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Why do some race owners not want to do the right thing?? (Sun TB Friends)

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  • Why do some race owners not want to do the right thing?? (Sun TB Friends)

    http://www.tbfriends.com

    I think they should name him Promise...

    Sunday, August 27th... The gelding is bay and tall. A big right ankle, which the vet called a wind puff. Every time this gelding went into the starting gate he knew it was a war. And off he would go, like a speeding train, and he earned his owner almost six hundred thousand dollars. Anthony is his groom. A happy man who loves horses, Anthony sends most of his wages home to his family in Mexico. The tall bay gelding and Anthony love each other. The gelding will squeal when he catches sight of Anthony. And Anthony always has a pocket full of peppermint candies for the tall bay gelding.

    Anthony phones and asks are you Joe, the old man who saves race horses? His english is broken, but Anthony says he is friends with Bill, a trainer at the track. Anthony pleads with me to take the tall bay gelding. They are getting ready to kill him because his big ankle, which was suppose to only be a wind puff, is sore and he can no longer race.

    The track vet is a friend of mine. Often he will wave me to his truck and hand over a bottle of bute. Or bandages. Or a twelve pack of wormer. He sometimes buys us both coffee, and tells me how lucky the horses are when I rescue them. A very nice man. I phone the vet and say hey, is the tall bay gelding with the sore ankle gonna be killed? The vet says he will call me back. And about two hours later the trainer phones and asks if I would bring the tall bay gelding to my ranch. The owner has ordered the tall bay gelding killed, but the trainer and Anthony can sneak him out the front gate. Just never say his name. Promise me.

    So I promise the trainer I will never say his name, and yesterday morning the trailer was waiting. Here comes the tall bay gelding, beautiful beyond words, and both of his ankles are wrapped. He earned almost six hundred grand for an owner who giggled all the way to the bank. And then said kill him. Right into the trailer the tall bay gelding goes, like a pro, and Anthony the groom is crying. He gives his friend one last peppermint candy, and 90 minutes later the tall bay gelding is on our ranch. Yelling at a field full of fillies. Bragging about how fast he is.

    There are days when people at the race track come together to save a horse. So many secrets. Cathy and I have secrets with trainers that reach back to 1995. The secrets allow horses to live out their lives. Not a big deal anymore. Just the way things are.

    The San Francisco breeze reached us last night, so the mosquitoes moaned and groaned and flew off to warmer places. In a round pen the tall bay gelding with the sore ankle had grown quiet. His head hanging down to his knees. Race horses, just like dogs, become very attached to one person. The tall bay gelding was missing his friend Anthony. I gave the tall bay gelding a peppermint candy, but after a few moments he dropped it into the dirt. I am not Anthony. Which means the peppermint candy does not taste the same.

    A big thank you to Kit and Donna of Red Bluff, who came yesterday and adopted the very pretty mare Far North Fire. A wonderful home. Far North Fire has lived in many places, including fancy show barns. We know at last she has a forever home. Thank you Kit and Donna for giving her this chance...

    Enjoy your Sunday and hug your horses.

    Joe


    (At least the owner ordered him euthanized instead of being sent to auction or the meat man...)
    Every mighty oak was once a nut that stood its ground.

    Proud Closet Canterer! Member Riders with Fibromyalgia clique.

  • #2
    Isn't the better question: why do some horse owners not want to do the right thing?

    Because that mindset is absolutely not limited to the racetrack.

    Comment


    • #3
      Well now I'm teared up, sounded like a nice relationship between groom & horse. However,

      I'm glad you added the last note about the owner at least taking the responsibility of euthanasia, instead of sucking the last few hundred bucks out of that horse at a meat auction. Given your description of this situation, this owner might not really be deserving of criticism. I don't think very badly of an owner like that, when compared to owners who say "get rid of it" or "send it to auction" or even just sell it own without caring enough to keep tabs.

      Of course euthanasia is sad, but I don't think it is the worst end for a horse in this world. If in fact the gelding had bad ankles, it may have a questionable future off the track - there are far less homes willing to feed & care for a lame pasture ornament than their are for horses who can be retrained to jump or do dressage. If the owner knew that, they may have decided the better chance for this guy was a needle while he was still well fed and in the quality care of his beloved groom.

      I did two rescues last year - both times they were OTTBs who had been "rescued" off the track, stuck in a field. Afterall the grade horses did fine in the field. When it became evident the TBs were losing weight, these people decided that all TBs were supposed to look skinny. Then these people discovered they didn't have the skills to retrain or ride their TBs. I responded to ads that were the horses last shot before New Holland. They were at a body condition score of 1.5 (starving). These people still insisted they had "rescued" these horses off the track. (sigh) If I or someone like me had not responded to that ad, I feel these two would have been better off getting a needle on the track. (They both recovered and were rehabbed into sport horses).

