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Spider Red Takes On Web of World Class Competition

by Eryn Carter

It's fair to say Spider Red burst onto the scene and made an impression on everyone that saw this beautiful chestnut mare show. At only five years of age, Spider Red has proved that she will be a force to reckon with in the five-gaited division. This lovely mare, who is by the world's champion sire Attache's Thunderbolt and out of Maheiresred by Supreme Heir, is owned by Minna Hankin Mintz of Willow Brook Farm and trained by Mike Spencer of Gold Leaf Farm in Simpsonville, Ky.

She was purchased as a yearling from Kim Crumpler of Crumpler Stables Ltd in Simpsonville, Ky., and was later purchased by Minna Mintz’s husband and a friend as a coming two-year-old. Spencer has been her trainer since she was purchased as a yearling.

Describing her as a "game sister," Spencer knew that she was destined to be a gaited horse. Many fellow trainers and others in the business told Spencer that he should trim her, and put her in the three-gaited division, but he continued to train "Spider" for the gaited division. He felt like there was something there.

She started showing lightly late into her three-year-old season. She received a second place finish at the River Ridge Charity Horse Show in Columbus, Ohio, and a third place finish in the UPHA Three-Year Old Five-Gaited class at the Mercer County Fair. Along with those, she finished seventh in the Three-Year-Old Five-Gaited Mares class at Louisville.

In her four-year-old season she placed third in the junior/novice gaited class at the Penn National Horse Show in Harrisburg, Penn.

In 2004 came around, Spider Red blossomed. At the Devon Horse Show, she may have been the only one in the ring but she left an impression. At Penn National, she took a second place finish in both the Five-Gaited Open class and stake. Her biggest accomplishment to date came at the World Championship Horse Show. Spider Red was up against some of the biggest names in the five-gaited mare division.

"She gained tight," said Spencer. "She likes to show and do her thing... She can go." When she was called for the workout, Spencer thought she might have a chance. He said the longer she goes the better she gets.

Then the surprise of a lifetime came, a surprise that was 35 years in the making. Spencer and the mare had a show stopping performance after a four horse workout and were named the Five-Gaited Mare World's Champions. Spider Red proved she was destined for fame, both racking and trotting.

Owner Minna Mintz had quite a reaction to her beloved mare’s win.

"I was practically dead. It was the most exciting thing that has ever happened, "said Mintz. "She hadn’t been getting the attention or ribbons she deserved, so it was exciting. I had no idea whatsoever that she would win. I just wanted her to do well and be proud of her. I am very thankful to the judging panel and to everyone who cheered her on."

Personality wise, Mintz described her as a "perfect mare," who thinks of herself as a princess. Spencer said she’s quite funny at home. "You can’t walk by her stall with a whip, but she’s fine when you’re riding her," said Spencer. "She’s even better on the road."

She is a mare of many nicknames. Mintz calls her "princess beautiful", Nancy Spencer calls her "Peaches" and Mike Spencer simply calls her "Spider". And like many horses, her favorite treat is peppermints."She loves peppermints," said Spencer.

Mintz also had great praise for her mare's trainer. "He is [Spencer] an amazing trainer that loves and treats the horses like they’re his children," said Mintz.

Speaking of her beloved mare, "She’s [Spider Red] is the excitement of a lifetime. She’s so true-moving and just loves to show. It’s very exciting to be a part of her."

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