Based in Indianapolis, Indiana, Michael and Sharon Kvistad of Prospect Farm are strong supporters of New Vocations with a passion for seeing their Thoroughbreds shine in second careers. One star on the rise in their stable is Stonestreet Stables graduate Irbywood, who now goes by the name of ‘Bear’.
Irbywood is a 2009 gelding by Indian Charlie and out of Teenage Temper. Stonestreet purchased him for $625,000 out of the 2011 Keeneland April Two-Year-Old’s in Training Sale. Irbywood raced twice in his career, finishing third on debut at Churchill Downs and scoring in a maiden special weight at Gulfstream Park by a confident length at the wire. Irbywood was retired following his win and, after a brief spell at our lay-up barn, was gelded and sent to New Vocations.
In 2014, Michael saw a video of Irbywood. He was drawn to his balance and natural athleticism and thought he had potential. Irbywood, an impressive physical at 16.2 hh, brought the “wow” factor with him when he stepped off the trailer. Irbywood exuded presence, intelligence, and self-confidence.
Michael describes Irbywood as a horse who “rides like a Cadillac, handles like a Porsche”, vaulting over jumps with a grace belied by his sizable frame. Irbywood’s love and enthusiasm for his work are evident in all that he does. He launches into each challenge with his ears pricked and eyes peeled for his next adventure. In addition to possessing power and vigorous enthusiasm for training, Irbywood has a love of peppermints and prefers to suck on rather than chew them to savor the flavor as long as possible.
Michael credits Irbywood’s accomplishments to the assistance of riders Michael Burnett and Robert Mendoza as well as a team that saw to his vet work, dental care, and chiropractic health. Though both Michael and Sharon are proficient in the saddle, they frequently call upon professional riders like Burnett and Mendoza to assess and prepare their green horses for the show ring. Their skilled hands and know-how help to set the horses up for success.
Irbywood began his show career in 2018 and was reserve champion in the open jumper class of the New Vocations Thoroughbred Show in September of that year. In 2019, he competed in several training jumper classes at open shows at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky and World Equestrian Center in Wilmington, Ohio. Irbywood most recently competed in the Split Rock Jumping Tour in Columbus, Ohio September 30th through October 4th, 2020. The Split Rock Jumping tour is a jumpers only tour with a series of shows across the United States. Split Rock served as Irbywood’s first test since early 2020, and he passed with flying colors, scoring 2 wins, 1 second, 1 third, 1 fifth, and 1 sixth.
Irbywood is on target to compete next in the Lake St. Louis Winter Festival at the National Equestrian Center during the first week in December. As for 2021 and beyond, Irbywood could go to the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Florida in January.
We wish Irbywood and his connections the best luck in the future!