When Heartfelt Jazz was vanned off Finger Lakes racetrack this past spring, the lightly raced filly soon found helping hands and a welcome home with the breeder who brought her into this world.
Dan and Kathy Barraclough of Saratoga Glen Farm say they did not hesitate to take back their filly when they were contacted by Second Chance Thoroughbreds, Inc., of New York, notifying them that the pretty bay with a heart-shape marking over her shoulder had been injured, and that they had saved her and two other horses from the possibility of winding up in the slaughter pipeline.
Dan Barraclough says he and his wife were happy to take her back.
Sire: Grand Slam
Dam: Val’s Jazz
Foal date: May 7, 2011“We’ve been blessed to be able to make a living doing what we love. The horses have been good to us, to allow us this lifestyle, so we owe it to them to take care of them” in their time of need, says Dan Barraclough.
So committed is the 15-year-old breeding farm to looking out for their own, that Kathy Barraclough notes they are now putting notes on Jockey Club papers welcoming future owners to contact Saratoga Glen Farm if they need to return a horse. “Our horses are out there trying to do a job, and they’re helping owners and breeders make money. If someone can’t give them a good home, we want to be the next option in line, so they can come back to us, and still have a career when their race days end,” she says.
The Barracloughs each have deep ties with horses. She is a native Australian who rode three-day events before moving to the US and working as an exercise rider at Saratoga. He rode hunter/jumpers prior to opening their business down the road from The Spa and breeding to NY, Kentucky, Florida and Pennsylvania stallions.
“Our philosophy is that we try to help every horse we can. Sometimes my wife is asked by a trainer to help a horse she gallops at the track; there’s a bunch of exercise riders who help (re-home horses) who you never hear about,” he says. “We’ve taken in a lot of broodmares who are lame when they get here, and who are perfectly sound two years later.”
He adds, “For us, it’s the ones who have a strike against them who we tend to gravitate toward, because we know their future isn’t as bright if we don’t take them ourselves.”
So when they got a call from Second Chance Thoroughbreds, Inc., a NY based horse charity that took in Heartfelt Jazz after she injured herself in an April 29th race, they readily agreed to take her back.
“We bred and sold her. We still own her mare,” Dan Barraclough says. “My wife’s name was on her papers, so they called her, and she arrived about two weeks ago.”
Heartfelt Jazz was assessed, and quickly buddied up with a pasture pal, he says, noting that in no time she seemed to get the hang of farm life, galloping over her grassy field.
Described as having a great attitude, any soreness she felt after her last race seems to be easing by the day, he adds.
His wife says that the plan now is to let Heartfelt Jazz take it easy this fall and winter, put on some weight, and in the spring they’ll reassess her. “She might just stay here and be a buddy for weanlings. She might make a great elder horse to watch over them, and to train beside them when we teach them to load and unload,” Kathy Barraclough says.
Although Second Chance Thoroughbreds, Inc., made a point to thank her and her husband for taking back their filly, crediting them as a “responsible breeder,” the Barracloughs say no thanks needed.
“I do think we should all take responsibility,” Kathy Barraclough says. “If all true horse people and horse lovers did the right thing, we wouldn’t have to worry about it so much. I would hope that everyone would take a normal amount of responsibility to help their horses.”