Will to Power
15-year-old Washington-bred Gelding (1999)
By Rio’s Lark-Touch of Sherry
Career (2001-2002): 8-0-1-0, $1,906
A Washington-bred chestnut by Rio’s Lark, Will to Power started his working life where most Thoroughbreds begin, at the racetrack.
Trained by Robbie Baze and bred by the Baze family, Will to Power always had the looks and personality of a racehorse. So much so that Baze would get a workout himself while riding Will to Power during morning training.
“He just wanted to go, and go, and go,” Baze said. “He would drag me around the track everyday, and I thought ‘Wow, what a racehorse!”
As it turned out, running, not racing, was more Will to Power’s game, and after eight starts without a victory, Baze decided there might be a different future in store for the spirited gelding.
“We tried him in a few races and he just didn’t quite make it, so we thought it would be better to have him try another career,” Baze said.
After retiring from the track, Will to Power changed hands a couple times before he found his perfect match. Mary Turino, a New York native with 30 years of riding experience, had been specifically looking for a project horse, and after two hours during a trial run aboard Will to Power, the two left the arena together.
“He ended up being a really good candidate for me,” Turino said. “I set up a one-foot crossrail and just by his confrimation over the fence, I knew he was a natural.”
Affectionately known as “Joey,” Will to Power, and his new partner Turino, had plenty of work to do, as neither horse nor rider had ever competed in show jumping. Nevertheless, with Turino’s riding experience and the tandem’s resolve, success never seemed too far away.
“I learned with Joey as we were going along on how to do all of this,” Turino said. “I never once allowed a professional to sit on him. I was determined. He was determined. And it ended up fantastic.”
Working together five days a week despite Turino’s 9-to-5 job, the unwavered duo took the long road together, matching stride for stride, day in and day out. Soon enough, their work began to produce results.
“We started on one and two-foot crossrails, and in eight years we moved all the way up to 3 feet 9 inches,” Turino said. “His dedication to me was unbelievable.”
The highlight came in May 2011 at Thunderbird Show Park in Langley, B.C, considered one of the top jumping arenas in Canada. Competing in the Canadian Premier, Turino and Will to Power (show name: Will Power) stunned observers as the pair took four of the 10 classes in one event. Turino, herself, could hardly believe what had happened.
“I couldn’t understand the success we were having,” Turino said. “It was hilarious because it didn’t make sense to me how we just kept winning. I wish it could’ve lasted forever.”
After eight years of jumping, Will to Power sustained a minor injury in 2013 and could no longer compete at the highest levels. With the help of a friend, Turino found a new home for her beloved Joey, who is now enjoying his second retirement with 12-year-old Kailin Lasher. Joey, however, is far from retired. After rehabbing at Melanie Baird's Bedlam Farms in Snohomish, Joey is now ready to begin a new show career. Lasher’s grandmother Patti Wheeler, who keeps Joey on her Yelm property, said she and her granddaughter are so thankful for the support from Baird and her staff.
"The care, love and rehabilitation she provides to numerous horses and more specifically what she has done to rehabilitate Joey and prepare him for the journey to our home and his new show career, reflects the passion of what they do best," Wheeler said.
In the near future Lasher and Joey will show hunter hack, trail horse and additional classes. Away from the arena, the two are inseparable and especially love to walk trails together. Turino, who admits moving on to everyday life without her favorite horse has been difficult, couldn’t be happier with his transition to a new family.