Melissa Rudershausen, owner of Double Rock Thoroughbred Rescue, announced this week that Mascot, the top-earning racehorse she discovered at New Holland Auction last year, thin and terrified, has been permanently retired.
After every attempt was made to restore the ex-racehorse, who earned $240,000 in racing victories, before winding up at auction, a stifle injury ultimately prevented a future for him as a sound riding horse, says Rudershausen.
“Mascot’s retirement was a hard decision,” she says. “But it was definitely best for him. As a racehorse, he had a long, strenuous career, and he was basically run into the ground.”
The A Circuit rider and operator of her Ocala, Florida-based horse rescue, had wanted to turn Mascot into a show horse.
For months, she treated recurrent abscesses, and medically addressed other trouble spots, including joints that required injection medication, and she fought to keep weight on the high-strung animal who walked and paced with nervous energy.
“It is a challenge to put weight on, but he gets high-quality grain and has access to hay, 24/7,” she says. “Unfortunately, his joints were too far gone, and we couldn’t keep him sound for riding.”
Although she is disappointed that the animal she found, rescued, and restored to gleaming beauty will never set foot
in a show ring, Rudershausen says he will be well taken care of until the end of his days.
“After spending quite a lot of money trying to get Mascot sound enough to be a pleasure horse, we decided the best thing for him would just be full retirement,” she says, noting that he is retired at a friend’s farm with a large pasture.
And, she went a step further and purchased a companion pony, Pistol Pete, to keep Mascot calm and happy.
“He is pasture sound and still enjoys a good gallop around the field with his buddy,” she says. “But, I am saddened because he is the perfect example of a high-class horse who could have gone on to be a special horse outside racing if he was retired at an appropriate time.”