Foaled at a farm near Millet in 2001 by Liz Hennessy, Dude was a bit of a “mommy’s boy” according to Liz. His dam had become quite arthritic and Dude learned to stay very close to his slow moving mother. She had to be euthanized as soon as Dude was weaned. After weaning, he was placed in the 4H Standardbred program with one of its youth members, Lacey Minchau. Participants in the program are assigned a weanling colt or filly and learn the responsibilities of care, feeding, management and health requirements, and the economics of raising a horse. Lacey worked with Dude with the same enthusiasm and gentle, but skilled, approach that he continues to thrive on, instilling in him a respect for women and well disciplined behavior.

 

After a year with Lacey, Dude was sold at the annual fall yearling sale to Ed James who returned him to Liz for training. During his very successful career on the track, Dude earned over $540,000, all drug and whip free. He had 24 wins in 44 starts, winning Colt of the Year and Horse of the Year as a 2-year old, and Colt of the Year as a 3-year old. He was the first horse in 30 years that Northlands would not allow betting on.

In keeping with his “mommy’s boy” image, Dude had a thing for dolls and stuffed toys and had a number of them in his stall at the track. Every night he tucked them away into his empty feed bin and used his favourite, and quite flattened, Rottweiler stuffie as a pillow. He was a fan of Groovy Dolls, and would remove their Velcro outfits, carefully placing them on the stall door and putting the doll herself into his water bucket, for a bath no doubt. Dude is now retired from racing but has a new career in the breeding shed. 2008 will see his first foals on the ground and his owners are hoping that Dude will be as successful in his career as a stallion as he was on the racetrack.