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Do the breeders ever wonder/care where their TB's end up?

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  • Do the breeders ever wonder/care where their TB's end up?

    I'm curious as an OTTB owner if the breeders or previous owners ever wonder or would like to know to where their one-time horses end up.

    My horse was bred by Janis Whitham and I've been tempted to contact her (not really sure how though!) and let her know where he is and that he's happy enjoying a new life, but I wasn't sure if the big-time breeder/owners even really cared??

  • #2
    I wondered that too, and years ago, before I bred my OTTB mare, I sent a letter to her breeder. I just wanted some basic information - anything she could remember. I felt that a letter would keep me from having to hear the phone slammed down, plus I included a photo of her in her comfy life. I included all of my contact information and I actually received a call back (of course while I was not available). I called her back and we had a two hour conversation. Not only did she remember the breeding, but she still had her dam at 30 yr old. Much of what she told me of the dam and how she raises her youngsters I see in my mare. It was nice to know what kind of producer she was, etc. I also think she was genuinely happy to know the mare was well loved.


    • #3
      Every breeder is different. In the race world in paticular, there is a LOT more people to whom its a business, not loving breathing animals. To many, as far as they are concerned that horse is a closed file, and either made them money or didn't.

      But many do care also, and some are just kind, so I would never discourage the attempt to contact, but I would do so in a letter or email, so that if they are not interested, they have the option of not responding. I mistakenly called a breeder here in the Nor Cal area one time and he was quite rude with me, told me he really didn't remember the horse, he had far too many every year.



      • #4
        I would go ahead and attempt to make contact... what have you got to lose? If you get no reply or a negative reply then just leave it be. If you get a positive reply, you could learn more about your horse's past and possibly make a breeder very happy.

        I know I am always glad to hear news of the horses who were bred or owned by our stables in the past And there are some I wonder about and will probably never know.


        • #5
          I work for several big time breeders who love to know where their babies end up. They often try to help place ones they find out are in trouble and one even has a gallery in the farm office of pictures of some of theirs in their 'second life'.<s>
          Touchstone Farm. Visit us at the slideshow of our Dutch mares and foals below! 30 mnutes of photos.


          • #6
            IME, 9 out of 10 care VERY much - so much I've even had them eager to take a horse back home after it had fallen through the cracks, somehow ended up off the track, unsound, and on the way to a bad end - when this breeder was contacted, they couldn't arrange to get it home fast enough, they were so relieved to find it. It was a gelding, only sound for light trail if that in future, so that response really warmed my heart.

            Others I've (or my friends) have contacted have been so obviously happy to hear that horse is in a new career and doing well.

            Opposite extreme, breeder doesn't want to hear, if you call they think you're trying to make it their problem - horse is off the track, thus not earning anymore money, & not their problem - they'd rather just not hear how it's doing and they don't want to feel obligated to help rehome it, for sure.

            But, the good news, in my humble experience at least, the latter are the 1 in 10 breeder, max.

            So it's always worth chasing down that 9 out of 10 breeder, if you ask me! you may relieve some worry at the least, or gain a real new friend & fellow TB lover - and maybe help ensure a horse a forever home if it needs to retire as a pasture ornament someday.

            expecting her first homebred on Derby day -don't worry it will be meticulously tracked and always welcomed back home - in the unlikley event it ever leaves!


            • #7
              From what I know of her (I've never met her) Janis Whitham would probably love to hear that you have "her" horse. Many breeders are just concerned that you want to dump a horse on them. My guess is that most breeders would be pleased to know that your riding/show horse was once theirs.
              F O.B
              Resident racing historian ~~~ Re-riders Clique
              Founder of the Mighty Thoroughbred Clique


              • #8
                I often wonder about this myself. My beloved OTTB's breeder was Tom Gentry of Kentucky. I'd give a front tooth for a foal picture of my guy - what do you think the odds would be? (Of course, would need Tom Gentry's address, first)


                • #9
                  I can tellyouhat Lazy Lane farms inUppervile, VA. does definitely wantto know.
                  breeder of Mercury!

                  remember to enjoy the moment, and take a moment to enjoy and give God the glory for these wonderful horses in our lives.BECAUSE: LIFE is What Happens While Making Other Plans


                  • #10
                    Janis Whitham
                    Bayakoa's 'mom'? I don't know her personally, but she strikes me as a person who would care. As someone suggested, write a letter rather than attempting a phone call.
                    Delicious strawberry flavored death!


