Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Second Race's Valentine

Last night I watched the HRTV "Inside Information" episode on Ferdinand. I wanted to watch the original airing of the show, as Ferdinand holds a special place in my heart, and unknowingly the hearts of many horses alive today, due to the death of Ferdinand.

A reporter years ago, wanted to know what had happened to Ferdinand and she began the process of tracing where Ferdinand had went since his original sale to stand in Japan...the answer was one that many could not fathom....he had been sent to slaughter. This news changed the trajectory of my life and many others. It wasn't possible that this had happened. How could a lovely horse, a Kentucky Derby winner no less, meet such a violent end?.

When Ferdinand ran, I wasn't a regular racing fan. I knew about him, but wasn't at the track on a weekly basis as I am now, I didn't grow up in racing, and never saw him in person. His reported slaughter was shocking to me. I didn't know about "racing's dirty secret", as it was later dubbed in the press. Because of Ferdinand, I went on to learn so much about what happens to some race horses when their careers are over.

To read more about the news story that broke in 2003, read Ray Paulick's article here:

The Second Race was born from the death Ferdinand. His life is a daily valentine to the horses that we have in our foster program and to so many others since his unfortunate demise. The Second Race in a small part, hopes to pay tribute to each racing hero by changing the lives of many race horses in the years to come.

Ferdinand may not have sired many winners, he may have faded from the collective memory prior to his reported death, but he gave birth to the saving of thousands and thousands of horses since 2003.

I know that The Second Race would not exist without Ferdinand being the winner he was and I know I wouldn't be blessed to live the life I do and help the horses we have, without the lovely Ferdinand, our special valentine.


  1. Long Live Ferdinand and his legacy.

  2. The work you do... is wonderful..and I know; you must feel a great deal of happiness when you see or hear of one of your own being given and good home and another chance to be the horse he or she can be...God bless you and all the people who work with you...

  3. I'll have to dig up some of my (bad) photos of Ferdinand from back in the day. I was a rabid Alysheba fan but I loved Ferdie, too!

  4. Ferdinand was the first famous horse I ever saw in the flesh. It was the 1987 Cabrillo Handicap at Del Mar, I had just turned 15, and I was so excited that I was actually seeing a Derby winner up close and in person. I was sickened when I heard about how he had died. Even though he wasn't the most memorable Derby winner or HOTY, he was still one of my all-time favorites. But even if he had never won anything but a $5k claimer, he STILL wouldn't have deserved that fate.

  5. I agree Anne, none of them do. Thank you for your post. I wish I had met him in person.


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