Hello all! My name is Upset. I am the mascot for the new brand that Impressions of Saratoga is launching; The Dark Horse. As you may have read in the other blog or in all of the Facebook posts we have been doing The Dark Horse is inspired by Saratoga Race Course’s history as “The Graveyard of Champions”.
I thought you might like to know a little about me and how I got my job as The Dark Horse mascot. I am a 33 inch tall black miniature horse. I am not a pony, a pony can be almost any breed, but their size is under 14.2 hands, where I am a specific breed. I was bred to be a perfectly proportioned miniature version of a real horse. Some minis are smaller than me, and some are larger. I am average. I am 5 years old and have a lot of life left in me, my kind lives about 30 years!
I was born in Kentucky, and was bred to be a show horse. My brother, Tucker, and I moved up here to New York and lived in Stamford until very recently. At Stamford I was a show horse. I did really well and my wonderful owners taught me so much. But it wasn’t for me, I wanted to do something different, and I like to run… fast! Lucky for me the ladies from Impressions were looking for a miniature horse for a mascot. He had to be black, small, well mannered, and look like a race horse. I am all of those things! Maddy and Marianne came to look at me and I showed them all of my talents, from pulling a cart, to standing still while children climbed on me, to running really fast and being brave! So in February I moved to Maddy’s farm.
I now live with my best friend Flye, a real horse. He reminds me of my brother because he is the same color and sometimes he chases me like Tucker did. I also have two goat friends, Butch and Sunny, they were afraid of me but have come around now that they know I am a horse, not a goat. I have many dog friends; Cookie, Herc, Pupa, and Smalls. I was worried about being away from my brother but was very happy when I found out Mare and Maddy’s good friend Donna brought my brother Tucker home right down the road to Ballston Spa! I really enjoy eating (who doesn’t) and I take a nap every day in the sun with Flye. I am fond of escaping from my paddock, but just to eat grass. My favorite treats are animal crackers. I like to go for walks with the dogs in the mornings and run around with the goats while Flye is being ridden. I also practice pulling my cart, and I am very good at it, even though Maddy does not really know what she is doing. Mare and Maddy take really good care of me but they like to keep me really clean and it can be annoying since I work very hard on getting dirty each day.
They changed my name to Upset, which is fine with me because my other name was pretty long “JSW Redis Heir to Glory” and it was not a good race horse name. I am named after the horse, Upset, who was the only horse to beat Man o’War who ran 22 races and won 21 of them. The victory took place in Saratoga Springs at the Sanford Stakes in 1919. The original Upset had been The Dark Horse in the race, and lived up to his name as an ‘upset”. Another ironic part of The Dark Horse history is that the original Upset was owned by Harry Payne Whitney the father of Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney, Mary Lou Whitney’s late husband. My breeder was Jonathan Whitt (we both have Whit’s in our history)!
Though I will never be able to race I am going to do my best to represent all of The Dark Horses who have overcome the odds and become champions. I am proud to wear the name Upset and carry The Dark Horse story that anyone can win with me on my journey. I make my debut this Saturday at noon in the Elk’s Flag Day Parade down Broadway. The excitement continues with the launch of The Dark Horse, a party from 2-5 at Gaffney’s in the Garden. I will be at the party as well!