Working with 'athletes' keeps Lewis coming back

Barb Lewis has done pretty much all of it in her more-than 35 years in the horse business.
Lewis, of Upper Sandusky, has trained, jockeyed and now owns her own stable.
She had two horses entered in Tuesday night’s eight-race program at the Auglaize County Fair. Mad Hatter finished third in the first-division 2-year-old colts one-mile trot. And Jesse’s Legend matched that result in the second-division 2-year-old colts one-mile trot.
Both horses had won previously. So while it might not have been the result Lewis was hoping for, it didn’t dampen her enthusiasm for the animals or the sport.
Lewis said that, like human athletes, some horses are more “coachable” than others.
“It’s kind of fun taking the young ones and teaching them from the beginning,” she said. “Wearing the harness, putting the jog cart on, going out and jogging them.
“It’s kind of fun getting them started and just seeing what they can do and how much they like doing it, and trying to figure out all their quirks.”
Lewis got her start in horses while attending the Ohio State University in 1975.
She graduated in 1976 with a degree in animal science and agriculture, which she uses to manage her feeding and nutrition program.
But the athletic aspect of the sport is what really draws her.
“I really like horses that are athletes,” she said. “If I wasn’t doing this I would be doing hunter/jumpers. I love hunter/jumpers too. I did a little bit of that back in the day, as my daughter says. The athletic part of it, getting them conditioned.
“Standardbreds, they have great attitudes. They want to do almost anything you want them to do. That’s what I like about this breed.”
Lewis said a horse’s personality can be just as important as its physical makeup.
“Like most people, I like them to be really smart and I like them to be energetic and willing. Definitely at the yearling sales you look at their confirmation. You try to look their confirmation over really good from head to toe and weed out any obvious defects.”
Harness racing returns to the fairgrounds tonight at 6:30 with the Moon Walk Pace.
In the headline race Tuesday night, Rewrite The Rules, trained by Steve Boroff, broke the Auglaize County Fairgrounds track record in the Signature Series Moon City Trot, running away from the field in 2:00.4.