Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Monday, December 28, 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Several organizations, rescue and retirement agencies (horse and otherwise) are selling calendars to support their groups.
One of the calendars that I have personally been excited to see (and purchased today) is the one offered by Southern California Thoroughbred Rescue (SCTR).
SCTR has aptly named theirs "Still Winners". The featured cover boy is Luis Especial, a personal favorite of mine while he was racing the Southern California circuit.
Luis, was purchased from an auction lot on Kentucky Derby day for the princely ransom of $ 250 after earning $ 183,000 on track. This handsome dark bay is one of several horses showcasing the love, care and bloom of horses once deemed "trash", that SCTR has recycled back to their former selves in their 2010 calendar. Luis has since been adopted by a top equestrian trainer and is going to be in for a surprise (per Caroline Betts, founder and president of Southern California Thoroughbred Rescue) when training for his next professional career beginning in early Spring.
Other horses featured include Noble Gambler, Magic Route, and Sunday Match (lovingly renamed Bam-Bam and when you see his photo, you will understand why). Magic Route was a formerly starved horse that was rescued from his owner and patiently and quickly brought to life again. The transformation bears mention and notice, but pictures tell the real story and his are a tribute to the care that a horse can find itself in when taken in by SCTR. The cost of the calendar $ 24.95 plus shipping, equals $ 27.00 and is an attractive investment for the thoroughbreds that will be helped in the coming year. (Anything beyond the $ 27.00 would be appreciated).
If you would like a new calendar that makes a difference, may The Second Race suggest this one. To order go to their website http://www.sctbrescue.org/ and click on the header "2010 Calendar!", a link to PayPal is provided. If you want to send a check instead their address is SCTR, 635 Hacienda Drive, Norco, CA 92860.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
How can I make a statement like that? Because after losing two jobs in as many years, I decided to follow my bliss, and start The Second Race which endeavors to use the administrative, marketing and managerial skills that I have developed over the past 20 years, and use them to run the rescue/retirement of race horses like a business. I do my best each day to make business decisions, not emotional ones with respect to the horses. I work to be their advocate and have developed a 10 year business plan on their behalf. In a short 6 months; our Facebook page alone has over 4,000 members. Many of those facebook "friends" have contributed to the placement or have adopted a horse offered through The Second Race. We have also helped groups outside of my own via Facebook, and raised $ 1500 as my birthday wish, for the Southern California Thoroughbred Rescue (SCTR). In turn this past week, SCTR purchased two ex-race horses from a local auction lot, sparing the lives of two more horses that others deemed "throw away".
Ocean Chief, being loaded up to his new home in October.
Runamuq at his new home in September, receiving the first of several equine massages, donated through the networking of Facebook.
We are currently networking on behalf of 13 more, and have helped to raise the bail monies for 2 ex-race horses in WA state, that were saved from a feedlot and 1 ex-race horse in NJ.
Saturday, December 12, 2009
A chestnut Thoroughbred Mare currently on a feedlot in New Jersey, is a tattooed, ex-racer earned over $ 77,000 and is a direct descendant of Secretariat.
The New York Racing Association in a published release last Thursday, announced an official anti-slaughter policy that would introduce harsh penalties for offending horsemen. The policy would also encourage horsemen to use and support horse rescue and retirement adoptive initiatives as a recourse to sending a horse to a feedlot (knowingly or unknowingly).
According to NYRA policy any owner-trainer stabled at a New York Racing Association (NYRA) track found to have directly or indirectly sold a horse for slaughter will have their stalls permanently revoked from all New York tracks.
"We are fully committed to protecting our sport's equine athletes" said NYRA president, Charles Hayward.
Other tracks have stated similar policies, however there remains little enforcement as horses every day are sent to feedlots. Currently in New Jersey (see photo above) there are three, tattooed thoroughbreds along with a couple standardbreds. In California last Saturday, six tattooed thoroughbreds were on the lot. Several yearlings from a commercial breeder where found on the lot as well. Each state can site a tattooed, ex-racer on their lots at any given time.
The language of NYRA's policy may have a loophole in it that a horsemen could stand by, and that is stating that a horse is "sold" for slaughter. Often times an offending (or again an unwitting owner or trainer) stand by their innocence due to "giving away" a horse. The three degrees of separation is evoked often when a rescue or retirement group calls a former, owner, trainer or breeder of a located horse.
While I applaud all racing associations and race tracks that take a stance against slaughter of the very horses that employ them, I am curious how each of these tracks is actually enforcing their stances?.
Nationwide 15 race tracks have adopted no-tolerance policies that bar owners and trainers. However, the vague intrepretation and the lack of transparency into these policies by interested groups, such as The Second Race when requested, leaves public knowledge and enforcement of these same policies, difficult at best.
Time well tell, in the meantime, the thoroughbred on this page desperately needs to be saved. Her "sands of time" runs out on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. EST. Donations can be sent via PayPal to firstname.lastname@example.org
POST SCRIPT: I received word today 12/13/09 at 9:49 a.m. PST, that all of the horses that were at the auction, were saved. Including the chestnut mare. This was accomplished by using social networking sites such as Facebook, and networking emails. The sole reason for creating The Second Race, was to harness technology and the modern way we communicate, to save and help horses. Glad that this one had a happy ending!
