Decorated horse trainer chooses optimism after a series of losses

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Posted at 10:29 PM, Mar 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-10 23:22:32-05

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — The past few weeks for horse trainer Wesley Ward has been like riding the tide, drifting with the good and the bad.

"It's been a tough time," said Ward. "I'm not used to things coming like this."

In February, 12 of his most prized possessions were stolen from his home, including one trophy he received from the Queen of England.

Then this past Sunday, Ward lost three horses in a barn fire. One of those horses was Strike the Tiger, who delivered his first Royal Ascot Victory at Windsor Castle.

"First few days I was in shock and didn't really resonate. And now that it's resonated, you know he's gone and the way he died," Ward trailed off.

Even through the pain of the loss, on Thursday, Ward walked around with a smile.

"We got them back. So, you know, that brings a smile to my face and on such a beautiful day. So, we got 'em," said Ward.

Versailles police were able to recover seven of the twelve stolen trophies on Wednesday. But it came along with more bad news.

Most of the trophies were heavily damaged. Police say they were melted down to try to conceal the unique nature of the pieces so they could be sold.

Ward says he's just focused on how grateful he is to have them back.

"Most of them have the inscribed with the name of the race and the date so, that's what's very important."

He doesn't plan to have them replaced.

In balancing the good with the bad, he also found his center doing what he loves, spending time with his horses.

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"This is all I've done ever since starting 16-years-old. I wake up every day and come to the racetrack and get on the horses, and I couldn't imagine doing anything else," said Ward.

He's choosing to see the lesson in the ups and downs.

"Everyone has tough times, but tough times don't last, tough people, do," said Ward. "You just got to get up and keep moving. That's what you got to do every day."