Country House was not only the winner of the Kentucky Derby, he was also championing the Homes For Our Troops mission. Sentient Jet, a Directional Aviation company, sponsored thoroughbreds Omaha Beach and Country House to raise awareness about Homes For Our Troops and its mission to build and donate specially adapted custom homes for severely injured post-9/11 Veterans. Each thoroughbred donned a blanket bearing HFOT’s logo throughout the event. Omaha Beach, who was a top contender, was unable to compete due to a breathing problem on Wednesday night. Country House had almost the longest shot to win the Derby with 65-1 odds. Despite those odds, Country House made incredible time coming in second to tentative winner Maximum Security, but then took the top spot when Maximum Security was disqualified for interference.
Sentient Jet hosted HFOT Veterans Army Specialist Brett Bondurant, Marine Corporal Travis Echols, Marine Staff Sergeant Matthew Wheeler, and Army Sergeant Richard “Tony” Doyle at Churchill Downs several days before the race where they got a chance to meet the horses. Retired NFL player and longtime HFOT support Jacob Tamme joined Homes For Our Troops Veterans and staff at the track.
Omaha Beach is a Kentucky-bred three-year old colt owned by Fox Hill Farm and trained by Richard Mandella and was a leading contender in the race before he dropped out of the derby. Country House, owned by Guinness McFadden and trained by William Mott, has finished in the top three of his past six career races and qualified for the Kentucky Derby with a third-place finish at the Arkansas Derby in Oaklawn Park.
The partnership between Homes For Our Troops and Sentient Jet began last year when the company sponsored Combatant in the 2018 Kentucky Derby followed by Tenfold at the 2018 Preakness Stakes and 2018 Belmont Stakes.
Relive the special moment when Country House’s team, Sentient Jet, Jacob Tamme and our very own HFOT Veterans found out he was the winner in the video below!