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The Horse That Changed My Life | Jessica Boxell

"He really was my first 'everything'"

Jessica Boxell has been in Quarter Horse racing for 25 years. That is a good amount of time especially since the Roseneath, Ontario resident recently celebrated her 26th birthday.

“My grandparents have been racing Quarter Horses a long time, I was essentially born at the track,’ said Boxell.

Boxell’s grandfather, John McCracken is the founder of the successful Chillvally Farms, also in Roseneath (east of Cobourg), and it was one of his horses who became the most significant, early equine friends in Boxell’s life.

Pegasos Willing, "Rigley", was born just over 10 years ago on the McCracken homestead is the horse that Boxell, now a horse owner herself, taught her a lot about caring for and riding horses.

“He was produced from one of our broodmares, Pegasos Primadonna, that we still have. He really was my first “everything”,” said Boxell.

“He taught me everything about caring for a horse, going into a paddock, how to train, he’s still teaching me.”

Pegasos Willing began his career at Ajax Downs in 2009 and the following year was leased by Boxell from her grandfather when Boxell was just 19 years-old. Boxell sent the son of Jc Wills out for his first career win on Aug. 22, 2010 with John McInerney riding.

Boxell trained the gelding for a year and once he was retired from the track, began riding him and teaching him the art of western horsemanship, "He can be really silly at times but he is a sweet horse."
Pegasos Willing is one of about 20 retired racehorses at Chillvally.

(Photo below - Pegasos Willing in action at Ajax Downs - photo courtesy of Dave Landry)


While Boxell dabbled in horse ownership a few years ago, she made time to start a career in veterinary medicine. She is a small animal vet technician these days at Northumberland Veterinary Services but she is never far away from Quarter Horse racing.

(Photo below - Jessica and Pegasos Willing sharing a special moment. Photo courtesy of Jessica Boxell)

And after a three year absence from the track, Boxell went to Oklahoma with trainer Scott Reid this past winter and came home with the 3-year-old filly One Dashin Rose, a maiden who had shown some promise in her first seven races.

One Dashin Rose made quite the impression in her first race at Ajax Downs for Boxell on June 4 when she won a Trial of the AQHA Maiden Challenge with ease. She is the 3 to 1 morning line favourite to win the Maiden Challenge final on June 18, a race with $29,660.

Certainly a good run by One Dashin Rose will ensure plenty of carrot treats for her special friend Pegasos Willing.


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