September 2018 Writer \/\/ Janelle Morrison\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0 Photographer \/\/ Theresa Skutt and Conrad Photographs What would you do if you found yourself at a certain age in life with bountiful acreage, a boarding barn, a broodmare and a young colt? Keep in mind that you didn\u2019t buy into these things with any grandiose plans of becoming a racehorse owner, but what if, suddenly, you found yourself well positioned on one of life\u2019s fast tracks? Would you run like the wind alongside the possibilities? Two local ladies bound by one special horse did, and they are thoroughly enjoying the unexpected path that this horse is leading them on. Zionsville resident Shara Weaver and her business partner, Carmel resident Micki Roche, were brought together for a purpose in their lives, and they strongly believe that the purpose is to have as much fun as they possibly can with their business venture, 2OB (2 Old Broads), LLC. \u201cJohn and I bought our property, Stonegait Farm, in Zionsville seven years ago,\u201d Weaver said. \u201cThe owners had a boarding business there, and when they decided to move away, we had to find someone to manage the barn.\u201d Through a mutual acquaintance, Weaver and Roche were introduced. Roche has a background in managing a horse farm and caring for horses. Prior to meeting Weaver, she had a dream of one day having her own barn. \u201cWe became fast friends,\u201d Weaver said. Roche added, \u201cI came down for an interview, and we just hit it off.\u201d \u201cJohn and I never wanted to run a boarding business,\u201d Weaver shared. \u201cWe had a business in Chicago that took up most of our time, so within a few months of Micki being an employee, she had shared that she had some property and that, one day, she wanted to have her own barn. I asked her, \u2018Why don\u2019t you just have this barn? Rent it from us and run your business out of here?\u2019 It wasn\u2019t even a year after that when we started renting to her.\u201d Roche currently operates her boarding business, CTE Horsecoats, at Stonegait Farm in Zionsville. According to the two ladies, they had discussed the concept of breeding Standardbreds on the farm and selling them. With Roche\u2019s knowledge and experience with the breed, the two figured it would be fun, and it made sense. \u201cWe thought that we\u2019d buy a broodmare and have some babies on the farm,\u201d Weaver said. Then Roche added, \u201cWe didn\u2019t plan on keeping them. We were going to take them to the sale and sell them.\u201d The two created their partnership 2OB, LLC with the plan to breed and sell Standardbreds. That was the plan. What actually happened was these two ladies purchased Shannon Hall, a broodmare and retired racehorse, and not too long after, the ladies welcomed Shannon Hall\u2019s fifth foal and the ladies\u2019 first foal, Two O B Wonkenobi \u201cTobe\u201d to the farm. With the intention of consigning Tobe at the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale, the two traveled to Lexington and were optimistic about the really high prices that the horses were going for. But they learned that you just don\u2019t take your horse to the sale. To ensure that it is \u201cworthy\u201d of being sold at the Lexington sale, your horse must be vetted prior to. \u201cRandy Manges, the sales manager for Lexington Selected Yearly Sales Co., came up to see Tobe,\u201d Weaver said. \u201cNow, I\u2019m a business person, a salesperson, not a horse person. Shannon Hall\u2019s first foal sold for $85,000 ten years ago and had a decent career on the track. With that little bit of information, I had this high dollar value on Tobe. Randy came out and told us that we had a \u2018decent colt,\u2019 but it was obvious that he was underwhelmed.\u201d The partners engage in a conversation with Manges about what he thought they could get for Tobe at the sale, and his response knocked the wind right out of their sails. \u201cHe told us that we could probably get $35,000 to $40,000, and I was like \u2018Whoa,\u2019\u201d Weaver said. \u201cWe were thinking way north of that. Closer to $100,000. It\u2019s like when you have kids, you think that they are better than what everybody else thinks. He began asking questions that we should\u2019ve asked when we bought Shannon Hall. Questions like what\u2019s her breeding history? How many foals has she had, and what became of them? We know that she had four foals prior to Tobe, and we know that her first foal made a couple hundred thousand dollars, the second one a few thousand and we don\u2019t know what happened to the two foals after that. They have no winnings or track records.