A Michigan man who once sent $10 to Penny Chenery in hopes of buying a share in the great Secretariat has seen his childhood love of red racehorses come full circle.
Last week, William Baxter accepted ownership of Chulo, a bright chestnut Quarter Horse who ponied for famous racehorse owner Nick Zito.
Stepping brightly beside Chulo in recent times, some pretty great racehorses, including Dialed In and Ice Box, had been ushered onto the racetrack by the flashy red horse with the bright white blaze.
Now 11 years old, and deserving of retirement, Chulo left the great tracks where he diligently put in his time, and was donated last month to Lisa Molloy of Akindale Thoroughbred Rescue.
Although Molloy deals primarily with Thoroughbreds, she was happy to take a Quarter Horse from Zito’s famous barn, she says.
“I take a lot of Nick’s horses, and when his wife Kim Zito asked me if there was any way I could take Chulo, even though he’s not a Thoroughbred, I was happy to help,” Molloy says. “They wanted to retire him because he was getting sore on his front feet, and recently tested positive for navicular, which is not uncommon in Quarter Horses.”
Soon after he arrived, Chulo was re-shod, and quickly saw his foot pain ease. And they must have been pretty comfy shoes because he was soon doing some fancy footwork—out of the rescue and into a loving new home!
“After I put him on my Thoroughbred Adoption Page he got over 2,000 hits and I got over 30 inquiries about adopting him. This is more than I’ve had for any other horse,” Molloy says.
But in spite of all the attention, Molloy knew that William Baxter was the perfect person for Chulo.
Not only had the lifelong horse fan already proven to be an excellent caretaker of two other Thoroughbreds Molloy had adopted to him, but those horses were also previously owned by the Zito racing operation. It’s possible Chulo even worked on the track with Baxter’s retirees Advice, a Kentucky Derby hopeful, and Miner’s Escape a Belmont hopeful.
Molloy adopted both spectacular Zito horses to Baxter while she worked previously for New Vocations Racehorse Adoption. And, the horses have been working out beautifully.
Now she suspects those two adoptees may make a fast friend out of Chulo, who seems to have demonstrated familiarity, even memory, for other horses connected, like himself, to the Zito racing barn.
“The first day Chulo was here, after I’d had him outside for a bath, I was taking him back to his stall and he made a beeline for two other Zito horse I had stabled in the barn,” Molloy says. “I didn’t have Chulo stabled near them, but he somehow found them. He touched noses with one, and then the other.”
A no-stress fun-filled life is planned for Chulo, Baxter says.
“We won’t ask Chulo to do a lot. I got him because I wanted to have a safe, laidback horse that friends and family can get on to take a walk around the farm,” Baxter says. “Although I don’t have much interest in racing, I’ve developed a real passion for the Thoroughbreds off the track—I’ve loved horses since I was a kid.”
He was 10-years-old when Secretariat made his big splash, and Baxter was riveted to the beautiful red racehorse and his story, at one point he even mailed a $10 in cash to Secretariat’s owner. He received a lovely note back from his owner explaining that Secretariat was already syndicated.
Though the redhead from the racetrack is not a racehorse or a Thoroughbred, it’s fitting that Baxter and Chulo, a warhorse in his own right, should wind up together in their retirement years.
“It seems like a good fit,” he agrees.
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One response to “To a ‘Big Red’ fan comes a glamorous red pony”
Beautiful horse glad he has a good home to go to after a life of service.