      Anyway, bless you for stepping in and rescuing the tall bay gelding. However, now that you've thwarted the owners solution (who is probably sleeping soundly no doubt thinking at least their grand old campaigner won't suffer a bad home or slaughter) I hope you are able & willing to keep him or keep tabs on him - especially if he doesn't appear to come sound. Can you keep him in good health for his life on your farm? If you can't, can you place him and then keep tabs on him to be sure he doesn't slip into bad hands? If not, I'm sorry to say, you may be leading him to a worse end than this owner had offered him...

      Please don't be offended, and you may be aware of all this and have a good plan for him, but just wanted to point it out in case someone else doesn't realize their is more to rescuing a TB than sneaking them off the track and putting them in a field...

      Sending good luck wishes to all retired TB's everywhere,

      Arcadien
      Last edited by Arcadien; Aug. 27, 2006, 05:42 PM. Reason: grammar

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        He's at a race horse rescue where he can stay the rest of his life if need be. At least he has the chance to be a pet for someone. I didn't rescue him, I live on the other side of the country. Although I would if I could.

        Why do so many owners (in all disciplines but racing is the one that ruins more horse's legs faster than others) just say kill him instead of even giving him a chance at a rescue? PERISH the thought they actually pay board on him somewhere. the owners and trainers are after all the ones that run these horses into the ground so they end up crippled instead of giving them time off to heal or just stopping on them.

        I know some do but they seem to be a big minority.
        Every mighty oak was once a nut that stood its ground.

        Proud Closet Canterer! Member Riders with Fibromyalgia clique.

        Comment


        • #5
          That definately made me sad (especially the part about him not wanting the mint because it wasn't from his groom). It really makes me happy to see how much these grooms care for their horses, above and beyond what is required of them. Thoroughbreds are amazing horses, and deserve a second chance after the track. I have two OTTB that i adore.

          Comment


          • #6
            I know this isn't the response you wanted, but I agree that euthanasia is not such a bad thing. I am glad he had somewhere else to go, but if he hadn't I would much prefer the needle to the bolt. To me the bolt is the ultimate in betrayal. I do agree that a horse that earns that kind of money should have paid to ensure his future care.
            Until they are all safe, we have to keep up the fight.
            McDowell Racing Stables

            Home Away From Home

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Originally posted by Laurierace View Post
              I know this isn't the response you wanted, but I agree that euthanasia is not such a bad thing. I am glad he had somewhere else to go, but if he hadn't I would much prefer the needle to the bolt. To me the bolt is the ultimate in betrayal. I do agree that a horse that earns that kind of money should have paid to ensure his future care.
              Until they are all safe, we have to keep up the fight.
              I did say that in my post. Euthanasia is far better than shipping the horse to the killer sales or having him picked up by the meat man himself. But too many owners like this one make no effort to find the horse a home. They just say kill him.
              Every mighty oak was once a nut that stood its ground.

              Proud Closet Canterer! Member Riders with Fibromyalgia clique.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by summerhorse View Post
                I did say that in my post. Euthanasia is far better than shipping the horse to the killer sales or having him picked up by the meat man himself. But too many owners like this one make no effort to find the horse a home. They just say kill him.
                I know that is what you said, and I agree with you. They should have made an effort to find him a home, or kept him themselves. I think they deserve some slack for not trying to get the last $400 out of his dead body though. Those are the people who make me want to perform some (inhumane) euthanasia.
                McDowell Racing Stables

                Home Away From Home

                Comment


                • #9
                  Good for the people who saved him.

                  I think its hard to place a racehorse in the right home, and I can see how an owner might not want that horse to go through any pain in its life. Its hard to say without knowing the parties, or the extent of the damage to the horses legs.

                  I think people who can help horses are wonderful.

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Originally posted by Laurierace View Post
                    I know that is what you said, and I agree with you. They should have made an effort to find him a home, or kept him themselves. I think they deserve some slack for not trying to get the last $400 out of his dead body though. Those are the people who make me want to perform some (inhumane) euthanasia.

                    Yeah with a bolt gun. But only after some shipping time...
                    Every mighty oak was once a nut that stood its ground.

                    Proud Closet Canterer! Member Riders with Fibromyalgia clique.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      To me killing an animal just to have it dead because you no longer want it is far more disgusting then slaughter. Slaughter serves a purpose killing just to kill doesn't IMO. Yes there are cases of poor transport and there are cases of poor kill floor practices and both need improvements. But i've been around both for years and there the exception not the rule. I hope the owner of this case has a tough time sleeping knowing he killed the horse just to have it dead.
                      Quality doesn\'t cost it pays.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I have to agree that sometimes it's better to know than not know.

                        I've heard too many stories of ex-racehorses given away (even to rescues!) and have them end up in very bad places.

                        Just recently someone was trying to give me two thoroughbred geldings. Their racetrack connections had given them to some friends... friends who had little horse experience and were terrified of them.

                        Remember the horse owned by Maggie Moss that a rescue found in the kill pen - after she had given him to a rescue (!!!)

