I purchased Bright Sparky as a yearling in 2004 from Tattersalls Autumn Sales. He was actually bred in Germany out of a mare called Braissim, an unraced daughter of Dancing Brave. His sire, Dashing Blade, was a dual Group 1 winner having won the Gran Premio D'italia Trofeo Saima in Italy and the National Stakes at the Curragh, as well as being placed in Group 1 company in Munich.
He was a lovely looking chestnut yearling with a big white face and we brought him back to Sheriff Hutton and put him into training to run on the flat in 2005, once he'd been gelded. He was to run in the colours of Graham Sparkes, so you can work the name out for yourself.
Bright Sparky started in maiden company and was progressively upped in trip to tackle hurdles. However, he remained a maiden throughout his two and three year old seasons before winning his first race at Musselburgh in January 2007, a novice handicap hurdle, for jockey Tom Greenall.
Like so many horses the first win was the key and he won again at Catterick in March, Tom again the successful jockey. The handicapper took a dim view and he was given a jumps rating of 101 for his troubles!
His hurdles mark was a marked contrast to his rating of 50 on the flat, and 2008 saw him run both on the all-weather and over hurdles before we decided to send him over fences.
Bright Sparky's chase debut came at Sedgefield in November 2008, trailing in second last ridden by Tom's brother, Oliver Greenall. Two more runs over fences followed without success before we switched him back to the flat to exploit his lowly mark of 48.
Oliver rode him on his flat comeback and he duly obliged in an Amateur Riders Handicap at Southwell in February, first time blinkers helping sharpen him up.
Back over fences, Sparky was a rare runner for us at Fakenham and it didn't end well, crashing out at the tenth. However, back over fences at Bangor later that year Sparky recorded his first and only steeplechase win, a 12 length victory at odds of 25/1.
This versatile horse was an owner's dream, he'd won on the flat, over hurdles and over fences. February 2010 came round and it was time to exploit his flat mark of 46, Serena Brotherton this time the successful jockey at Wolverhampton. Sparky only ran on the flat in 2010, and despite plenty of second places it was another year before he scored on the flat again in what proved to be his last victory.
After two more second places, Sparky took a crashing fall over timber at Huntingdon. It seemed to knock his confidence and after six more races, in which he was convincingly beaten each time, we decided to retire him.
Sparky retired from racing in 2011 and went to a fantastic new home, spending his next 3 years hacking round the country side and beaches of Dorset.
He is now owned by Kelly Ford, and in the last 12 months he has done several shows, and he qualified for the Aintree finals at novice class on his first showing class with a couple of placings showing and jumping also getting double clears in 1m classes.
His final career stats showed 59 races with six wins and ten places. He won on the flat, over hurdles and over fences. You can now follow Sparky on his Facebook page where Kelly keeps us updated with her pride and joy.