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Beware of some OTTB sellers, Churchill Hunt Club

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  • Beware of some OTTB sellers, Churchill Hunt Club

    I am bringing this up for all future OTTB buyers. As I have read throughout the past many Threads are on new purchase of TB or looking at a OTTB to buy or can I trust the Trainer of the OTTB.
    I am a owner of 4 OTTB's and retrained them myself and have won many Championships in the ring with them.
    Never had a problem with the Trainers or Breeders of the horses as I went through CANTER" website.
    So on my 5th OTTB I saw one advertised through a Thouroghbred trainer, who buys the horses from the track and starts them in training to resell quickly.
    The farm is in Kentucky named Churchhill Hunt Club now Churchhill Thouroghbreds.
    The ad said this: Black 17.1 hands gorgeous Thourghbred
    had a very nice photo of him standing looked well groomed and taken in the summer.
    Also, stated the training is going well he is a large sweet horse.

    Long story short and few e-mails back and forth I asked for updated photos and if a stick had been put to the horse.
    Sandy the trainer and owner said no had not but I know he is 17 plus hands. I never did get a updated photo.
    So we went ahead and purchased the horse a gelding. Before, you start shaking your heads because I know you are. The main reason we were interested in this horse is because we had his half brother. The breeding was AP Indy out of Storm Cat. But I trusted Sandy and what she was saying because she was trying to bring the TB back to the show ring.

    WELL the horse arrived 1 week later. Off the trailer he came and my husband and I just about fainted and steamed came out of my head. The driver hands me the horse and says "Looks like he is getting a better home poor guys needs some TLC." I wanted to put him back on the trailer.

    We got: a Dark Brown, 4" length of coat, with some kind of skin desease, 16.2 hands and about 300lbs underweight. And, mud caked all over the the body and on the halter. The horse looked like he hadn't been touch in 3 months. Just turned out and forgotten. This was in January.
    PS... the horse knew nothing but to run back to the barn.

    So to all of the future buyers of OTTB Beware.
    "An ordinary trainer cannot hear a Horse speak, a Good trainer can, a Great trainer can hear them whisper and a Top Trainer can HEAR them Think." John O'Leary

  • #2
    So sorry to read this, but is he better now? Put on weight?


    • #3
      I'm sorry, but... you purchased a horse sight unseen, without new pictures, and that had never had a stick put to it to verify its height?

      And you're blaming the horse's seller for that? Color me confused.
      Trying a life outside of FEI tents and hotel rooms.


      • #4
        Why didn't you contact the local vet in the area and ask for a simple PPE to be done ?

        then... while at it, have the vet verify with pictures, I'm sure they would have been glad to send a tx photo or two...and betcha even a 30 second video could have been taken to verify your approval!
        Im sure they would have be glad to stick this horse as part of the PPE, plus witness any transaction between you and the seller.

        This was bad business on Your part firstly --! and now you are really acting badly in slamming OTTB's as a whole for this.
        I restart tb's and am confronted by buyers like you all the time.. I even have a TopTen List >Im sure some savvy COTH'er can find that thread! which includes.... What state are you in?
        I inform potential buyers There Are some standard procedures to follow when buying sight unseen and are so to avoid misunderstandings such as yours.

        Im sure you are rightly disappointed in your purchase, however, you now own a horse that, by your own admittance, needs some care -- I do hope you give it, retrain, and either, find you really do have a nice horse...or resell to an appropriate new home.
        Regardless of all, congratulations on your new horse and good luck.

        ps: I have an A.P.Indy daughter, I think you'll find a gem
        OTTB's ready to show/event/jumpers. Track ponies for perfect trail partners.


        • #5

          Just sayin'...
          * What you release is what you teach * Don't be distracted by unwanted behavior* Whoever waits the longest is the teacher. Van Hargis


          • Original Poster

            I want to clarify that we did get the correct horse in the picture. We checked his tattoo and of course his markings.

            Yes, I do blame some part on myself for not waiting for the updated pictures. But I am trusting the person who says she is a trainer of TB for many years would know what a 16 hand and 17 hand horse looks like along with what Brown and Black is.

            I see it as she was trying to unload this horse quick due to his behaviour.

            He is now at a healthy weight his brown coat is shiny.
            "An ordinary trainer cannot hear a Horse speak, a Good trainer can, a Great trainer can hear them whisper and a Top Trainer can HEAR them Think." John O'Leary


            • #7
              Not sure vetting would have made any difference here. Their website says they only allow horses to be vetted by an "approved vet". Meaning, their own. Run.


              • #8
                this is why you do your homework and buy from someone that has a good rep for selling ottb's. there are plenty of people here in florida and the surrounding areas that do. sorry you got had, but florida is a buyer beware state. there are honest,professional sellers out there. i don't do this as a fulltime job, i do it because i love it and am good at putting the right horse with the perfect person. i work 60 hrs a week at a job, do the selling horses on the side.i love what i do.

                ride it like you stole it! "ralph hill"


                • #9
                  A big red flag for me would be that, according to their website, you can only do a PPE using a vet they provide! Yikes!


