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Stolen race horse -- rescue or theft?

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  • Stolen race horse -- rescue or theft?

    I'm curious about the background on this story. Does anyone know more about Urgent Envoy or Gail Ruffu? Is she actively training race horses now? If so, have her horses been winning?

    https://www.npr.org/2019/11/29/77783...nd-theft-horse

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  • #2
    Cluster of craycray.

    Comment


    • #3
      Yeah, she sounds like a nutto.
      Life would be infinitely better if pinatas suddenly appeared throughout the day.

      Comment


      • #4
        And yet, the facts continue to add up: bodies continue to pile up at racetracks, and thousands of racehorses every year disappear through the cracks and into the slaughter pipeline, despite assurances to the contrary from the "powers that be". In this trainer's defense, the horse really did develop a stress fracture after he was moved into another trainer's barn. And the "partners" tossed $100K down the drain in a legal pissing contest to recover a $5K horse who never won a race and who had to be shelved with a stress fracture so that they could soothe their bruised egos.

        So I do not think the trainer is necessarily the crazy one here myself. As with anything horse related, you have two horse people directly involved and several more opinions in play.

        Comment


        • #5
          Yup. Is why I said cluster of craycray.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by WoofNWhinny* View Post
            I'm curious about the background on this story. Does anyone know more about Urgent Envoy or Gail Ruffu? Is she actively training race horses now? If so, have her horses been winning?

            https://www.npr.org/2019/11/29/77783...nd-theft-horse
            She's never won a race in her life and had her license taken away for a while.
            "When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in a confederacy against him."

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by RubyTuesday View Post
              And yet, the facts continue to add up: bodies continue to pile up at racetracks, and thousands of racehorses every year disappear through the cracks and into the slaughter pipeline, despite assurances to the contrary from the "powers that be". In this trainer's defense, the horse really did develop a stress fracture after he was moved into another trainer's barn. And the "partners" tossed $100K down the drain in a legal pissing contest to recover a $5K horse who never won a race and who had to be shelved with a stress fracture so that they could soothe their bruised egos.

              So I do not think the trainer is necessarily the crazy one here myself. As with anything horse related, you have two horse people directly involved and several more opinions in play.
              If it's so factual, please cite your sources.

              An a horse is training for a FULL YEAR should not develop a stress fracture - that's bad training and bad horse management. Most trainers only need a few months at most to get a horse racing fit. Ruffu is ridiculous. And I don't care what her intentions were, you can't take something that does not belong to you, especially when you've proven that you are incompetent.l
              "When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in a confederacy against him."

              Comment


              • #8
                Wow, I agree. Definitely a cluster of craycray!

                Comment


                • #9
                  And stealing is never okay. Theft is never a reasonable response. Even if she felt he needed "rescued". Maybe she should have offered to buy him? Or...like Elsa says..."Let it goooo!"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Palm Beach View Post

                    If it's so factual, please cite your sources.

                    An a horse is training for a FULL YEAR should not develop a stress fracture - that's bad training and bad horse management. Most trainers only need a few months at most to get a horse racing fit. Ruffu is ridiculous. And I don't care what her intentions were, you can't take something that does not belong to you, especially when you've proven that you are incompetent.l
                    What facts are you looking for? The link to the article was posted. The track in question that this horse raced at has been in the national news repeatedly for a high number of breakdowns mid-race. Dead bodies behind barns at tracks awaiting pickup by renderers isn't new. As for racehorses in the slaughter pipeline, go to any large low end auction, they're everywhere. They're easy to find because of brands and lip tattoos. I have bailed a few. An investigation is also underway in Australia after an undercover expose of the same.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      The race owners bought a prospect for $5000, were new to the game and employed a trainer who had previously stolen a horse from its owners? And who never won anything? This seems like the smallest of the small time. If it wasn't made into a graphic novel that caught the attention of the owners daughter who published this article, probably it would have not really seemed of general interest even to COTH. Just one of those local noname horse disputes that don't have any larger interest.unless one of the parties was asking us for legal advice.

                      What I do think is odd is trainer could keep a stolen horse. Assume she had an ownership stake in it?

                      As far as bad things happening to slow TB with difficult personalities: yes, they do.

                      Was something bad going to happen to this TB? No idea.

                      Is it a good idea to steal a horse ? No. Does it count as a rescue? No. Has trainer rationalized this to herself? Obviously. Do some low level horse pros have a disconnect from reality? OH yes.
                      ​​​​

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I find it chuckle-worthy that this horse, who purportedly had injured multiple grooms by the age of two, was bred by Monty Roberts...

