As his half-brother Bim Bam hit the board in fifth place at The Woodford Reserve Turf Classic, Invisible George drew little notice from anyone on Kentucky Derby weekend.
Offered up during a dispersal sale in May, far from the fanfare of Churchill Downs, the scruffy, good-natured gelding was passed over once again.
After all his friends at his former Pennsylvania barn had been sold, ponies and Standardbreds all loaded on trailers and carted off to loving homes, he stood like the last child waiting to be chosen in gym class.
“Everyone went to the sale and picked out their favorite pony that their kid used to ride, and George was just left sitting there,” says Lisa Molloy, of Lisa Molloy Training Stables in Virginia.
But as is so often the case with underdogs, the last one sometimes finishes first. And this was the case for unsung Invisible George, who hit the trifecta of human caring and kindness with the help of Akindale Thoroughbred Rescue, R.A.C.E. Fund, Inc., and California-based Thoroughbred advocate Deborah Jones.
Sire: Invisible Ink
Dam: Laurel Light, by Colony Light
Foal date: March 14, 2004When Jones became aware that George might need a soft landing after the dispersal sale, she immediately sprang into action.
She first enlisted the aid of Texas businessman and horse-welfare advocate John R. Murrell, who donated the funds to purchase George, and then found a temporary stall with horse charity Race Fund. The charity’s director Marleen Murray offered a place for the Thoroughbred to ride out a two-week quarantine, and receive necessary veterinary attention and vaccinations.
After which, George hit it big.
Akindale Thoroughbred Rescue stepped up and agreed to offer him a lifelong retirement home, should he not find a new owner, and training by expert horseman Lisa Molloy.
About a month ago, George was delivered to Molloy’s Virginia facility to start training for a new discipline, and a new owner. The caveat however was that George could not be resold by whoever adopts him.
If his future adopters are unable to keep George, terms of a contract state he must be returned to Akindale’s protection, Molloy says.
Although, knowing George the way she does, it’s hard to imagine why anyone would want to give him up!
Since arriving at her re-training facility, he has been perfect.
“He’s as easy as they come to ride,” says Molloy, noting that he would be “suitable for anything.”
As George settles into a clean stall piled with fresh shavings and sweet hay, it is rewarding to know the unsung Thoroughbred, the unsung half-brother of a high-stakes racer, has done all right for himself, in the end.
“Every Thoroughbred should be afforded decent aftercare and lifetime protection,” Jones says. “In the case of George, it was extra special to figure out who he was” and that the passed-over Thoroughbred had in him the bloodlines of champions.
Akindale Thoroughbred Rescue is accepting donations to help defray $400 in transportation costs to ship George to Virginia. Those wishing to donate may do so online at http://www.akindalehorserescue.org/index.php/making-a-donation.html, or by calling 845.855.1262.