comfortable adopting a horse with it [a bowed tendon] because it was fully rehabilitated, the scans were clean, and if you looked at it, you would never know he bowed his tendon." A year later, Keely and Whiskey are progressing well and enjoying each other's company while doing things like hacking out on the farm and participating in clinics with Lillian Heard. "Whiskey is currently doing lots of flatwork because it's an area he struggles with. Jumping comes very easily to him, so we spent less time on that this winter," says Keely. For the spring and summer of 2018, the duo is preparing for some schooling shows, United States Pony Club (USPC) Rally, and USPC Championships East. So what are their future goals? "I'd like Whiskey to be a showjumper that I can rate up [in Pony Club] with and compete at the upper levels with." Keely has not had any issues with Whiskey's old bow, and he's remained completely sound and cleared for all levels and disciplines. Keely has had fun and success with Whiskey, and she wants the world to know that a horse that has been rehabbed from an injury doesn't mean that he's second-best-he could be the perfect horse to help you achieve your goals. "If you're adopting a horse with a previous injury, New Vocations is very upfront with the discipline and levels that the horse will be able to do. I think adopting is a great way to rehome some incredible horses that deserve a new job."