Saturday, January 14, 2012

If You Can't Say Something Nice....



Today we received a criticism that I felt was worth responding to in a public manner so that whomever the person was that stated their comments anonymously on our blog post yesterday regarding "A Conscious Decision" can read our response and for those that don't understand what we do can see our response.

The person wanted me to know that the majority of owners and trainers do care about their horses and take care of them after their retirement from the racetrack. I agree, if they didn't my phone wouldn't ring. Simple as that. The person also stated that I repeatedly "bash owners and trainers" for their lack of responsibility in caring for their horses when their racing days are over. That there is an implied "tone" to what The Second Race publishes. I laughed at first, and then decided to respond formally.

My response is...prove it....prove that I personally or The Second Race as an organization repeatedly bashes anyone. My response is you will be hard pressed to substantiate your claims. I on the other hand do not say things about what trainers or owners do if its a negative, you will rarely find me ever re-post statements that others make, articles posted or get involved in the he said-she said that you often find on Facebook and other media outlets (or any racetrack). If you can find where I have done that, let me know I'd love to see it.




This person said that they used to be someone that trainers called to place their horses and that groups like mine are nothing new, the only thing "new" is utilizing social media to place horses.

I agree there has been a network of private individuals and groups for years helping horses find new homes. Most worked quietly behind the scenes and did and still do, great work. However, if this person has been around the track as long as they state they have, than they know too that there has been a network of folks that have been on the backside taking horses straight to the slaughter lots, match racing and other less than perfect endings for years. That is a fact that cannot be argued. I have literally just missed "the truck" in the years that I have been doing this. Tremendous inroads are being made by many inside and outside the industry to ensure horses are taken care of and this should be applauded regardless of who is doing the work. The Second Race isn't interested in stepping on toes, and we are simply another vehicle to help those that need it. Nothing more, nothing less. However I feel that we have made an impact and will continue to do so. We have irons in the fire now that can substantially help. I guess that means we will have more detractors, but we will also have more "wins" when it comes to a horse finding a new home or career. Many of these "irons" will require numerous groups and individuals working together collectively. Perhaps this person will think differently about our efforts, or perhaps not. Time will only tell.

This person said that they know "of several owners and breeders that will have nothing to do with The Second Race since certain comments and posts were made". Hmm this morning I was in the barn of three prominent trainers. They had no problem asking me for help along with the breeder that I visited earlier this week. I know how often my phone rings, I know the number of messages I receive and I know the numerous emails I receive requesting assistance every day. There are numerous horsemen to use us, or someone else. Makes no difference to us, but it won't be because we "bashed" them.

This person also felt that I wasn't aware of the distinction between horses directly off the track and those that have to be "rescued" several years later by groups like mine. The Second Race to be clear was formed and uses the "niche" of a transition team in tandem with breeders, race tracks, owners, trainers as an option to place horses. It would not be in the best interest of The Second Race to not have good working relationships with all of those entities. It's not logical to state that we "bash" them.

When we rescue a horse off an auction lot, or purchase one off of Craigslist or any of the numerous ways we find horses years off the track, we rarely EVER call the former owners, breeders or trainers. That isn't our style. Many others cannot make that claim and create problems going so far as having volunteers not being able to go to auction lots to flip lids to see tattoos, because the broker on the lot doesn't want the trouble. The Second Race will often, in working with those that go to auction lots looking for ex-race horses not say one word about who the horse is to ensure that the folks that like to "out" former owners/trainers can't do it. So again, you need to prove your ascertains of our activities that "bash owners and trainers".

Whatever nerve I have touched with this person I feel that its too bad that this person has decided to post untruths instead of working with us and adding value to our network to help horses. Seems this person could be a valuable resource. Everyone is allowed to have an opinion, but responsibly temper those thoughts with the truth please. We are pro-racing, we are pro-breeding, we love race horses and enjoy the horsemen we meet every day in the game. That is a fact.

I am so confident of the work that we are doing that I had no problem publishing the comments for all to see. I am not afraid of the words, because I think they do not have merit. I appreciate that the person did say a group like The Second Race has the opportunity to do good work. I agree, and we do what we can. Ironically, as I write this public response, umm who was doing the "bashing" exactly by their comments?

13 comments:

  1. Marie Kelichner McCormackJanuary 14, 2012 at 3:39 PM

    Thank you for everything you do for the horses. Without you I'd hate to even think where some of them would end up.

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  2. Sharla's appearance on our Post Parade podcast contained nothing but praise for those trainers and owners who do the right thing by trying to place their horse in the best possible place. She did have strong words for those who ~ as I took it ~ essentially forget that there is upkeep and bills once the horse is away from the track. And I agree.

    We are horse lovers first, owners/breeders/bettors second. The only people who could possibly be offended by what Sharla is doing are the people who are doing the wrong thing by the animal - and know it.

