When you've already beaten odds of 200,000-1, nothing else seems all that daunting. The white Standardbred colt born May 6, 2012, and named White Bliss, is one of about 200,000 births among Standardbreds and a big surprise to all at Fair Winds Farm in Cream Ridge, N.J. He's the son of a bay stallion and a bay mare, with not a single white relative in the family tree. On Tuesday (Nov. 5), he will go up for sale at public auction at the Standardbred Horse Sale at the State Farm Show Arena in Harrisburg, Pa. As hip number 305, he will sell between roughly 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. To beat the next set of odds, White Bliss, the DNA-confirmed son of Art Major and the mare Coochie Mama, bred by Pete Congilose, will have to be among a few dozen top horses of the 9,000 Standardbreds registered each year in North America. "He actually looks really good," said Congilose. "He's not a real big colt, but his family doesn't throw really big horses, but conformation-wise he looks good. He has his own Facebook page (White Colt) and I posted his sales video and to date, it's got around 17,000 hits. A lot of people from all over the world have been looking at him." Congilose says a sales price for the colt, who he is selling reluctantly, has a large element of uncertainty because of his unusual color. Many horsemen are reluctant to buy a chestnut or heavily marked bay or brown horse, let alone one whose color, or lack thereof, is seen by few in a lifetime. In advance of the sale, White Bliss is going through a daily routine, which includes a lot of baths, at Fair Winds Farm in Cream Ridge. "He's going through the same prep classes that everyone else is," says Fair Winds owner Mark Mullen. "At the end of August, he was broke to lead, and he's been in an exercise machine every other day and in the paddock every other day. He's getting groomed every day and he's looking more and more white and spectacular. "If he was a brown or a bay, you'd say, 'That's a good looking Art Major colt.' He's got a nice head, he's the right size, he's got a good body. He's just a really good looking yearling. But he's white. It's going to be one of those things where people will love him or they'll say, 'That's just not for me.' "There's going to be somebody out there who is smitten and that's what I'm counting on. I had a person call from the United Kingdom and asked me what he would go for. I tell people he can go for $35,000 or $135,000, we can't know. "He wanted me to do a deal with him on the phone. I said, 'Listen, this is a nice horse. He's going to race in the New York Sires Stakes circuit for $50,000 or $100,000 so that is how he is going to get priced.'" For a closer look at the pedigree of White Bliss, including his two siblings who have earned more than $100,000, click here. by Ellen Harvey for HRC
A 16-day-old white Standardbred colt, the first born of bay parents in North America since Historicallyunique was born in Ontario in 1998, met the press today at his harness racing home at Fair Winds Farm in New Jersey.
With each birth of a foal comes hope for harness racing greatness, for speed, for courage above all others. Among Standardbreds, those hopes usually come with long odds, as there are about 10,000 foals born in North America each year, virtually all in a plain brown wrapper. While there are occasional greys and chestnut Standardbreds, they are the exception to the rule -- brown or bay.
Mark Mullen of Fair Winds Farm, harness racing breeder of 2011 Hambletonian winner Broad Bahn, and his wife Laura have made a lasting contribution to equine science students at their alma mater, the University of New Hampshire.
The 2011 Hambletonian winner Broad Bahn provided Fair Winds Farm of Cream Ridge, NJ with its first breeding credit in the most prestigious harness racing trotting event in North America.