Just read this about the local Track and the end of a horse's career in racing. Amazing number of starts, and the fact that horse seems to have "paid his way" over the years. Sounds like a real nice horse.
There is a mention of an old-fashioned remedy for a hoof bruise in the article, that could be of interest to folks with that problem, even if it grosses you out! Seems to have worked for this horse, and in a fairly short time too.
Was a full field (I think 3 had to scratch last minute with the storm) and I love those old campaigners who eek out a living that long in a very demanding sport. Longest I was able to campaign a trotter was 12 years old before he started showing signs of slowing down and losing interest, he became a nice trail and pleasure driving horse.
I've had old timers on the track bring in buckets of cow poo and it works, not sure what is in there but for an abscess or bruise that just doesn't heal this stuff works.
Husband is a Farrier, trained with Track horses WAY back when he started out. He said the cow poo is mixed with Epsom Salts. This could vary between Trainers, each has a "recipe" for that packing mix and it does seem to work pretty well at getting a horse back sound again.
I think it's an racing association rule for STBs that they MUST be retired at that age. (A rule the TB people, sadly, don't seem to need.) A tribute to the hardiness and soundness of most STBs.
I read a story once that a STB trainer speculated that the STB trainers' conditioning practices contributed to their horses' longevity, and he said that he'd like to have a knowledgeable TB trainer pick out and buy an auction TB and let the STB trainer condition it, and see whether that made a difference. Don't imagine that every happened, but it's an interesting thought. I may love my Appies, but I've known several STBs, and they are WONDERFUL horses.
There's been a few STB people who try their hands at TBs and the results are mixed. Most TBs cannot hold up to the amount of miles a STB puts on, for example I trained my STBs an average of 5-7 miles of jogging and they trained 3 days prior to racing 2-3 miles of warm up and an easy training mile (pacers around 2:35 my trotters 2:45-2:55 it's a rare horse that needed more tightening with a quicker mile or if I needed it I'd go two trips with the 2nd trip in a racebike going 2:12-2:15) with nice jog miles going into the race and I usually jogged 1-2 miles in the morning race day just to keep them relaxed and stretch their legs.
Unfortunately, most TBs cannot handle anything close to those miles but STB people I've found as a general rule take better care of their horses back at the barn. Lots more attention, bandages on legs, massages, and lots of grazing/handwalking. That makes a ton of difference right there, I've been to TB barns where there wasn't a bandage to be found on a leg unless they were lame/recovering. You cannot keep a horses legs in good condition just with poultice alone.
I currently have 2 STBs and an OTTB mare and I will say it, Standardbreds are my favorite breed, athletic and sane you just cannot beat the versatility either. I've seen Standards doing everything from police work, driving, jumping, dressage, to western and even cow events. Standards have an extra gait and many go in gaited classes and dominate speed racking. Not many breeds can do all that and be mostly bred for racing as I cannot think of a single "sport" Standardbred breeder while I know dozens of "sport" TB breeders.
A Tb could easily trot 5-7 miles every day and hold up. Galloping and racing is obviously a different story. I hope this horse is still valued in his mandated retirement. Not sure why it says the track is retiring him though as that is obviously not the case.