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?
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