Swimbetweentheflags | Just Keep Swimming!

Swimbetweentheflags is a 2010 gelding by American sire, Live or Die, out of New Zealand mare, Caesar’s First. Trained by Greg and Skye Bond for the first half of his career, and then trained by Michael George, Swimbetweentheflags retired in 2018 with 99 starts, 13 wins, 13 seconds, nine thirds, and lifetime stake earnings of $118,274. Following retirement, Swimbetweentheflags (Nemo) was rehomed to Kirsty Papalia.

“I purchased Nemo shortly after he finished racing in 2018. I liaised with trainer, Michael George when obtaining Nemo, who I found to be straight forward, kind, and honest about Nemo. He wanted a good home for a horse who has such heart and is just easy to have around,” Kirsty said.

After taking Nemo home to her farm in Brunswick, Kirsty allowed Nemo to the chance to acclimatized before beginning his work. He proved to be a calm and relaxed fella, making working with him quite simple. Once adjusted, Nemo was re-mouthed and long lined under saddle to allow him to become accustomed to his new career, connecting verbal cues on the long line for trot to allow for a seamless transition once under saddle. Nemo was a fast learner and allowed Kirsty to ride him out on bush rides and trail rides (which he loved), slowly beginning to establish a canter in the arena.

“He was very accepting of everything and was doing walks around the farm on his second or third ride,” commented Kirsty.

While with Kirsty, Nemo was ridden along roads, out to the local bakery, and everything in-between. He wasn’t necessarily the bravest of horses, however, he tried hard to please and was always honest. After making the decision to move Nemo on in order to focus on educating her younger horse and other standardbreds, Kirsty was delighted to find the perfect home for Nemo with Nerida Pickup.

“Nemo and Nerida are the perfect partnership. She has continued to educate and take him out on adventures. I smile when I think back on Nemo; he is a goofy, plain type of horse that is worth his weight in gold,” said Kirsty fondly.

In 2020, Nerida Pickup came across an ad for Swimbetweentheflags on Facebook. Even though she had grown up within a family of trotting enthusiasts, with both sets of her grandparents and uncles heavily involved in the breeding, training, and driving of standardbreds, Nerida had never owned a Standardbred herself.

After observing the photo of Swimbetweentheflags tied up outside of the Dardanup bakery while Kirsty and her family had coffee and treats, Nerida was persuaded immediately to enquire about the gelding. After one ride, Nerida’s opinions on Standardbreds were changed completely and Nemo became the perfect 50th birthday present.

Nemo and Nerida have now been a team for three years. with the initial intention for him to get Nerida back into riding and to be used for the occasional trail and bush ride. Nemo’s impressive nature has exceeded all expectations, giving Nerida the confidence to return to more frequent riding with attendances at off the track clinics, adult riding, regular pole work and flatwork lessons, and fun family bush rides.

OTTWA wishes Nemo and Nerida all the best for the future!

  • Eric Lloyd Photography

  • Eric Lloyd Photography

  • Eric Lloyd Photography