Press Exclusive treated for ulcerated mouth

Press Exclusive's physical beauty belies the horror she face en route to slaughter. Her eyes still show slight tearing, from where she was trampled on a slaughter-bound truck. She is safe and thriving at Equine Advocates in Upstate N.Y. Photo by Nousha Salimi

Press Exclusive’s physical beauty belies the horror she face en route to slaughter. Her eyes still show slight tearing, from where she was trampled on a slaughter-bound truck. She is safe and thriving at Equine Advocates in Upstate N.Y. Photo by Nousha Salimi

Overgrown teeth so sharp they ulcerated the mouth of the racemare, were the last things to be made right in a life gone so wrong.

Before she had her mouth probed last week by a veterinary dentist, Press Exclusive had endured pain and suffering that few horses could, and still survive.

Sold to slaughter after earning close to a half million on the track and then producing nine successive foals, she had fallen in the overcrowded truck racing toward Canada and was trampled beneath the hooves of other frightened horses.

Her story of survival and of her rescue at the 11th hour from a feedlot where the meat buyer had already started to process her paperwork is history. And her struggle to live after Mindy Lovell of Canada rescued and nursed her to health— her only friend it seemed — is read by visitors one and all, who come see her now at her retirement haven in upstate New York.

Press Exclusive
Sire: Press Card
Dam: Fleet Nasrullah
Foal date: May 5, 1996
Earnings: $436,810
Since her arrival last September at Equine Advocates sprawling 140 acres, Press Exclusive has been a horse whose beauty and story continues to draw admirers.

And last week, as one final detail of Press’s health was attended to, a speculum was placed in her mouth and in the light could be seen a “mess” of a mouth that must have pained her so.

“She had a huge hook (tooth) that looked to be about two-inches long,” says Susan Wagner, president of Equine Advocates. “It was hitting her gums and her cheeks, which were ulcerated.

“Our vet said it must have taken years for her mouth to get to this point. She also had fractured teeth, probably from being stepped on.”

Dr. Kraig Kulikowski of Equine Sports Medicine confirmed that Press’s teeth appeared to have grown, unaddressed, for five-to-seven years.

Press poses with members of the Equine Advocates Board of Directors, a group and facility committed to her lifelong protection.

Press poses with members of the Equine Advocates Board of Directors, a group and facility committed to her lifelong protection.

But the good news is, with regular care, her mouth should recover and become much more comfortable, and her overall prognosis is for a good and happy life at the sanctuary, Kulikowski says, noting, “She’s definitely in good hands at this point. The folks at Equine Advocates are religious about managing her health care.”

Mindy Lovell of Transitions Thoroughbreds in Canada rescued press Exclusive in December 2012. A slaughter-bound truck full of horses had been temporarily offloaded at a holding facility for processing, when Lovell heard that Press was down, and so badly injured a veterinarian insisted on euthanizing her immediately.

But Lovell successfully pleaded to be given a chance to save her, and over the course of many months, the former broodmare and race mare was restored to health under Lovell’s care.

Then Susan Wagner stepped up and offered a permanent retirement home after Marlene Murray of horse charity R.A.C.E. Fund, Inc. contacted her, and told of Press’s plight.

“When I heard about Press, I became very angry,” Wagner says. “I felt that … a lot of people made money off her, and she’s made a lot of money, and yet nobody who profited from her offered to retire her.

“How this horse ended up on a truck bound for slaughter after all that she’s done really got me angry, and when Marlene told me about her, and that she’s a Kentucky bred … I thought that if any horse deserved a nice retirement, it was Press.”

Susan Wagner of Equine Advocates says Press Exclusive looked like a movie star on the day she arrived at Equine Advocates, and she credits Mindy Lovell of Transitions Thoroughbreds for that great condition.

Susan Wagner of Equine Advocates says Press Exclusive looked like a movie star on the day she arrived at Equine Advocates, and she credits Mindy Lovell of Transitions Thoroughbreds for that great condition.

Since Press arrived at her sanctuary for horses of all breeds, the charismatic beauty has been a star, attracting fans like a starlet.