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Bing Bang came into my life by accident. He was just a horse I played with while my dad was looking at another horse to buy. His name made me laugh and his pretty head drew me to him. He looked like a Breyer horse with a tiny, gorgeous head and a perfectly balanced body. He had won a big handicap in France and was brought (to the States) with the intentions of being sold by our bloodstock agent. Though I pushed my dad to look at him, he wasn't interested, but I couldn't stop talking about him.
I told everyone at the barn about him and prayed my dad would change his mind. God must have been listening because my prayer was answered and my dad surprised me a couple months later, he had been purchased to race for our stable.
It wasn't meant for Bing Bang to run for us as he was constantly sidelined with little problems. It was so long (his ongoing nagging injuries), that I forgot about him until I got a phone call from my Dad. He said that Bing Bang had bowed a tenon and had returned to training but wasn't doing well so they decided to retire him and make him a trail horse and so he was sent to a western trainer. Not a good idea! Bing Bang scared them so badly that they didn't want to ride him. So naturally my Dad thought I could have him for a show horse.
I agreed to take Bing Bang, after my trainer saw him and he came to live with me. It was a big gamble he was five and had been racing a long time, which makes re-training very difficult. However I figured I needed a challenge in my life and went for it. Bing Bang was by far the biggest challenge I have ever experienced! He had no trust and spooked at everything! It was awful, but slowly, very slowly it got better. Being in the ring with Bing Bang with other horses was a challenge. He didn't like them behind him and scared everybody so badly no one dared get to close to me. I learned quickly that talking to him calmed him down.
Jumping was a different story, he did it effortlessly-- like he had done it his entire life, nothing scared him! It was freaky! As Bing Bang became more confident, he moved so well we started him in the hunter ring and we did okay, but with little blow ups he would never make a top hunter, no matter how well he jumped. We returned to jumpers and it was there that he found his calling. He has been a successful jumper ever since, winning many championships.
Out of all the horses I have ever owned, he has taught me the most about patience and understanding. Even though I have a history of doing well in the show ring, he has taught me to play by his rules. There were many times I wanted to give up, gotten sick of his quirks, but I learned to love him and not change him. When we are in the ring, we are a team and he gives me everything he's got. Bing Bang has proven that the heart he showed as a racehorse transferred over to the show ring, and I am so lucky God put "Bing" into my life.
Friday, December 4, 2009
Thursday, December 3, 2009
The first in the series of stories is by author Diane Tuorto......
"Puppy" AKA Regal Destroyer, photo Diana Tuorto
I met my Thoroughbred gelding, Puppy (registered name Regal Destroyer) in 1998, while taking lessons on a farm in New Jersey. Then 15 years old, Puppy had endured a hard life, having been shuffled from owner to owner. His early years were spent racing in Fingers Lake region of New York state; he remained there for five long years. While Puppy was a stalker, not a sprinter, his owners continued to enter him in six furlong races, where his performances were always noted as "tried hard in the end". He regularly came in second or third, but rarely won a race, earning barely over $ 10,000 in his many years on the race track.
At a towering 17.2 hands, Puppy next found work as a jumper, where he excelled in four foot courses. He had an amazing work ethic and also had the movement and responsiveness to succeed in 2nd level dressage competitions. By the time I met Puppy, this schoolmaster was working as a lesson and pleasure horse.
Puppy was a perfect example of a horse who was a bit TOO well trained. A friend of mine demonstrated this one day when she had forgotten something up at our barn. She said to leave Puppy. tacked up and alone, in the indoor arena and asked him to "stand". He stopped and stood perfectly still. When we returned, nearly five minutes later, there he stood, having not budged an inch or even lowered his head.
When his stall was left open one night, Puppy wandered outside to eat some grass (judging by the hoof prints), but by morning, was standing straight in his stall as if the door had been closed behind him. Thankfully, over our time together, Puppy realized that wasn't all about work and started to enjoy being silly and playful -- even small things like rubbing his head against my back seemed difficult for him to feel comfortable doing, but as the months went by, he learned that he wouldn't be scolded for what must have previously thought of as "bad behavior".
I had always loved Thoroughbreds, but had never been comfortable jumping any horse; under Puppy's guidance and patience, I soon took on fences, dressage, and hunter paces-- Puppy was willing to try whatever I asked and provided the confident partner I needed to overcome my nerves and excel at different disciplines of riding.
I purchased Puppy in 2000, but sadly, in February 2002, I was forced to put Puppy to sleep when degenerative arthritis in his spine and back (from a starting gate accident years before) had taken its toll on him. I still miss him terribly.
One thing Puppy and many other ex-racehorses have taught me is perseverance. Even when Puppy continued to lose on the racetrack, or in other disciplines, it was always noted how he would constantly give it his all, never complaining, hesitating, or showing any signs of the arthritis that ultimately took his life until the absolute end. Puppy was a fighter. His character and presence inspired me so much that I committed myself to write a novel loosely based on his life, which became Luck of the Draw, the story of a Thoroughbred racehorse that never gives up.
- ► 2010 (39)
- Equine Resolutions for the New Year--What Are Your...
- Because of Love
- Time to Pick a New Calendar--- Here is One I Recom...
- Reflections on Six Months of Following a Dream
- Send your own ElfYourself eCards
- New York Racing Toughens Stand on Horse Slaughter
- Standardbreds Named from the Fatal Fire & Fundrais...
- Bing Bang---- The Flying Horse and a Prayer Answer...
- Nopie--- The Funny Name Horse and His Rescue by Tw...
- What a Thoroughbred Taught a Person--- The Story o...
- ▼ December (10)