Choosing a 4 Star horse

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Having been a life long Bad Eventer…………
I’ve been looking for a special unicorn “that horse” to take me up the levels…………..
for a LONG….
L O N G…..
There is some combination of magic, guts, and total insanity that gets a horse to the upper levels. To make this elusive and rare mixture even less attainable………I’ve been told by half a dozen pros that the vast majority of the 4 star horses they have ridden are actually NOT enjoyable to ride. 
They are gutsy, but spooky, and most have a few screws loose.
Their descriptions certainly give me pause……………..
So the consensus is that most horses that run 4 stars are “Quirky Jerks”.
On one hand, a sane rational person would say, “Not for me.”
Of course I’m sure there’s a good argument that sane & rational people don’t run around 4 star cross country courses.
Bad Eventer…………. having never once claimed to be sane or rational…………

rides Quirky Jerks anyway.

I’m just guessing that the quirks of a 4 star horse are probably not a stretch for my tolerance level………………..

I’ve been looking for those “secret 4 star ingredients” as long as I can remember.

So anytime an article mentions “Famous-4 Star-Eventer share’s his/her way to choose 4 star horses” it gets my attention.

The first of these kind of articles I remember seeing was about a year ago on EN.
“How Valerie Ashker Finds 4-Star Horses” by Kate Samuels.



I quickly read the article to see how she does it……answers at last!!!
Here’s what Valerie had to say about picking 4 star horses,
“…it’s that first impression….. but it’s hard to explain.”
She continued, “You have to look for a horse that wants to do the Super Bowl. I ask myself when I see a horse, ‘is there a keenness, is the head up and does he look like he’s the cock of the walk?’”


That was it.
Got it?
You all know how to pick a 4 star horse now……. right???
Please don’t think that I’m, in any way, questioning her ability to choose 4 star horses. I’m definitely not. Clearly she knows what she’s doing, and has picked PLENTY of super stars.
I don’t know about you, but that wasn’t very specific. I’ve owned A LOT of cocky horses, and so far I’m pretty sure NONE of them are Rolex material.
Here’s another professional “how to choose a 4 star horse” opinion.
Boyd Martin in an article on EN Feb 26, 2015 by Sally Spikard, “Four-star horses have that look about them, that championship look. I’m not sure that’s very technical, but you can tell when you see it.”
OK. Maybe if you’re Boyd Martin or Valerie Ashker you can tell a 4 star horse when you see one. They both had the same kind of “I can’t explain it, but I know when I see it” answer.
I’m pretty sure that secret vision doesn’t apply to the rest of us mere mortals.

Perhaps the entire point is that only a select few who have “the pixie dust” know what they’re looking for???

Seems these 4 star qualities are so magical, that they can’t even be described.
“You can tell when you see it…………”
“They have a look…………”
For the record……

Bad Eventer still doesn’t have any of the answers.
I thought maybe the place to start might be looking at actual 4 star horses, and seeing if they had anything in common.
What do you think?

the magical unicorn himself

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4 thoughts on “Choosing a 4 Star horse

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