                        I try to add value to ours and put them in situations where they will get more value (ie - sell them to h/j people as resale projects)... BUT some horses don't have value. I have a gelding with a big ankle - he has no value. The only thing that can be done to make sure he is not abused or neglected or slaughtered is to make sure he never leaves this farm (I still half-heartedly look for the life-long pasture puff position at someone else's farm, but that is unlikely to happen). We have the luxury of doing this, but most people don't.

                        As far as "trying to find him a new home"... check on the Horse Care forum about a person stressing about arthritis in a prospective trail horse. It's not as easy as it sounds to find a horse with issues a home!!! Heck, I have a hard time placing SOUND horses just because they're under 16h!

                        Rescues simply cannot take every single horse with dirty x-rays. They are not an end-all-be-all solution to the unwanted horse problem.

                        And, btw, a winner of $600k doesn't leave you laughing all the way to the bank. Day rates, shoeing, vet, hauling, jocks fees, etc. etc. take about $35k (or more) of that a year. Then the rest usually goes to pay the keep of the other horses in the barn who aren't winning. Trust me... NO ONE is making money in horse racing, lol (except, as far as I can tell, the jockeys, but they're always 1 start away from breaking themselves and losing their livelihood).

                        ~Adrienne

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I have to pipe in here..As some of you know, I am involved with a TB rehab and rehoming organization, I also ran a dog rescue for years before the people ditching the dogs made me so sick I could not take it anymore..It is not a racing problem, it is a societal problem..Dogs, horses, cats, marriages, children, everything is disposable. And while I do feel an effort could have been made to find this horse a home, at least this owner did not send his horse off to the kill pens, which in my opinion is the worst. I am glad the horse has a chance for a lifetime home. But it is not just racehorses, my pony was a 22 yr old lifetime lesson pony that was tossed aside when she could no longer pack kids around all day everyday. Its used up show horses, its used up backyard horses, its overbred horses of various breeds, its used up workhorses, carriage horses etc. Until society as a whole wants to look at itself and reset its priorities from the latest, greatest, newest etc people involved in the rescue of animals, children and displaced people are going to face a neverending parade of this kind of thing. To place the majority of blame on the racing industry is just unfair in my book..thanks for letting me vent

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            It is a sad but beautiful story.

                            As a side note... does anyone have an email contact for Maggie Moss?

                            I believe we have a horse that was formerly hers. I'd like to give her an update.
                            Standing WDA Orion -- Straight Egyptian and Al Khamsa Arabian
                            http://www.dedaananwarmbloods.com

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by county View Post
                              To me killing an animal just to have it dead because you no longer want it is far more disgusting then slaughter. Slaughter serves a purpose killing just to kill doesn't IMO. Yes there are cases of poor transport and there are cases of poor kill floor practices and both need improvements. But i've been around both for years and there the exception not the rule. I hope the owner of this case has a tough time sleeping knowing he killed the horse just to have it dead.
                              Sigh, shouldn't get into this, but hey I'm here so...

                              The quote above shows clearly that you didn't read (or understand, haha) my full response.

                              Okay, no surprise, been around enough to know that's your modus operandi (take what supports yer cause, pretend the rest wasn't said, etc., etc.,...)

                              But just in case someone new and capable of logical discussion is reading this thread, have to point out AGAIN (sigh),

                              The evidence presented here does not testify that the owner ordered the horse made dead "because they no longer wanted it". Repeating my (previously posted above) other reasons an owner might want to do this, they may have realized the horse could end up in a neglectful home or on the road to slaughter.

                              K, yer turn (also know you won't leave any rebuttal alone until it is "done to death" TIC, so in advance, if I can't help feed the inevitable verbal parry to come, it is likely because I have to get up at 4:30 to help exercise some of those "cruelly mistreated" racehorses at Monmouth park (such an evil person am I! I actually like to ride them, shudder!) (TIC)

                              Arcadien

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Your right there can be reasons and I never said there couldn't. People are expressing their opinion I'm doing the same.
                                Quality doesn\'t cost it pays.

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  The horse was not able to race anymore so (good point) the owner ordered him euthanized rather than sent to auction or kill pen but (bad point) without making even an effort to see if someone would give the horse a good home. And as we see there was someone relatively close by who would. A simple phone call by the owner to the trainer or track vet asking if there was such a person could have saved all the emotional upset and underground tactics.
                                  Every mighty oak was once a nut that stood its ground.

                                  Proud Closet Canterer! Member Riders with Fibromyalgia clique.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I have learned to question everything posted on the TBFriends website.
                                    It's a uterus, not a clown car. - Sayyedati

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by county View Post
                                      Your right there can be reasons and I never said there couldn't. People are expressing their opinion I'm doing the same.
                                      Upon reflection in daylight I feel I overreacted in my response to your post - I'm sorry. Of course you're allowed to express your opinion. Thanks for not overracting to my overeaction.

                                      Arcadien

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Hey no problem, life happens.
                                        Quality doesn\'t cost it pays.

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