Ryan Hudson has always had an interest in Thoroughbred racing. But before beginning his racehorse ownership journey, Hudson and his future wife Emily got a glimpse of what was to come during a memorable day at the 2017 Kentucky Derby.

“That was our first big date, too. Ironically, we bet on the winner, Always Dreaming,” Hudson said. “Little did we know we would one day be in a partnership with West Point and go on to breed racehorses of our own.”

Two years after watching Always Dreaming win the Kentucky Derby, Hudson was presented an opportunity to take his enthusiasm into Thoroughbred ownership.

“We decided to buy into an ownership with West Point Thoroughbreds,” Hudson said. “We learned so much about the industry from them and just fell in love with the sport. [West Point CEO] Terry Finley was so very friendly and down to earth. The partnership really educated us in the business and we developed a passion for the horses. Then, we decided to venture out on our own.”

Prior, Hudson would take his family out to Tampa Bay Downs for fun on occasion. But one day as luck would have it, he met his now agent—Kentucky native Bill Murphy.

“We met Bill, and the rest was history. He had a horse for us before we even had a barn. That horse’s name is Maggie Simon and Maggie still lives on our farm today.”

Since acquiring their first horse, Hudson learned that in order to be successful in the racing industry, he needed to have hands in many different aspects of the business.

“We have been using Florida sires for the past couple of years and we have loved doing business with Pleasant Acres Stallions. We are blessed to have met Christine Jones there. She has made such a positive impression on us and she has been so supportive and helpful during stressful breeding seasons. We also have a lifetime breeding right to a stallion there, Magic on Tap,” Hudson said.

Today, Hudson’s Thoroughbred business consists of three broodmares, part ownership of an active racehorse, and a 2-year-old in training.

“Our 2-year-old is being trained in Reddick, Fla., by Scott Kintz. Scott and his family are amazing and we are so excited for this experience.”

As a racehorse owner, Hudson’s proudest moment was seeing his Florida-bred horses on the track—and seeing them win.

“It’s so rewarding to receive the Florida Breeders incentives and we are so appreciative of those incentives from FTBOA. Breeder’s awards are really so appreciated. One part of the business we find so gratifying is the transformation of the horses we breed. We just love watching them transform from foals to racehorses.

“Horses are such majestic animals and we love being around them and working with them every day. We love that this business is constantly changing and we are always learning. Our daughters, ages five and 11, both want to be vets one day and they love helping on the farm. We put all our blood, sweat and tears into our horses and we love every aspect of the business. We believe the human interaction is very important and has a major impact on their racing career. So we spoil our horses with a lot of love, affection and carrots. For us, this is more than just a business—horses are our life,” Hudson said.

Return to the July 9 issue of Wire to Wire