T’bred network claims Chilean warhorse

Porfido was claimed over the weekend by a network of people who were able to drop a claim, and have him shipped to Old Friends for retirement. He is a 12-year-old stallion who has earned more than $750,000.

Porfido was claimed over the weekend by a network of people who were able to drop a claim, and have him shipped to Old Friends for retirement. He is a 12-year-old stallion who has earned more than $750,000.

Twelve-year-old Chilean stallion Porfido was claimed and retired this weekend through a coast-to-coast effort by several American Thoroughbred advocates who mapped out a plan of action to buy the aging warhorse and retire him sound.

Gail Hirt of Beyond the Roses Equine worked with Texas oilman and racehorse owner John Murrell, as well as with Donna Keen of Remember Me Rescue of Texas and Michael Blowen of Old Friends Kentucky to provide a very special victory for the bay Thoroughbred who has earned $750,000 in 79 lifetime races.

After he finished second Saturday in a $3,000 claiming race at Turf Paradise, a plan, like clockwork, went into action.

Sire: Mash One
Dam: Piazza Venezia
Foal date: Aug. 17, 2002
Earnings: $756,816 in 79 starts
A trainer friend of Donna Keen’s dropped a claim on Porfido using funds donated by John Murrell. The transaction went off without a hitch, and plans continued to roll. Bob Hubbard Transport, which had already agreed to transport the bay racehorse 1,500 miles from Phoenix to Kentucky, will get underway today, with a planned arrival at Old Friends by the week’s end, Gail Hirt says.

After he arrives, the 12-year-old stallion will be welcomed into a family of ex-racehorses, which includes Boule D’or, a British racehorse he ran against in his heyday.

“This horse has been on my watch list for about eight months,” says Hirt, who helped organized his purchase. “He first came to my attention when I was notified by (friend) Susan Sefscik. This was a horse that ran against Lava Man in G1s and G2s, who was very competitive, and who was now in the low claimers.”

Porfido earned more than $750,000 on the track before he was retired this weekend. Photo by Marcie Heacox and used with permission.

Porfido earned more than $750,000 on the track before he was retired this weekend. Photo by Marcie Heacox and used with permission.

At age 12, Porfido was still game enough to be entered in $35,000 handicap races in April and May of this year. But by the weekend, he had dropped precipitously, and was running for a $3,000 tag.

“We couldn’t raise the money to claim him before this. Even when he was in a $7,500 claimer, there was no way we could raise that kind of money for a 12-year-old stallion,” Hirt says. “But when we learned he was entered for $3,000, John Murrell stepped forward and offered to pay for him.”

With funding in place for the claim, Hirt next called Michael Blowen of Old Friends.

“I had already told Michael about him, and Michael said if I could get him claimed, he’d take him,” Hirt adds. “I called him Saturday and told him we have him!”

Porfido is said to be 100 percent sound and after a lengthy career spent grinding out paychecks, was especially deserving of retirement, says John Murrell, who paid for his claiming tag. “A 12-year-old horse has no business running against significantly younger foes … someone had to step in and make the point that this is unacceptable, Murrell says.

Meantime, Beyond the Roses still seeks to raise approximately $1,300 to defray shipping costs and other incidentals, such as a health certificate. Please donate to them via this hyperlink.

T Bred iconOff-Track Products.com is the blog’s store. It was created to sustain the blog going forward. Proceeds from sales of sporty saddle pads will also go to charity.

23 responses to “T’bred network claims Chilean warhorse”

  1. Sue Wilkins

    Thanks to Mr. Murrell and everyone helping save horses. As for people who complain about bills, y’all should just clam up and find another cause. That kind of uninformed posting only helps embolden the pro-slaughter side who wants to divide those of us working to end slaughter. Maybe instead of complaining, we all start voting for politicians who want to help horses not profit from them. Clearly nobody voted well in the last election.

