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View Full Version : Trainers: If one of your former horses was just pulled from the kill pen...



Kelly in NJ
Nov. 23, 2009, 07:05 PM
Hi,

I am new to the racing forum...

If you are/were a trainer, and a horse that you formerly owned and/or trained was just rescued from the kill pen at an auction, (or was in immediate danger of going to slaughter) would you want to know?

Is there a chance that you would want the horse back if he/she had fallen on hard times?

I'm curious because I am planning on volunteering with a group that goes to a local auction and tries to find homes for the horses that are headed for slaughter.

I thought it might be a good idea to research the tattoos of the TBs and try to contact any former owners or trainers to see if they might want to adopt the horse back, or if they might foster or find the horse a new home. Do you think this would be well received? Or would some/most trainers be insulted if they were contacted?

Thank you so much for your opinions. You just hear so many stories about horses going to slaughter when there was a former owner who would have taken them back, but had no idea of the horse's bad turn of luck.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thank you again!

Laurierace
Nov. 23, 2009, 07:38 PM
I don't know of any rescue that pulls horses from the kill pen that doesn't contact owners and/or trainers of the horses they rescue so you aren't exactly inventing the wheel. Its met with mixed emotions, some are horrified and can't wait to do whatever is necessary to make sure the horse is in a safe situation and some couldn't care less. I personally would definitely want to know.

Las Olas
Nov. 23, 2009, 07:39 PM
I would take the horse back, reimburse the rescue's expenses and be very grateful that someone was paying attention.

EquineRacers
Nov. 23, 2009, 07:41 PM
If they are just the trainer, I'd say they probably wouldn't want the horse back and would rather not know. What I would do if I were you, is look up and contact the breeder! Sometimes you will get one that will take the horse back since it had fallen on hard times.

DickHertz
Nov. 23, 2009, 08:19 PM
Unfortunately, most breeders do not take them back. Probably have better luck with the racing connections.

BeverlyAStrauss
Nov. 23, 2009, 08:53 PM
We have gotten all sorts of reactions from a variety of former connections- we just approach it as "thought you might like to know"- educational more than anything else- bc you never know who actually sent the horse, etc. Some people are glad we called, some sad, some angry- you just never know. I too wish someone had called me about my old runner who in spite of my best efforts, and with my info written in big black sharpie on his papers, went to kill.

Barbara L.
Nov. 23, 2009, 09:13 PM
I would think that a polite, informative (not, "hey, your horse was just found in the kill pen, I am going to publicize this if you don't pay the $600 it costs to get him back, or put it on my website") would be ok, but be prepared for very few people to be able to, or want to, step up to the plate to help.

It is a business to most people, and buying back or supporting a noncompetitive horse is not usually in the business plan.

My other word of advice? Don't give the rescues a bad name by badgering the kill buyers/dealers. We need them to work WITH us, on the rare occasion that we can get help to save the horse.

Good luck, it often can make you lose your faith in human nature...but the times you get help make it all worth it!

Pronzini
Nov. 23, 2009, 09:20 PM
Most trainers are small businesses operating on a month to month basis. Usually they worked with a horse for a fee years ago and maybe for only a short time. Sometimes they can or want to help but often its no different than most people on this board who would blanche if another horse (and another horse's board and expenses) were dropped on them suddenly--never mind one that they would be expected to buy.

barrelchick00
Nov. 24, 2009, 12:16 AM
I would want to know. I lost my barrel mare years ago and have never found her. She may have went to slaughter and I would have gladly taken her back. Good luck and thanks for your interest in helping the horses!!

Kelly in NJ
Nov. 24, 2009, 05:59 AM
Thank you to everyone for your input.

I'm not saying that I had a new idea or anything! Just that I had not done it before and was interested on opinions. :winkgrin:

Of course I would be polite and would try to contact the breeder as well as any trainers or owners that were listed on the equineline.com reports. I was thinking that even if they did not want to take the horse back themselves, they may know someone who knew the horse (exercise rider, groom, etc.) that may be able to take him back.

Actually, I have one now who will be safe, but I think I will call the trainer anyway to see if they know of someone who would like to take the horse in!

Ishi
Nov. 24, 2009, 10:06 AM
Thank you to everyone for your input.


I was thinking that even if they did not want to take the horse back themselves, they may know someone who knew the horse (exercise rider, groom, etc.) that may be able to take him back.

I'm not a trainer or owner, just an exercise rider, but I think it's a good idea. There are some horses I gallop that I had strong attachments too. It's hard, the job is just to ride the horses every morning, and you never know when it's going to be there or leave. Some you do, some you don't, and some I really miss. So I do think it's a good thing to do, you might not get an overwhelming response to yes, I'll take him back tomorrow, but I think you are on that the breeder, owner, or trainer might know someone who would be interested. That said, it's a very fluid business, people come, people go, horses too, but you never know until you ask.

