Nowhere to go after Suffolk, Rich Hero lucks out

Rich Hero went to live with Lisa Molloy at ReRun, Inc., in Virginia two weeks ago.

Rich Hero went to live with Lisa Molloy at ReRun, Inc., in Virginia two weeks ago.

Passed up and passed over, and nobody wanted warhorse Rich Hero, as Suffolk Downs closed it doors forever.

After an honorable career spent battling his way to the winner’s circle enough times to earn $250,000 in 63 starts, no kind consideration came his way at the end, when Suffolk Down announced plans to permanently close, and many horses were put up for sale.

Despite several pleas on Facebook by CANTER New England that Rich Hero was in great need of a home, and after several failed attempts by horse advocate Lorita Lindemann to secure him a foster home, or placement in a Thoroughbred center, the pure chestnut gelding’s story looked grim. Until that is, Virginia-based T-bred trainer Lisa Molloy of ReRun, Inc., found she had an available stall.

Rich Hero
Sire: Maria’s Mon
Dam: Idle Rich
March 23, 2005
Earnings: $248,103, 63 starts
“I was aware that Suffolk Downs was closing, and I had gotten seven horses adopted out that month, so I called up Lorita and told her I had a stall,” Molloy says. “That’s when she told me about Rich Hero, and I agreed to take him before I even saw his photos. She told me people weren’t interested in him because he was older and he’d run a lot.”

Molloy agreed to take him and also Soccer Goalie from Suffolk Downs and she is happy she did!

“I was quite pleased with my decision when Rich Hero showed up. He’s very nice, a really classy looking horse in good condition and carrying quite a bit of weight,” she says. And though he has the bearing of a monarch who expects things to be done for him on his own timetable —when he stands next to the paddock gait to come in, he expects it to open immediately—he is already proving to have a great disposition.

Rich Hero treats himself to a mud bath.

Rich Hero treats himself to a mud bath.

“He’s got a lot of personality, like he knows he’s a special horse,” she says. “And he’s in good shape. His legs are good” despite the wear and tear of a lengthy career “and I think he’ll be ideal for low-level pursuits, like trail riding and low-level dressage.”

She adds, “The older warhorses don’t have anything left to prove, so I prefer that they go to laid-back homes.”

Along with Rich Hero, Molloy also welcomed four other retired racehorses to her farm: Radiohead, Marco Be Good, Artie Luvsto Party and West Side Corral were all shipped to her Virginia facility from Saratoga, N.Y., while Soccer Goalie was placed at ReRun, Inc. New York chapter, she says.

How do you like me now?

How do you like me now?

Molloy paid close to $2,000 to ship the ex-racehorses to her facility and has since invested approximately $400 in shoes, vaccines, and wormers for some of the horses, she says, noting that her ReRun, Inc., chapter is in need of donations to help in the care of her 25-horse herd.

It has been a successful year re-homing horses, says Molloy, noting that after taking in 71 Thoroughbreds from a range of trainers, she has re-homed about 40 so far.

To Lindemann’s ears, Molloy’s phone call was like the singing of angels the day she offered to take Rich Hero.

“She is truly a blessed soul to do what she did,” Lindemann says.

Donations may be made to ReRun’s Virginia branch via this hyperlink. ♥

T Bred iconPlease consider visiting the blog’s new store, Off-Track Products. Proceeds will help sustain this blog in the future, and go to charity.

9 responses to “Nowhere to go after Suffolk, Rich Hero lucks out”

  1. Nina Eckhoff

    Shame on the breeders/trainers/owners who are responsible for putting these horses in this vulnerable position in the first place.

  2. Diane

    Only racing folk (of which I’m one) would think Rich Hero is old! He’s got a lot of good years in front of him. These warhorses have seen it all and I love to hear about their diva-ish ways. After all they’ve done they deserve it! Thanks to Lisa for taking him and some of my other favorite NYRA runners like Radiohead and Artie Luvsto Party. Sounds like it’s a win-win for all 🙂

    1. Lisa Molloy

      Diane – Another NYRA favorite Head Heat Hoof arrives at Rerun today

  3. Judith Ochs

    I have met another war horse – Irish Majesty currently at MidAtlantic. To become a war horse – you have to have great conformation so that you do not break down coupled with a very smart brain to figure how and when to move, conserve energy etc., etc. etc. Irish has the absolute loveliest personality. When I first met him he was not sure about me and nervous. Now, he comes up, nuzzles, looks for his treats and stands at the gate waiting to be taken out and hand grazed. I would take him if I could but we have 2 horses now and retired. I just want to see him get his own person – the person who is right for him and is smart enough to know how lucky you can get….

    1. Jon

      I had the honor of moving Irish Majesty when MAHR relocated to their new facility. Even though he was still fresh from his abuse, he was still a kind, classy horse. Here is a horse that made over $500,000 and was not taken care of by his connections.
      I also would love him to be in my barn, but I cannot take on another at this time.

  4. Jon

    It is a good thing Lisa and many others have stepped up to help the Suffolk OTTB’s. Many of us would love to help more, but our barns are full or we cannot afford to keep another.

    It appears that Rich Hero is enjoying being a Mud Chestnut. This is one of the first signs that he is happy where he is.

  5. Daryl

    the thought of any animal just being thrown away hurts my heart big time, this guy gave his all and in the end they could care less because he was a senior horse, shame on you who did this to this fine hard worked animal. I do wish him a fun retirement and lots of love and care. Here’s to Rich Hero. Happy Trails.

  6. Lisa Melone

    Oops–trail ride rather than trial ride? I always worry about the older horses, the ones that need layup, and those with big knees or ankles. I like Lisa’s belief that warhorses have proven themselves and deserve soft landings with easy second careers. I’d take ’em all if I could, but 3 OTTB’s eat up enough of our paychecks. So I try to network them whenever possible. It was a close call for Rare Lukey–thought I’d have to go get him until someone adopted him earlier this week. So glad to see these guys all finding homes. Let’s keep the ball rolling!

  7. nancy atkinson

    OMG–old?? Are you kidding? That is a great age. I would love to have him! He would love to trail ride. Beautiful horse! he deserves a fun retirement.

Leave a Reply