OTTB to the Olympics: Blackfoot Mystery Goes for the Gold in Rio

Boyd Martin (left) and John O'Meara with Blackfoot Mystery. Credit: United States Equestrian Federation

Boyd Martin (left) and John O’Meara with Blackfoot Mystery. Credit: United States Equestrian Federation

The Olympics are as much about stories as they are about competition. The athlete who overcame adversity. The rags-to-riches story. The “discovery” of a diamond in the rough. A bit of heartbreak, a lot of sacrifice.

As they say in the world of Thoroughbred auctions, Blackfoot Mystery ticks all those boxes. And like the world of Thoroughbred auctions, in this case, there’s also a significant amount of money involved.

Twelve-year-old Blackfoot Mystery is one of the United States’ Olympic athletes, and his story is an improbable one. But you’re not going to get one of those “up close and personal” interviews with him for which the Olympics are so famous, because Blackfoot Mystery is a horse.

His beginnings were modest. He was bred in Kentucky and offered at auction as a yearling, drawing a final bid of $24,000 that didn’t meet his reserve. The top-selling horse at that sale sold for $9.7 million. Forty horses sold for more than $1 million, and the average sale price was $108,420. It was not an auspicious beginning for the chestnut colt.

Continue reading at Forbes.com

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