\u201d Before his departure, Manges left the partners with valuable advice. \u201cHe suggested that we need to create a \u2018story\u2019 if we want to make Tobe a $100,000 horse,\u201d Weaver said. \u201cHe also suggested that we could sell him in Ohio because he is Ohio-sired, and you get more money where a horse is sired. While that is true, I was kind of offended.\u201d \u201cAgain, just like one of your own kids, Tobe is ours, and we thought more highly of him,\u201d Roche said. \u201cManges also suggested that we put him in training. He said, \u2018If he\u2019s as good as you both think he is and he starts doing well on the track, then her next foal is going to be worth more, and you will be creating that story.\u2019\u201d Weaver added, \u201cWe never once thought about having a horse in training, let alone owning a racehorse. We were just going to have babies and sell them.\u201d With that fateful decision, the partners had to find a trainer for Tobe. Roche and her husband, Kevin, were already acquainted with one of Indiana\u2019s best trainers in harness racing, Ernie Gaskin. He and his wife, Darla, have a farm near Hoosier Park in Anderson, Indiana. Gaskin initially declined the request to train Tobe. He strictly trained only his horses. It took some convincing and a fateful phone call with Gaskin\u2019s wife before the couple agreed to take on Tobe and begin training him for the track. Fast forward, Tobe began his training two years ago in October and has proven to his owners and those who once graded him as \u201caverage\u201d that he is a champion horse. He recently won the Governor\u2019s Cup Trot August 4 at Scioto Downs in Columbus, OH, with a purse of $57,700. Now he is a contender for the upcoming Ohio Sires Stakes (OHSS) Championship at Scioto Downs that will be held September 8 and offers a $275,000 purse. As of August 27, Tobe has had 14 starts this year and 20 career starts. He has eight total career wins \u2013 six wins this year. \u201cOur trainer Ernie keeps saying, \u2018I don\u2019t think you ladies understand that this doesn\u2019t happen. You\u2019re spoiled,\u2019\u201d Roche said. \u201cBy deciding to race Tobe, Shara and I were hopeful that we could improve the story on Shannon Hall, so her foals that we sell would have more value while putting Tobe on a good path to make him successful.\u201d Both Weaver and Roche praise the Gaskins as well as his caretaker Dara Hatcher and his main driver Sam Widger for the level of care and compassion that they give Tobe. \u201cWe are responsible breeders,\u201d Weaver said. \u201cThere are breeding farms that just turn them out, and we aren\u2019t going to do that. We do everything that we can for the mare and the foal, and we pick the best sire to make sure that we have a good result at the end. Ernie, Darla and Dara respect the horses and take good care of them. Ernie\u2019s philosophy is to keep Tobe sound and conditioned, so at the end of the season when the sire stakes and big money races are coming up, Tobe is conditioned and prepared for those races.\u201d \u201cTobe\u2019s driver Sam knows when Tobe is in the lead that he can let off of him and let him coast,\u201d Roche said. \u201cHe doesn\u2019t drive him harder. Tobe enjoys being on the track. When a horse really likes their job, you can see it. If you look at the horses when they come up to the starting gate, they are prepared and are sizing up their competition. When the horses get a little too close to Tobe, he goes a little faster, and he doesn\u2019t want to lose. It\u2019s great to watch. He has such heart.\u201d Circling back to their pal Manges, Roche said that he has become a fan of theirs and of Tobe. \u201cRandy is happy for us,\u201d she said. \u201cAnytime we have questions, we can call him. He even came out to see Shannon Hall\u2019s newest foal Beaner and told us, \u2018I think this is the nicest yearling I\u2019ve seen so far this year.\u2019\u201d Tobe\u2019s brother Beaner will be track-ready next season. Weaver added, \u201cWe\u2019ll just be thrilled if he has any measure of the success that Tobe has had. But for now, we\u2019re just two old broads with our two old husbands, having the time of our lives.\u201d For more information on CTE Horsecoats, contact Micki Roche at 317-250-0318 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.