“People are just drawn to her. She’s just a gorgeous animal, and among our horses, she’s one that has this indefinable star quality,” she says.

If you look closely at Press’s eyes, or at her legs, small scars still show evidence of the trauma on the slaughter truck. But her sheer beauty and presence overshadows all that now, as the people-loving animal makes new friends among those who will never hurt her.

24 responses to “Press Exclusive treated for ulcerated mouth”

  1. Maureen Hewitt-Topp

    It is my understanding that a previous owner did make a contribution to Press’s care, so please don’t condemn if you don’t know the ‘whole’ story.

    1. Jo-Anne Ward

      Well Maureen, I do “know the’whole’story” and have no problem calling out people like Di Giulio & Sasek. Press Exclusive earned herself a retirement in Caledon East long ago, but was forced to keep on Contributing.

  2. Deby Campana

    Can anyone let the past owners or trainer know what happened to her? It’s just wrong that this happens. Maybe some rotten publicity towards the prior trainer and the prior owners should be out there for everyone to see.

    1. Letty Grayson

      I agree wholeheartedly. The former trainer/owner, who I understand is in the top 10, needs to come forward and make a statement.

  3. cheri vaughan

    LONG LIVE “PRESSY” and all her stellar, protective connections!!

  4. Mindy Lovell

    There has been some confusion as to the chain of events that occurred with Press so I would just like to clarify a couple of things. Press was temporarily offloaded at a sale barn in Ottawa which is the practice of this particular kill buyer – to sort horses and finish paperwork on horses heading to the slaughter plant. It was at THIS particular sale barn that the sale barn vet spotted her and noted her condition. At this time, he condemned her for slaughter due to her condition and he did want to put her down at that time. This did NOT mean she could or should not be saved, this only meant she was NOT fit for slaughter. My shipper was about to load her at this very time to bring her to my farm. He had a conversation with this vet in which he told the vet that she was coming to me, she was now my horse and he mentioned the name of my vet clinic which he happened to know. I had met this sale barn vet on previous occasions so he would have known who I was. He agreed to let her go and not put her down because she was NOT going to slaughter and was coming to me to be cared for. He then left some instructions for her immediate treatment upon arrival at my farm. My own personal vet came out to give her a thorough exam not long after her arrival and at that time I specifically asked for my vet’s opinion on whether or not it was fair to ask Press to try and pull through this or would it be more humane to have her euthanized. I wanted what was best for this mare. My vet said she had a chance and that Press would let me know through her actions. The next 72 hours were the most critical period and Press did let me know that she had absolutely no intention of giving up. Press is most definitely one of the most remarkable horses that has ever crossed my path. She gave her all to every single person that ever asked anything of her including me – when she was at her absolute worst. I am blessed to have had her in my life and Press is blessed to have the wonderful lifetime retirement home that she now has with Susan Wagner. I think she earned that and she deserves it.

  5. Michelle Yarber


    My apologies for misspelling of names

    Marlene Murray
    Maureen Hewitt-Topp

  6. Michelle Yarber

    HUGE, HUGE thank you to Mindy for saving this mare. I just cannot understand how, as another poster said, all the hands who touched this mare (and all the others before her) could not know (or care) they had a responsibility for her destiny.

    Thank you also to Maureen Hewlitt-Topp for bailing her out, Maureen Murray for contacting the mare’s future forever home, and especially Susan Wagner for offering the ultimate gift – a forever home where this mare will never know pain and suffering as long as she lives.

    Susan Salk, I so enjoy your articles! Thank you so much for bringing them to us and alerting those of us who never knew about this seedy side of Thoroughbred racing.


      Ditto a thousand thousand times!

  7. Joy Aten

    Saying “Thank you!” to Mindy and Susan is not and never will be enough to express my gratitude for what they did for Press and so many other TB racehorses that this multi-billion dollar gambling industry – horseracing – throws out like garbage day in and day out. And as Susan said, not ONE SINGLE connection of this magnificent mare that profited from her enslavement was there for her in the end. Again, the folks who TRULY care are those who never pocketed a dime from the horse’s earnings…

    To Mindy and Susan, you are amazing women. Press, you are finally receiving what’s been due you your entire life…to be cherished simply for who you are, and not for what can be taken from you.

