Name: Aotearoa

Barn Name: Artie

Birth Year: 2011

Gender: Gelding

Height: 16.1

Color: Liver Chestnut

Location: Clements, CA

Starts/Win/Place/Show: 65/11/10/10

Career Highlights: Artie was one of those gift horses. Owner-breeder Paul Viskovich only paid 4.5K to mate Good Journey with his mare, Madera Royal. Mr. Viskovich was subsequently offered $300,000 for Aotearoa, who won his debut at Del Mar in 2013 by 4 3/4 lengths. He declined. Artie’s next race was a black type stakes race and he came in 4th there. His very next race was the black type Zuma Beach Stakes at Santa Anita and he won that race, earning him a spot in the Breeders Cup Juvenile Turf, a Grade 1 stakes race. Earning a berth in the Breeders Cup for a horse is paramount to the highest echelon in racing and very few horses achieve that.

Artie went on in his stellar career to be entered into 15 black type stakes races, including 3 graded stakes races. Once he started not being competitive enough, he went from Santa Anita to Golden Gate Fields where he raced 26 times, including a few with the summer fair season. He then transferred to Turf Paradise and from there went to Oregon where he ended his career with a third place (Show) finish at Grants Pass Downs.  Artie hit the board 50% of the time in his 65 races (either first, second or third or Win/Place/Show) in his career. This is a great achievement for any horse.

Total Earnings: $377,349.

Last Race: 7/04/2021

Sire: Good Journey

Dam: Madera Royal (Lil Tyler)

Other Pedigree Notables: Northern Dancer, Halo, Nureyev, Damascus, Raise A Native

Description: Artie is a 10 year old liver chestnut gelding with a wonky white blaze, who raced at the very highest levels. Artie has a great future ahead of him. He’s sound, happy, friendly and full of feel good energy. Artie is eligible for the 2022 Retired Racehorse Project (RRP).
No horse has ever looked or felt this good in our history coming off track with the number of races and age. It is so gratifying to know that after a vacation break almost anything is possible for Artie’s future. Below is the impression one of the Board Directors got after meeting him soon after his arrival from Oregon.

“He’s gorgeous! He’s liver chestnut, dapples, has these great feet, his body is in tip top shape, and I’m pretty darn sure he can do just about anything given that he’s been racing hard for 10 years and not one part of him seemed out of place. Rock solid physique. With probably less than three months rest, he’d probably be ready to be
restarted. His movement is nice, not a 10, but absolutely floaty and nice enough to be competitive.”

Yup, Artie is the real deal. You won’t find one this good at the donation price he’s being offered at.

Update September 2021: Well, Artie wasn’t too interested in us even though we had plenty of carrots. These days Artie is absolutely obsessed with a mare and her foal over in the adjoining neighbor’s pasture. All he does is call out to her and stands at the nearest place in his pasture to her. Unfortunately, she and her baby were pretty far away when we visited so I couldn’t get any cute pictures. However, as we were driving out they had come back to stand by the fence line and Artie was so happy to have his girlfriend back at his side. He’s also looking exceptionally good, is sound, has a great mind and a very easy going personality (other than being obsessed at the moment).  Note: He has since gotten over his obsession with the baby, and is happily enjoying his new buddy Lyle.

Update October 2021:  Artie was sent into professional training for 60 days to learn some basic groundwork, WTC and working on a lunge line. He’s back at the farm and is looking to enter Pony Club in the Spring unless an adopter takes an interest in Artie as a project horse.


February 2022.  Artie was adopted by Jennifer Osborne of Fire & Ice Horses, a long time partner of Neigh Savers.  He was retrained for trail and is now in eventing training in the Las Vegas area.