  2. Ariel

    So happy to see him go to a better life. I work for Evans, and got to spend a couple days with this guy. Everyone thought we were crazy claiming a twelve year old, they just didn’t know the whole story…

    1. Sue Sefscik

      Ariel, I’m glad they didn’t know. Too many people may have tried to subvert the efforts. If there any other Old Warriors at TP, perhaps we’ll ask you and Jason again…

      What did you think about his temperament? Is he studdish?

  3. Delrene Sims from Carlsbad, Ca

    Thank you to all who have kept an eye out for this horses welfare and well-being. Retiring to OLD FRIENDS…. Couldn’t have heard better news!!! Thanks to all who assisted.

  4. Gail Hirt

    Thank you John and everyone that assisted in getting this boy into retirement. Without all of your help we wouldn’T be able to get these war horses into a life after their racing careers are at an end.

  5. Barbara Griffith

    At least this is another lucky race horse that didn’t end up with a sticker stuck to his rump at a auction waiting for the last ride either North or South. As long as I have been working toward stopping horse slaughter like so many others over the years I have come to the conclusion that the politicians that introduce a bill or bills that bans US horses being sent across our borders to be slaughtered is the fact that once they do that and the bills are in committee they seem to forget all about the bill and how important it is to pass it. They don’t seem to work toward bringing the bills to the senate floor for a up or down vote. Just like Senator Landrieu she is the person that introduced S.541 along with another politician. I have never heard of her trying to hard to get her bill passed. There is at least 170 House members that have signed on to H.R.1094 but very few in the Senate. It looks more like they introduce one of these bills to gain popularity with the voters in their state that want to stop horse slaughter and to gain favor with the US population that wants horse slaughter stopped for good. With what I am seeing Landrieu will probably lose her senate seat in the mid-term elections not that it makes any difference about the bills at this point.

  6. Anne

    No one works harder than Gail Hurt. I know from past experience with her. Thank God for John Murrell for putting up the claiming tag. Not many previous owners or breeders are this concerned. And of course Michael Blowen and his endless concern and devotion for these magnificent animals.
    Great job by all.

  7. Lisa Melone

    Great news. So wonderful to read about a community of people pulling together to get horses like Porfido into a safe place. Well done!

  8. Lynne Wooddell

    All of you are so inspiring and wonderful!!! Thank you for your huge hearts and donations to help these majestic, brave horses. I will continue to support these charities. Thank you for the hard work and commitment.

  9. John R. Murrell

    It was a great thrill for me to assist in this well deserved retirement. It should have happened a long time ago.

    1. Kathy Agel

      Thank you, John. Angels -do- walk the earth.

    2. Donna Keen

      John, I can not thank you enough for your generosity. Your love for your the horses in an inspiration for so many other owners. I wish we could clone you!

  10. Sue Sefscik

    I have donated the majority of necessary funds to transport him. I have volunteered with Old Friends for many years, having first visited in 2006, when Michael only had a dozen horses and was renting property. Dream Chase has grown, and now I am proud to have helped retire a real, true Old Warrior.

    1. Kathy Agel

      Way to go, Sue!



  12. Shirley


  13. Ellen Brayshaw

    Thank you all for your unrelenting commitment in saving and retiring our War Horses. These soldiers are well-derserving of a second career or pasture with friends.

  14. Jon

    I look at him a see a horse that could have been a great performance mount if people had retired him sooner. Nicely put together. Clearly durable. Still, he is getting the forever home that he needs and has earned.

  15. Tracy Gumpert

    So happy he is sound and he looks GREAT! His weight, his coat, everything! Hopefully he can have a nice long, enjoyable retirement now!

  16. SusanA

    So happy for this horse and can’t wait to see him when I visit Old Friends! 🙂
    Thanks to EVERYONE who got this done—you guys are amazing!

  17. Fran

    Great news! Congrats to this lucky guy!Thanks to all who worked so hard to make this happen!

  18. Susan Stabler

    Thanks so much to all who contributed to get this warrior off the track. Many of us were worried about him. I’m so pleased and thankful that he will be going to Old Friends.

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