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Woman puts motel's pet-friendly policy to the test — with a horse

by Scott Stump /

Lindsey Partridge was checking into a Super 8 motel in Kentucky earlier this month when the people in front of her paid a pet fee so they could bring their dog in the room.

Partridge then decided to jokingly test the boundary of the pet-friendly policy. Could she bring a horse in her room?

"The receptionist kind of said kiddingly, 'Oh I wouldn't care; you could bring them in,''' Partridge told TODAY. "I was like, 'Seriously? Because I will totally take you up on that offer.'''

Partridge, who owns the training program Harmony Horsemanship in Ontario, Canada, had brought three horses to Kentucky to compete in the Retired Racehorse Project’s Thoroughbred Makeover competition from Oct. 5-8 in Lexington.

She figured bringing a horse into the room for a few minutes at the Super 8 in Georgetown, Kentucky, was a chance to dispel stereotypes of thoroughbred racehorses.

"Racehorses are known for being really crazy and hot-headed, and unfortunately a lot of them end up at the slaughterhouse because of it,'' she said. "I'm just really trying to show people that if you take the time to develop this calm connection with them, they're amazing. You can do things that you wouldn't even think you could do with them."

Like, for instance, take them into a motel room. She went to her trailer in the parking lot and brought out a horse named Blizz, who was the closest horse to the door, to join her in a room on the first floor.

The 5-year-old horse raced 17 times under the name Here Comes Adri in tracks across the United States, earning $70,000 before retiring from racing.

Partridge's father filmed a video of her jokingly checking Blizz in at the front desk, and then took some photos — showing her and the horse watching TV in the room — that she posted on Facebook.

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As fellow motel guests took photos and videos of the unusual scene, Partridge wasn't worried about Blizz potentially ringing up a big cleaning bill with an ill-timed bathroom break in the room.

"Most of the time when horses go to the bathroom during a performance or something like that, it's usually because they're nervous,'' she said. "By the fact that I keep my horses really calm, I really don't have to worry about it the same way that other people do. We were ready, though, with a garbage bag and a pitchfork on standby just in case."

The horse was only in the room for a few minutes to take some pictures before Partridge drove all three horses to stay at the more appropriate Kentucky Horse Park, which presumably also has free HBO.

It turned out to be a successful trip to Kentucky, as Partridge's horses took the top three spots in the trail competition, with Blizz finishing third.

Partridge also wanted to make sure the unidentified receptionist didn't get into any trouble by emphasizing that the horse was only briefly in the room.

"We here thought it was funny,'' Paul Patel, the owner of the Georgetown location, told TODAY in an email.

"It was just silly and fun,'' Partridge said. "I was just trying to show that thoroughbreds are really good horses and after the racetrack, they don't have to be discarded."

Follow TODAY.com writer Scott Stump on Twitter.

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