Petite and pretty though she is, there is little evidence in Lisa Molloy’s sharp wit and oh-so-British demeanor that would ever indicate she’s just a big softie at heart.
In other words, Lisa Molloy has heard your story. She has got your number. She would never, ever accept a free, 18-year-old Thoroughbred gelding she found on Craig’s List!
Not, that is, until she broke with her usual no-nonsense protocol, and went to see about a freebie in her Virginia neighborhood and fell in love.
And in this week’s Clubhouse Q&A, Molloy explains how the gray OTTB gelding Direct Current came to live at Lisa Molloy Training Stables, under the protection of Akindale Thoroughbred Rescue. And how, after just a matter of weeks in her care, he has won ribbons at an all-Thoroughbred show, and may even have a pending adoption to a new home.
Q: Lisa, please tell me about the gray 18-year-old Thoroughbred gelding you couldn’t say no to.
I think, I don’t know, that possibly it was providence. That’s the only way I can explain it, because I was supposed to be taking another gray horse with a similar name, and this horse is so far removed from anything I usually take.
I don’t go looking for horses, for starters. I never look for horses. I don’t look on Craig’s List, which is where I found him, and I don’t take older horses.
Q: So what happened?
I was actually supposed to be getting another gray horse named Determined Again. We used to call him DA for short. I had adopted him out (in a previous position) and the original owner wound up selling him. From there, he passed through several hands and one night he resurfaced on Craig’s List.
I didn’t intend to take him either. But, after I posted his picture on my Facebook page, people started coming out of the woodwork offering to donate money, telling me to go get him. People kept offering me money, and I was a little uncomfortable with it.
Q: But the pleas from your Facebook community to take the horse, and the offers for money kept coming in.
Everybody started writing to me saying I had to go buy him, and that they’d give me money. And I had five or six people offer to put him up temporarily while I decided what to do.
So a friend of mine named Mandi Coll of a Thoroughbred charity Starting Gaits offered to go collect the money, and go get pick up the horse for me, because she lives nearby.
In three hours we raised more than $1,200 on Facebook, and I called the seller to make an offer and was told the horse had already been sold. So, I spent part of my night refunding everybody’s money.
Q: And the experience made you wonder how many other Thoroughbreds were listed on Craig’s List in your Virginia area?
After I’d refunded the money, I went back on Craig’s List and started scrolling through. The horses were all Paints, and gaited horses. I was just about to go to bed when I came across another gray gelding, and instead of being nicknamed DA he was called DC. It was such a coincidence that did I double take.
Q: DC it turns out was Direct Current, a horse who raced 53 times before landing on Craig’s List. Tell me about him.
He was rescued from New Holland about two or three years ago. And when I found him on Craig’s List, he’d been advertised there for eight or nine months. I just felt bad for the horse. You’d like to think that by the time a horse reaches his teen years, that he’s happily settled into a home and knows where he’ll be for the rest of his days.
I decided since he was so close to my farm—practically on my doorstep— to go take a look. I spent a few minutes with him and told the seller, “I love him.”
After that I contacted Akindale and sent them the information and they said to get the horse, with their blessing.
Q: When you got him back to your place and had a chance to try him, what did you find?
It turns out he has had extensive training in dressage and he jumps like a fiend!
Q: Last weekend you debuted your new fella at The Thoroughbred Celebration Horse Show in Lexington, Va.—that was fast!
We got there on the Thursday night and one of my friends, a professional trainer in Florida, hopped on and school him around 2-foot-6 hunter course. And he didn’t bat an eyelid.
Then, a volunteer asked if she could show him in a couple of introductory classes and won second and fourth!
He was also eventually honored for being the horse with the most number of starts. At the show, they actually gave that award to two other horses, who were tied with 52 starts. And I thought, ‘Wait a minute. He’s had more starts than that.’ So I went back and looked at his race record on Equibase and sure enough, he had 53 starts.
So, he eventually got the award.
Q: You’ve said he seems to have a knack for getting out of tight spots.
It’s like he finds himself stuck, and then he rises to the top. He was at New Holland and got out of that, then he was on Craig’s List and found me, and then he wins this award.
Q: And it looks as though an adoption may already be pending for him!
There’s a lady who’s been looking on my Facebook page for six months, looking for the right horse. She called me yesterday today and she’s interested in Direct Current and she’s already put in an adoption application with Akindale.