                    • #11
                      Thanks for the impetus--I think I'll contact my OTTBs breeder just for fun.

                      Sarabeth, I know Olin (sp) Gentry lives on Harp-Innis. Not a bad guy, but I don't think he'd be too interested. I doubt the Gentrys would have foal pictures, but you never know. Are they still part of Gaines-Gentry? I guess I need to do some research--I was away too long and haven't been back long enough
                      "If you can't feed 'em, don't breed 'em."


                      • Original Poster

                        Oh Good!! When I looked up my horse's pedigree he was 1 of 10 foals out of the same dam. Most of them say that they are owned or bred by Mrs. Whitham. I just thought with that kind of history with his dam, she might be curious where he ended up.

                        So, does anyone know if Mrs. Whitham has a farm name that I can at least try to track down an address? I will most definately send a letter - I'm way too shy to pick up the phone and call someone like that!!


                        • #13
                          I believe that Mrs. Whitham lives in California but breeds in both Ky and Cali. I'll never forget the sight of her standing in the winners circle at Blemont after the BC Distaff win by Bayakoa. She was bawling, crying because Bayakoa's win came after rival Go For Wand crashed to the track with multiple fractures.
                          I think she's involved with the "Kids to the Cup" program as well.
                          F O.B
                          Resident racing historian ~~~ Re-riders Clique
                          Founder of the Mighty Thoroughbred Clique


                          • #14
                            I found some information on her address and sent you a PT.

                            A lot of breeders do care, and from what I know of Mrs. Whitham's program, it is small enough that she probably has a personal interest in all of her horses. We are very small breeders and would LOVE to know where our horses end up, and offer them a retirement home if needed.


                            • #15
                              As a small time breeder I would most definately like to know where our homebreds end up. Reason being is that I've been on the other side of the fence when tracking down owners on OTTBs we took in and I either got full cooperation (sent papers and a nice note) or complete refusal to even talk to me. And after I got a hold of the former trainer of that particular OTTB (it was a filly) they told me that the owners refused to talk to me because they knew I'd ask for the papers and they were afraid I'd race the horse again. Understandable but these same people were ready to ship the horse to slaughter so what would they care what I did with her?!


                              • #16
                                I found out that the breeder of my horse, Meryl Ann Tanz, was married to David Cassidy (for less than a year)! Funny

                                Anyone know her info? Nothing came up for Tanz in KY in a whitepages.com search.
                                "If you can't feed 'em, don't breed 'em."


                                • #17
                                  I found the info for the breeder of a mare I used to own. She was very hapy to hear the mare was well. She sent pics of her as a weanling and even offered to sell me her full brother. She's been in some contact with me over the years and was so nice to talk to.

                                  My current gelding was bred by a big time breeding farm in KY. I contacted them about him. By email, just to let them know he was happy and healthy. Although the staff didn't know of him (he's older) they appreciated the info and thanked me for letting them know the horse was okay.

                                  I also found the breeder of my current racehorse. They was extrememly excited to hear how he was doing. They had never had anyone contact them before to let them know how their babies were doing. Whenever he'd run I would get an email from them. I sent a tape of all his wins to them as well. The lady cried she was so happy.

                                  So, I too, think it's worth it to just try. I do a lot of internet searching to find breeders. One thing will put me on a path to another thing that helps me loacte contact info.

                                  Do it! What do you have to lose!
                                  RIP Spider Murphy 4/20/02 - 10/31/10


                                  • #18
                                    While I would love to have pictures of my mare, I don't think I'll be contacting the breeders. I think the Stronach's have so many horses a year they probably don't even remember who she is.


                                    • #19
                                      With a big opearion (Adena Springs etc) the breeder listed may never have seen the horse but often the staff or people involved in handling/raising the babies WOULD be interested.

                                      I met a girl a few years ago who had broken/trained babies at a farm in So Carolina. It turned out that she's broken several babies that other firends of mine had handled in NY. I put them all in touch and they all had a great time talking/emailing about "their" racehorses, even though none of these folks OWNED any of them. In the backstretch world handlers often refer to their charges as "my filly" or "my little brown horse."
                                      F O.B
                                      Resident racing historian ~~~ Re-riders Clique
                                      Founder of the Mighty Thoroughbred Clique


                                      • #20
                                        I contacted Lane's End about the OTTB that I just got, Special Squall.

                                        They were so kind! They sent me all the info they had on him, and some Lane's End bling too!