Quite a few years ago I spent about 10 months tracking down an OTTB that I owned that was "stolen" off a free lease, he did end up at Centennial Auction, with his papers (I was his last listed owner, all info was correct on them), NO ONE called me, his tattoo was legible and he had a distinctive marking. I was devastated to learn this. Took about 5 more months, thousands of dollars, but I got him back! If someone like you had been there, it would have been so nice (shocking though, I didn't know he wasn't still at his free lease, I had just gotten a nice update on him) to have just been able to get him home then. Good luck, I hope you have many happy endings!

Bacchus
Nov. 24, 2009, 10:22 AM
When rescuing, you can also check out www.horsereunions.com and The Responsible Breeders List: http://horsereunions.com/welcome/list.html

soccermom711
Nov. 24, 2009, 04:29 PM
I wish it was mandatory to notify former owners/breeders before being sold at auction. And yes, I know that's a pipe dream. It would be nice if there was a database where horses going to Auction would need to be listed, say 30 days prior to being able to go to Auction. If the database was managed similarly to a program like the Virtual Stable, as an owner/breeder you could simply enter all of your former horses names and be automatically notified if they were listed as going to auction.

Ok -- before you tell me I'm silly and it's impossible -- I get it. :o

foundationmare
Nov. 24, 2009, 05:55 PM
Soccermom,

I don't think it's silly at all! In my opinion, owner and trainers are not so much responsible, but breeders are. I find it unconscionable that any breeder deliberately makes a foal (it wouldn't be in existence if not for them) and then drops the ball on their disposition when their racing career is over (or, perhaps, never started). It is beyond sad that many of these horses reach a point when nobody gives a sh$$ about them anymore and they slip through the cracks.

I've taken the position that every horse has worth and not a single one deserves to endure pain, abuse, starvation or neglect because SOMEONE is responsible for their existence. I understand that there are no magic wands in the horse world, but we, the compassionate, responsible ones, should not be complacent or bullied into believing that we're silly to want the best for all of them.

DickHertz
Nov. 24, 2009, 07:31 PM
I wish it was mandatory to notify former owners/breeders before being sold at auction. And yes, I know that's a pipe dream. It would be nice if there was a database where horses going to Auction would need to be listed, say 30 days prior to being able to go to Auction. If the database was managed similarly to a program like the Virtual Stable, as an owner/breeder you could simply enter all of your former horses names and be automatically notified if they were listed as going to auction.

Ok -- before you tell me I'm silly and it's impossible -- I get it. :o

Where there's a will, there's a way

up-at-5
Nov. 24, 2009, 11:04 PM
Soccermom,

I don't think it's silly at all! In my opinion, owner and trainers are not so much responsible, but breeders are. I find it unconscionable that any breeder deliberately makes a foal (it wouldn't be in existence if not for them) and then drops the ball on their disposition when their racing career is over (or, perhaps, never started). It is beyond sad that many of these horses reach a point when nobody gives a sh$$ about them anymore and they slip through the cracks.

I've taken the position that every horse has worth and not a single one deserves to endure pain, abuse, starvation or neglect because SOMEONE is responsible for their existence. I understand that there are no magic wands in the horse world, but we, the compassionate, responsible ones, should not be complacent or bullied into believing that we're silly to want the best for all of them.

I agree 100%^^^

lolalola
Nov. 24, 2009, 11:09 PM
Even if a breeder or former owner is not the position to take them back, perhaps they could contribute something to the horse's upkeep at the rescue. Every little bit helps.

WinterTriangle
Nov. 25, 2009, 03:13 AM
Where there's a will, there's a way

For me, you hit on it.

I've noticed in my life that the things people make a priority get handled.

I'm also a good businesswoman. And I understand jetisoning divisions that aren't profitable, etc.

However, I believe spiritually, practically, philosophically and ethically, that when entering a business in which the product involves living beings, we must be held to a much higher standard.

Anyone who can't hack that -----shouldn't dip their feet into the water. There are a billion other ways to make a living, and to make $.

soccermom711
Nov. 25, 2009, 09:13 AM
Interesting:cool: I posted in the minutes before I had to head out the door and I was sure my "idea" would be met with alot of negativity and reasons why it couldn't be done.

I have to honestly say I'm only vaguely familiar with the regulations and record keeping that goes along with auctions. Who would logically step in to enforce the need for all horses going to auction/slaughter be registered and/or have a waiting period? From what I can see, that would be the biggest hurdle towards getting a database established. Otherwise, anyone who has ever used Virtual Stable knows it's amazingly easy to enter a horse's info and be notified whenever they work out or are entered to race.

I know we're a small operation, and as such, we are connected to each and every horse we own/breed. We currently have a racer we're thinking of retiring listed on dreamhorse, and even though we're requiring references and I am making it clear he is always welcome back, I know there are no guarantees. We've probably only had him for approximately 2 1/2 years now and he means alot to us. I can tell you I'd DEFINITELY want to know if one of our "babies" was going to auction. I'd be there in a heartbeat.