  8. Mary-Joe

    Stories like this just pain me. Thanks to Mindy and Susan she is safe. Press is so beautiful. I always think of those that can’t be saved and it pains me even more.

  9. Vera Silcox

    I truly love horses and think that all of them deserve respect and should be treated with kindness and understanding. I have often wondered what it would be like to own one but have never taken it any further than dreaming about it because I know I do not know anything about them and would not want to sacrifice them to my misguided good intentions when they need professional care and knowledge. I hear about the abuse of these beautiful creatures all the time and wonder about the heart and soul withione any person who could mistreat and abuse them. It saddens me to know there are slaughter houses for them in this country. To me it is barbaric to slaughter any of them.

  10. Dale Smicklas

    People continue to amaze me in both good and bad ways. Transition Thoroughbreds did so in an good way here, actually in a stunningly beautiful way.
    What pisses me off and even more so puzzles me is that of all the hands that were laid on this mare, of all the people who benefitted from her performance and her offspring…no one realized that her destiny was in their hands??? No one…
    Shocking to say the least.

  11. Barbara Griffith

    This is what I have always said about the brood mares. Few people ever notice them but 99% of them end up in the slaughter pipeline. This is another dark secret that is kept from the public along with all of the TB slaughter. A lot of these breeders just contact the kill buyer and have the horses the breeder is done with picked up at the farm. Out of sight out of mind is their slogan. They have the younger mares coming up so they don’t need the older ones anymore. Not to mention the laundry list of Vet drugs that all racing TB’s are given that humans are not supposed to eat.

  12. Jennifer Canfield

    Proof that angels are among us. Brave people, brave horse.

  13. Patty Hamilton

    Thank you Ms. Wagner for saving Press Exclusive. Thanks to you and everyone that worked with you on rescueing this fine horse she is alive. I always ask myself how could this happen to such great horses that give their heart and souls to the racing industry and end up like garbage. It breaks my heart to know that this is the norm in many racing circles. Just throw the horse away to the meat buyer for a couple of bucks. Heartbreaking to anyone that cares about horses. Wish many more in Press Exclusive situation could be saved.

  14. Maureen Hewitt-Topp

    Glad to hear Press is doing so well. When I saw her picture on Transitions Thoroughbreds in December 2012, I knew I had to help Mindy out. You see, I own her daughter ‘Jumptoconclusions’, who had raced for my partner and me before we retired her. Jump is the sweetest, kindest mare one could ever want, so I was not about to let her dam meet such an unkind fate. I emailed Mindy enough to cover her ‘bail’, and Mindy was able to get her out of the pens.

    I watched her yearling filly go through the CTHS Select Sale last September, and she looks just like her mother, and my ‘Jump’. I will be watching for her, as I would also like to know that she is safe, if you know what I mean. 😉

  15. Leslie M. Bliman-Kuretzky

    Bless this dear mare and all those helping her

  16. Barbara Devers

    Press Exclusive is so beautiful now and her story has captured many hearts. Please give $ to Mindy Lovell , Transitions Thoroughbreds, so she can continue saving TB’s at their very last possible spot for being saved. Mindy gets little to no support from the TB industry and yet crusades on to make that difference one horse at a time. More TB’s are ending up at the slaughterhouses because some handlers wish to bypass auctions where their lack of compassion will be outed by zealous rescuers.


      Yes, Barbara. Mindy is at the battle line, the last hope for so many. She tirelessly works and we need to keep helping her.


    Thank you Susan for the update on this ever inspiring and overwhelming story of good works triumphing over bad. Mindy, Susan and Marlene remain equine MONUMENTS WOMEN! And continued blessings and well wishes for Press Exclusive’s happy, healthy life @Equine Advocates. I had the honor of first meeting her in October and Yes – you feel her special star. What a story!

  18. cindy

    This story continues to haunt me. I don’t know if I would have insisted on saving her as Mindy did. I would have probably conceded to the vet who wanted to end her suffering. But just like people who have no chance to live, and do, this mare has triumphed. Continue to let us know how she does.

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