    I have nothing but respect for The Second Race. We need to grow the rescue network - not tear each other down.

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  3. Methinks this detractor has a serious case of sour grapes! I have never seen nor heard you bash owners or trainers... and I know for a fact that you have done nothing but bend over backwards to help once called upon.

    It is a shame that there is such discord among groups that share a common goal and that some resort to slander or other underhanded moves in an attempt to damage another's reputation.

    You keep on keepin' on!! The Second Race does phenomenal work and is well respected within the industry. Don't waste any more time on a person whose diatribe holds no merit whatsoever!

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  4. Sharla, you are one of the heroes in our business. Water off the duck's back and keep on keeping on....... There are more than enough bad guys in the world; your organization represents THE GOOD GUYS.

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  5. Anyone who has made negative comments must not know Sharla and has no idea how hard she works and how careful she is to find the situation for the horses she places maybe this person has her confused with some else. I have looked at several of her placement candidates and found her to be totally honest, forthcoming and never heard a negative word about owners,trainers,etc. Not every owner or trainer does do the right thing by the horse. She does. Thank you for all you do Sharla, Wendy McDaniel

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  6. If I may put in my 2 cents worth...this person CLEARLY has no idea what they are talking about. I have worked with you from nearly the beginning, and can attest to how busy and networked you are. While things may be crazy and hectic, as they often are on the backside of a racetrack, you are professional and cordial with everyone. I have never heard you utter a negative word against a trainer, owner, or breeder.

    I can attest to the times I have delivered a horse and called to inform you of such, and to find your voice mail full after you just emptied it a few hours before!

    Thank you Sharla for the many horses you have successfully re-homed...amongst them my beloved Tissy Fit!

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  7. I'm not sure what was hoping to be accomplished here. It seems that "bashing" the industry or anyone in it would be obviously counterproductive! Sharla, as one of the adopters for 2011, I'd like to say what a pleasure it was to work with you and Shirley. You both have your hearts in your work and are two of the classiest, hardworking, blessings that that these animals have, and I personally have had the pleasure of experiencing your devotion to rehoming first hand. Edge of Summer is a beautiful addition to our family and I thank God for you, The Second Race, and Shirley for bringing us together and making this possible. Send the haters my way, we'll handle this one Colorado style :) all kidding aside, shame on them, those words couldn't be further from the truth. If you keep your chin up, you have no choice but to hold your head high!! keep up the great work doll!

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  8. I'm not sure what was hoping to be accomplished here. It seems that "bashing" the industry or anyone in it would be obviously counterproductive! Sharla, as one of the adopters for 2011, I'd like to say what a pleasure it was to work with you and Shirley. You both have your hearts in your work and are two of the classiest, hardworking, blessings that that these animals have, and I personally have had the pleasure of experiencing your devotion to rehoming first hand. Edge of Summer is a beautiful addition to our family and I thank God for you, The Second Race, and Shirley for bringing us together and making this possible. Send the haters my way, we'll handle this one Colorado style :) all kidding aside, shame on them, those words couldn't be further from the truth. If you keep your chin up, you have no choice but to hold your head high!! keep up the great work doll!

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  9. Eh, it was probably someone that thought they could have made a profit off the horses you rehomed for free. You do nothing but help Sharla, you are an angel on earth and a true guardian of the Thoroughbred horse. God Bless you and the Second Race!

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  10. I researched many organizations before I found my OTTB through the Second Race. I picked Sharla and the second race because of the respect shown to the trainers and the tracks. I now have another wonderful OTTB. Sharla put me in touch with his trainer, I got to go to the track, meet the trainer in person, meet my boy and bring him home. AND I had to drive 12 hours to get there. Me being out-of-state was not a concern and I greatly appreciated that.

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  11. You should be lauded for the much-needed work that you do, and the amazing numbers of horses and horse people that you are able to help. I also adopted in 2011 and Huntington still astonishes everyone at the farm with how smart and handsome he is! And thanks to your hard work to put us together he's learning a second career and I have a wonderful new relationship. Thank you for everything you do!

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  12. Sharla, you are a class act and the growth you have accomplished in a short amount of time is a testament to your diligence and professionalism. You know the end goal is to save horses and having adopted several horses from you, I have witnessed the grace and respect with which you treat all owners, trainers and breeders. You are to be commended for your humility and heart of service to the horses in the racing industry. You're a good egg Sharla Sanders!

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  13. So many people, in and out of this business, seem to make up the facts to suit themselves. You can either ignore them, or write thoughtfully-worded blog posts that reveal them for the petty, unpleasant sort of person that they are while maintaining your dignity and showing your own class.

    You've opted to do the latter, and well done! Carry on, we all have your back, and we are all grateful for the work that you do.

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