                        Beyond that, yes, what a mess. Ignorance on one side, no ethics on the other. These are the sorts of stories that give racing a bad name.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by allegro18 View Post
                          I find it chuckle-worthy that this horse, who purportedly had injured multiple grooms by the age of two, was bred by Monty Roberts...

                          Beyond that, yes, what a mess. Ignorance on one side, no ethics on the other. These are the sorts of stories that give racing a bad name.
                          I must have missed that part!!!!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by RubyTuesday View Post
                            a $5K horse who never won a race .
                            Did he ever run? The article sounds like he never even started a race.

                            Originally posted by Scribbler
                            The race owners bought a prospect for $5000, were new to the game and employed a trainer who had previously stolen a horse from its owners?
                            Previously? You mean she stole TWO horses? Where did it say that? The only theft I saw in the article was of Urgent Envoy.

                            Proofreading is your friend.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by WildLittleWren View Post

                              I must have missed that part!!!!
                              It wasn't in the story. I was curious to know how old the horse was when he was purchased by the 'group of investors', so checked into him on Equibase, where breeder is listed as "Monty Roberts & Pat Roberts". As I suspected, he was foaled in 2011, so was a 2yo when purchased in 2013. I do find it curious that these investors purchased a 2yo, gave it to a 'trainer' who was very publicly known for finding it unacceptable to train/race 2yos, then got upset when she didn't enter the horse in a race until its 3yo year. Upset about the way the horse performed (or didn't), sure, but they should have known based on her 'record' that they weren't going to be racing right away with the horse they chose to purchase.

                              Per horse's Equibase results list, his one start on 6/16/2014 was the only start of his career.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Altag View Post

                                Did he ever run? The article sounds like he never even started a race.



                                Previously? You mean she stole TWO horses? Where did it say that? The only theft I saw in the article was of Urgent Envoy.
                                My error. She didn't steal another horse. The owner was a lawyer who represented her when she was suspended from the track for misconduct.

                                There were 5 stakeholders in the horse, trainer had 20%, and I am guessing each other owner had 20%. The article says trainer was acquitted of theft by a jury trial so I wonder if one or more of the owners gave over their share to her so that she was in fact the largest shareholder? Honestly at that point you have a flunked out race horse with attitude problems and stress injuries, you are going to have trouble giving him away to a riding home.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by RubyTuesday View Post

                                  What facts are you looking for? The link to the article was posted. The track in question that this horse raced at has been in the national news repeatedly for a high number of breakdowns mid-race. Dead bodies behind barns at tracks awaiting pickup by renderers isn't new. As for racehorses in the slaughter pipeline, go to any large low end auction, they're everywhere. They're easy to find because of brands and lip tattoos. I have bailed a few. An investigation is also underway in Australia after an undercover expose of the same.
                                  Well let's start with actual facts. Hollywood where the horse was training and was taken from hasn't been in the news because it closed in 2013. You're thinking of Santa Anita which the author gratuitously threw in for no real reason other than there were a spate of deaths in a 2 month period 15 years in the future.

                                  Urgent Envoy never ran at Santa Anita and quite possibly wasn't good enough. He had a single start 6 months before this occurred when he was 93 -1 and finished dead last in a straight Calbred maiden. (good job Gail!)

                                  http://www.equibase.com/profiles/Res...651&registry=T

                                  Gail Ruffu, the veteran trainer of all of 15 starts at that time, never saddled one at Santa Anita and she definitely wasn't good enough.

                                  Yeah that justifies stealing a horse that didn't belong to her...

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Whatever the facts were and are, apparently they convinced a jury to acquit. I am still curious to know what the other partners really planned to do, because the horse had to be shelved with the other trainer before she took him.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Being a racehorse trainer sounds like a heartbreaking job. The owners can be quite ignorant. Greed can drive bad decisions and pushing horses too fast. The odds are terrible. Drugs are rampant. How could a trainer stay ethical when surrounded by the corrupting powers of money and wealth?

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        What a terrible article. The partners didn't lose against the thief - they won, but she disregarded the order. She was acquitted in criminal proceedings, but pretty hard to meet the criminal standard when the thief has an ownership interest in the horse. Kind of infuriating that she's now profiting from her misconduct with this book, but can't imagine there's much of a market for it.

                                        Comment

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