                  • #10
                    I hope the horse works out for you in the long run.

                    FYI, there are a lot of great sources for OTTBs, and many honest people who deal in them. You didn't do yourself a favor by not getting current photos/videos, not going to see the horse and not having a PPE done. Heck a 2 minute search on COTH would have told you all you needed to know.

                    FYI, TB trainers are NOTORIOUS for overestimating height. I think that it is because none of them own measuring sticks, not because of dishonesty. If a TB person tells me a horse is 16.2, I know it's gonna be about 16 hands. When buying OTTBs, carry your own measuring stick with you if you care about height.


                    • #11
                      I have talked to this trainer before over the phone when I was shopping for a new horse and the minute she told me a vet of my choice or pretty much any vet that wasn't hers wouldn't be allowed to even see the horse I politely bowed out and ran as fast as I could. That combined with the terrible things I had read on this forum and others told me I should be looking elsewhere. If you google them you can even see various law suits that happened... : /

                      Sorry that happened to you but now that horse has gotten the tlc he needed


                      • Original Poster

                        @ Madilene OMG, wish I had seen that. Well I guess I am a reminder to all looking stay away from Church Hill Hunt Club if you are looking for a OTTB.

                        As we work with this Gelding I think how could this Trainer possibley think of selling this horse. Because this horse would of put some other person less experience in the hospital.

                        I would like to add that we are training the horse he is a nice mover, but his brain is a little Fried.
                        As I said before I did go through "CANTER" on my other 4 and have been very happy with what I got. The owners/trainers at the race track were honest and up front and had videos on UTube to watch.

                        AT BrightskyFarm, his half brother jockey Club name Jersey Jump is awesome he will make someone a great Eventing horse. That is why we were very interested in this horse. We liked the AP Indy built and forwardness.
                        "An ordinary trainer cannot hear a Horse speak, a Good trainer can, a Great trainer can hear them whisper and a Top Trainer can HEAR them Think." John O'Leary


                        • #13
                          I am so glad the horse came to you. Yes I know things could have gone badly and as someone who wanted an OTTB, I went through Canter.

                          Best of luck to you and your horses.


                          • #14
                            If the horse was flipped from the track through these people and their genius quick sell method of cranking the horses head down, then it sounds like all he might need is a long time of being turned out in a field to be a horse again, he probably never got that and I'm betting it would do miracles to unfry his brain.

                            Sorry for your experience, we all make mistakes and I'm sure the OP is now aware of this, no need to go after her.


                            • #15
                              I know of a horse that a girl bought from Churchill. I didn't see him when she bought him last year, but he is a NICE calm ottb. So much so, I checked out their website recently. But now that you mention it, he was listed at 17 hh (his ad is still on her page) and when I read that, I said, no way. I'm sure he is around 16.2 if that. But otherwise he is a very nice horse.
                              “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
                              ¯ Oscar Wilde


                              • #16
                                I don't mean to pile on but there is a big lesson here.


                                While it is not the be all end all a simple search of the names here would have revealed a whole lot besides questionable statements about sale horses. Public record too, not just opinions.

                                Farm name has been changed but still has "Churchill" in it...guess they need to try harder.

                                Also, ask on COTH. A simple "anybody done business with..." or "who should I buy from..." thread would have saved you alot of time trouble and rehab costs.

                                These people have been around here quite awhile and do not enjoy a great reputation locally.
                                When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                                The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by GingerJumper View Post
                                  I'm sorry, but... you purchased a horse sight unseen, without new pictures, and that had never had a stick put to it to verify its height?

                                  And you're blaming the horse's seller for that? Color me confused.

                                  Maybe we can start expecting sellers to be HONEST instead of blaming their victims.
                                  The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
                                  Boy Wonderhttp://tiny.cc/G9290
                                  The Hana is nuts! NUTS!!http://tinyurl.com/SOCRAZY


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by brightskyfarm View Post
                                    This was bad business on Your part firstly --! and now you are really acting badly in slamming OTTB's as a whole for this.
                                    Yo! OP did not slam all OTTBs or all OTTB sellers. Reread. This was about Churchill Hunt Club.

                                    Originally posted by Temecula Jumper View Post
                                    A big red flag for me would be that, according to their website, you can only do a PPE using a vet they provide! Yikes!
                                    Are they stupid? Who would pay for that PPE?

                                    The armchair saddler
                                    Politically Pro-Cat


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by mvp View Post
                                      Are they stupid? Who would pay for that PPE?
                                      A really naive buyer who believed all claims and thought they were a successful show barn?

                                      That's how they stay in business.
                                      When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                                      The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


                                      • #20
                                        Boo, I keep hoping Churchill Hunt Club will post a well-reasoned and oh-so-tasteful rebuttal to the OP, like she did in that other thread. No such luck, yet...
                                        LEGADO DE RIOS