Animal Doctor USA

Postcard from Saratoga Springs

Jessica Paquette has built a busy life as a handicapper, an analyst, an equestrian and a friend to retired racehorses.

Jessica Paquette, communications director for the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation, visited Brickbat, left, and My Teddy Bear, who are wearing fly masks, at Bloomfield Farm in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. 
Jessica Paquette, communications director for the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation, visited Brickbat, left, and My Teddy Bear, who are wearing fly masks, at Bloomfield Farm in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.  Credit... Cindy Schultz for The New York Times

Joe Drape

Aug. 31, 2021

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. — Jessica Paquette calls herself a “weird horse girl.” She was 6 when she was first entranced by them, at a New England fair. They were so big, but gentle enough for her to reach up and rub their noses.

She wanted them in her life.

Her family was working class, making the life of a young equestrian out of reach. But a nearby racetrack, Rockingham Park, in Salem, N.H., became her classroom. She studied the horses up close as a hot walker, getting up before dawn to cool them down.

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