Retired music industry businesswoman Jessica Brady used to work for well-known bands like Marilyn Manson, P!NK, Aerosmith, The Kills, Amos Lee, Godsmack, Metallica, and Bruce Springsteen.

But today, she is a mom, racehorse owner, and chief groom to her own horses. 

“I grew up in New Hampshire, and had an Arabian mare who I swear was the fastest horse I have even ridden. I loved horses so much that I didn’t care what I had to do as long as I could learn and be around them,” Brady said of her childhood. 

Thanks to her neighbor, Brady got her first taste of horse racing. 

“My neighbor, Frank Davis, had Standardbreds trotters and pacers who pull a sulky. At one point, I did try to hook my Arab up to one – and no, it didn’t go over well! Frank raced mostly in Maine and at some of the local fairs, and I would help after school, on weekends, or any free moment I had. I went to the races with him so often that most people at the track would say ‘tell your dad that was a great race’ but I never corrected them, because anyone would have lucky to have Frank as a dad,” said Brady. 

Years later, Brady went to Spring Garden Ranch in Deland, Fla. and worked with Davis for the winter season. 

“We brought six horses down that year. Some of which were owned by Frank, some by his son Michael, and a few by my now husband Pat about 12 years before we got married. In Deland, I met so many great trainers from all over. I also was fortunate enough to spend time in London, Ontario, at a farm that had a training and breeding operation. During this time, a Hall of Famer Standardbred trainer named Ivan Sugg reached out and wanted to send horses to us in Canada. Ivan would comment about the horses I was exercising in Deland because they were dappled, hand grazed, and treated more like show horses that the typical racehorse,” Brady said. 

About a two years later, Sugg asked Brady to take horses to Mohawk Racetrack in Ontario and care for them. Sugg won the Triple Crown that same year with a horse named No Pan Intended.

With her experience in racing world, it’s no surprise that Brady eventually became a Standardbred racehorse owner herself. 

“My first racehorse was Standardbred named Taylorlane Brinley. She was gangly like a teenager and had a win under 2 minutes with her old owner the night I bought her as a 2-year-old,” Brady said. 

Taylorlane Brinley was sadly injured later and had to put her down.

“I went out and bought her sister Taylorlane Diva after that, who made some money and then became a broodmare for someone else. My music business job took me away too much at the time, and I didn’t want to leave my horses with a trainer if I wasn’t there too.”

But Brady found her way back to the racing world. A standardbred racehorse that has remained special to Brady and her now husband over the years is a horse they called Hit. 

“Tremendous Hit, or ‘Hit’ as we called him, was partially owned by my now husband was as honest as they come. My friend and I had him in Canada, and entered him in a 3-race series. Since his owners wanted out of racing just before the series began, someone bought him but kept him at our barn. Hit swept the series and my husband will never live that down since he was one of those owners! His last win before he was sold was a dead heat, and we took the picture with both horse’s face to face in the winner’s circle,” Brady recalls. 

Eventually, Brady made her way to The Horse Capital of the World and the Thoroughbred racing world as well.

“I usually went to New Hampshire when I was off tour, but in 2021, my life changed and I wanted to be in a place that was warm and where I could have horses. I recalled going to Ocala with a woman named Ingrid Shaw (Gsottschneider) when she first moved there. When I eventually started looking for 10-acre farm, I saw Starting Gate Farm and fell in love with it and the dream – I only wish Ingrid had still been alive to see it.”

When Brady bought her farm in Ocala, now renamed Copper City Equine, it came with a 1988 retired horse named Bold Reign aka Puffy. 

“He had lived there on and off since he was a yearling, and he became a great teacher for the yearlings. I love the owners I purchased the farm from because they cared about the horse enough to keep him there with their farm manager, who also thankfully stayed on with us,” 

Brady then bought a few horses at the Keeneland sale in November 2021. 

“Our farm manager in Ocala, Edward Williams, broke the horses and got them ready to go to the track with me as the groom. Recently, my husband and I did decide to list the main training center for sale as it was just too much for us and Mr. Williams. My husband then asked Todd Pletcher if he would take a horse for us, and we were turned down. However, my husband does not like to be turned down! So, he wrote Todd a handwritten letter, and now Cptbobsbtwentynine, a $7,000 weanling, is being trained by Pletcher – and you better believe the announcers mention his purchase price. He was injured last year and took a break, but he is back to the races and just needs a good trip. We are hoping 2024 is his year. We are giving the other horses we bought more time to grow, and they now have a new owner,” Brady said. 

Brady still has high hopes for a couple of her weanling purchases, even though she now no longer owns them.

“I do see bright futures for She’s Practical and a Carravagio, a 2yo who has a half-sister who is doing great!”

“Ocala is the place to be no matter what breed you have, and for me who likes to have a couple breed options,” adds Brady.

Return to the April 9 issue of Wire to Wire