Acertainsmile
Nov. 27, 2009, 10:06 AM
As an owner/trainer/breeder I would want to know, and then bring them home!

danceronice
Nov. 27, 2009, 01:46 PM
I just had a very friendly, prompt response from Karakorum Racing asking for information about Karakorum Patriot, who's for sale via the Finger Lakes trainer listings (anyone want a nice old ten-year-old earner of $300k lifetime in need of a new job, btw? Check out the trainer listings at Finger Lakes Thoroughbred Adoption Program, he may be headed for the Caribbean if he doesn't sell.) While I wasn't asking for money or for them to take the horse, they were very happy to reply and give me more background on him and an opinion about temperament, and were concerned that he not go to the kill pen. Never hurts to ask.

Jessi P
Nov. 27, 2009, 02:13 PM
Remember the trainer is not always the owner - the horse is making money for the owner NOT the trainer unless the horse is being trained on a "deal" - or a % of it's earnings. You will have your best success with the breeder or owner.

CSSporthorses
Nov. 27, 2009, 07:17 PM
I acquired a beautiful gray mare from DickHertz. I think it was a 2-4 month process as he wanted to be certain she had a perfect home lined up before her final race. We stayed in contact, he called me when she finished her last race, and I picked her up the next morning and headed home. He asked me before I even met her, could you please let us know if you cannot keep her. We'll take her back. He didn't want to see his mare go through New Holland. I agreed 100%. Its very rare I have an owner, let alone a trainer, offer to take the horse back if our situation changes in any way. I always offer to keep in contact, send pics and/or emails, and usually get an "uh huh, ok" ... I have one mare from Charlestown, literally pulled from her stall as the slaughter van pulled up (luckily I hit no traffic in my very long drive to get her). I stay in contact with the gentleman who called about her, but he's just an owner for this trainer. I adopted a beautiful mare off LeightonFarm site and stay in contact with her old owner all the time. In fact, she's hoping to be able to come down this spring and visit her, first time she'll see her in person since 03/07; a day I broke down in tears as I watched this woman load her into the trailer, throw her arms around her neck, and cry into her mane. Personal situations lead to heartbreaking moments.

On Feb 15 we will celebrate the 1 yr anniversary of Diva's (DickHertz mare) retirement. Who received her new name the minute she stepped off the trailer, shook her head and mane, side stepped a puddle, and daintly walked into the indoor. Mind you, a week later she slept in a huge mud puddle and refused to get up or shake, I guess retired life suits her well. Unless personal situations get in our way, she'll have a pasture for life. If that moment ever comes, I'll do the right thing. Notify Dick, plus my other connections who LOFF her, if they cannot take her back.

Our newest arrival, a chestnut from Penn, is still a work in progress, my hardest case yet. She came wired with an attitude, a horribly displaced slab fracture (which was 4 weeks in and too old to surgically repair without further damage), 3 legged lame, teeth that hadn't been done since who knows when, and huge lacerations on both sides of her mouth. To date, I have a "sound (for her)" mare, with a new found attitude, a much happier mouth, and slowly gaining weight (finally). We still revert occasionally into our chestnut mare 'tude, but a quick reprimand and I have immediately have an in my pocket mare.

I simply love our OTTB's, they're the best thing we've ever been around. Bravo to all those trainers/owners who wish to be notified if their horse is found/pulled from the kill pen. But to the OP, please beware, especially in this econonmy, most will be unable to take them back. Its sad but true right now. But to Laurie and Dick, whom I've personally delt with, thank you both for everything you do to help secure a future for your horses or horses that you know of. Lastly, on a very personal note ~ my first bred gelding is now 11 and packing a junior rider around. He will most likely be handed down to her sister. I always stay in contact with the COTH'er I sold him (she has another of mine as well) and just found his new owner on Facebook. I did put the offer out there, with every contact information I have, that when it came time for his retirement, if they could not keep him during his golden years, I'd be more than happy to provide his home for his final years. She was very happy and promised to keep in touch. Will I ever have Quest on my farm again, probably not, but knowing not everyone is able to keep a retired horse, I offered. I put him on this earth, its my duty to protect him through his final days ...

laserRob
Nov. 29, 2009, 04:02 AM
Reunited........

Horse and former trainer.

http://www.philly.com/inquirer/sports/20091128_Ex-Phillies_reliever_s_greatest_save.html#comments

pnalley
Nov. 29, 2009, 07:28 PM
laserrob,

Great story!

Delaware TB
Dec. 3, 2009, 08:35 PM
I've trained, owned, bred, and reschooled TBs as riding horses. Any horse that has been with me always has a home if they are in trouble ( except for that percheron I bought my BF!).

danceronice
Dec. 3, 2009, 10:52 PM
Proof that it never hurts--the breeders of Karakorum Patriot and Midnight Secret, and the Karakorum Racing syndicate are paying to ship Patriot and Midnight to Old Friends' new facility in Saratoga (Patriot at least was in real danger of being sold off to Puerto Rico, Midnight was twelve and being given away.) So even if the old owner, breeder, or trainer can't help, it doesn't hurt to drop them a note.