Meet Your New Neighbors
March 4, 2023
Patty and Mike Harrington moved to Tehachapi in October, 2022 from Cypress, California, a community located in northwest Orange County where both of them owned and trained racehorses. When they finally decided to retire, they chose Tehachapi because their last colt had come to be raised and trained in the area by friends who had purchased him. Although they no longer own horses, they do have a darling little poodle named Pip.
Patty was raised in the San Juan Islands off the coast of the state of Washington. She said she has lived on Guemas Island, Decatur Island and Orcas Island. She has always loved animals, especially horses, and traded an accordion for her first horse. She began breaking horses at the age of 10 with four thoroughbreds. Patty said when she moved from Decatur Island to Guemas Island she moved all her animals on a fishing boat. Her dad put the horses on the boat for her but when she arrived at Guemas, the horses refused to get off the boat so she had to go on to Anacortes on the mainland for another transfer.
Breaking horses paid for her college education. She attended what is now Western Washington University. Some of these early horses she trained went on to be racehorses. She went to work at Longacres Race Track in Renton, Washington. She started exercising the horses in the morning and then started training and eventually owning her own racehorses. By 2022, horses she trained had earned over $3 million.
It was at Longacres in 1985 that she met and fell in love with Mike Harrington, who was the track veterinarian, and they got married. Between them they had five children, Mike with a boy and three girls and Patty with her daughter Abbey. They remained at Longacres until it closed in 1993 when they moved to Cypress, which was near Los Alamitos Racetrack. Mike began training racehorses when they moved to California. By California law he was no longer allowed to work as a veterinarian when he started training. Mike and Patty have owned and/or trained many horses since that time, racing at Los Alamitos, Hollywood Park and Santa Anita. To date, horses trained by Mike Harrington have earned over $30 million. Swiss Yodeler was one of his first in the 1990s and more recently he has worked with Hydrostatic and Creative Cause.
The couple sold their last colt last year to Shelley Bridges, a woman they had met at the racetrack. She was setting up a thoroughbred ranch in Tehachapi's Cummings Valley near Triassic Vineyards. At just a few months old, the colt made his debut at Triassic's Kentucky Derby party last year. Patty said that with his breeding, he could possibly be a Kentucky Derby contender. Patty and Mike Harrington are here to watch him grow up and hope he will live up to his breeding. His father is Clubhouse Ride and his mother is California Curl (sired by the well –known racehorse Curlin). His name is now Triassic Ride, and he will be sent off for training very soon, so stay tuned.
There is little doubt that Tehachapi residents will be hearing more from Mike and Patty in the future. A big "welcome" to both of you.
If you have moved to Tehachapi within the last six months, Hilltop Welcoming Service has a bag of information about the Greater Tehachapi area, including local activities, events, government and facilities. There are always a few coupons and gifts, as well. It is a great way to learn about your new community. Being part of this column is strictly optional. If you would like a visit from the Welcome Hostess, contact our office at (661) 822-8188.