Boy saves doomed T’bred with birthday cash

Brandon Allen, 9, of Ontario donated his birthday cash to save doomed Thoroughbred Karazan from slaughter.

Brandon, 9, of Ontario donated his birthday cash to save doomed Thoroughbred Karazan from slaughter.

A freckle-faced boy with a shock of red hair pledged his birthday money last August to save a doomed chestnut Thoroughbred from the Canadian slaughter pipeline when nobody else would.

Brandon, 9, of Ontario says he couldn’t bear the thought of the pretty ex-racehorse, whose looks reminded him of his own, going to slaughter. So after his mother MJ Allen explained to him that 17-year-old mare Karazan has been purchased by a meat buyer and would likely go to the slaughterhouse, he asked her to spend his birthday money to save her instead.

“I did it because nobody else was going to buy her,” Brandon says. “And I saw her hair was the same, exact color as my hair. And I wanted to save her because I love horses.”

His offer floored his mother, who was so proud of her son’s generosity and compassion that she cobbled together $650 with the help of some friends and purchased the mare from an online site that offers horses who have already been sold to a meat seller, a last chance to go to a willing buyer.

Sire: Kayrawan
Dam: Regents Glory
Foal date: April 1, 1998
Allen explains: “I recently found out about this website, Need You Now Equine, and I was watching this mare Karazan because nobody seemed interested in her. My son noticed and asked what I was doing, and when I explained it to him, that’s when he said, ‘Mummy, my birthday’s coming up. Just give my birthday money to them. I don’t want the horse to die.’ ”

A few days later, the Ontario mother announced she had a surprise for Brandon. “I thought I was in trouble,” says Brandon. But, the news was much better: Karazan had been saved from slaughter. And better still, the horse was now his!

Brandon noticed the horse was the same color as his hair!

Brandon noticed the horse was the same color as his hair!

“When I told him the horse had found a home he started jumping up and down,” Allen says. “And then I said, ‘She’s yours!’ and he went nuts.

In late August, a couple of weeks before he turned 9, the best birthday present of his life rolled down the driveway.

After years of begging for a horse of his own Brandon got his wish on Aug. 22, and Karazan got hers, too.

“Karazan’s already spoiled,” says Allen, who notes that she has given her son beautiful rides on their small horse farm, where Brandon and Karazan will create lifelong memories.

“She’s his best friend. He’s always out grooming her and whenever he feels down, he walks out into the field with carrots in his hand to talk to his new buddy,” Allen says. “They’re a perfect match; She was meant to be with him.”

64 responses to “Boy saves doomed T’bred with birthday cash”

  1. Julie

    I hope Brandon sees my comment, because not only am I blown away by his loving compassion and selflessness, I want to tell him his beautiful new friend Karazan is a relative to my own rescue horse. When I saw Karazan’s photo, I thought, “That’s Echo!” They are the spitting image of each other. She is also one of Native Dancer’s offspring (many steps removed).

    Brandon, you’ll likely have already discovered that your Karazan knows what you’re thinking, enjoys and wants your company, and is super-smart. She’ll tease you and play with you and even snuggle with you when you’re feeling a little blue, and she’ll delight in showing off all kinds of intelligent tricks. I just bet she’s unlike the other horses on your farm. You’re going to have a *beautiful* friendship! You’re now family.

    PS: My Echo, also has that queen and diva quality you say Karazan shows. 🙂

    I first read your story on

    1. MJ Allen

      Hi Julie, I have read Brandon your comment 🙂 he said yes his horse is the smartest, bestest horse in the whole world 🙂
      Karazan is one of my favorite horses, she is extremely smart, enjoys her human attention and acts more like a person then a horse, I love her curious nature and she sure doesn’t act her age, I really hope Brandok gets his wish and his horse lives to be 100 😉 team red as I like to call them are certainly mean to be together 🙂 thanks for you lovely comment. MJ & Brandon.

      1. Julie

        MJ and Brandon, it sounds like a match made in heaven for everyone: Team Red and the entire farm family! MJ, thank you for sharing my well wishes with Brandon. 🙂

  2. Bela Johnson

    Amazing story. I’ve done this before, and you will never regret it. Brandon will have years of enjoyment from this beautiful guy, and a lifetime of memories. Bless you all.

  3. tracy

    Well done brandon your a star i too have a thoroughbred like you his name is charlie i rescued him from being put to sleep when he fractured his leg on the racetrack mine for 8 wonderful years , you lots of wonderful memories to make and lots of happy years together xxx

  4. Paula Martin

    I really loved reading this story, made me cry tears of happiness, way to go young man, may you have many wonderful years with Karazan, more people should be like you , god bless you always.

  5. Mel

    He did everything right, what a great story!
    All the best from Germany to you, Brendan, and Karazan.

  6. Charlotte Arthur

    Words can’t describe how I feel about your awesome ness ! I wish the world was filled by millions of u x u are awesome and I wish I knew u x

  7. sylvia line

    What a fantastic story what a lovely boy well done

  8. Rebecca

    What a wonderful child – a selfless act towards a poor animal. Keep up with your lovely caring attitude 🙂

  9. Jorr

    U have raised a fine young Man U should be so proud of him
    From australia

  10. Vilgunn

    I had to shed a few tears, such a beautiful little story. <3

  11. MJ Allen
  12. Robin Sams

    I’m so proud of you Brandon! Great job! This horse will love you forever!

  13. JoAnne Lingo

    Congratulations Brandon! I had to wait until I was twelve to get my first horse but she was worth the wait! Your horse is a beautiful color as is your hair, my husband of forty-six years used to have hair that color. His hair is a bit faded now but it’s still my favorite color of hair! Enjoy your horse, you have a beautiful heart.

  14. Cheri

    If the world had more people like Brandon and his mother, this world would be a much better place for both people and animals. Thank you guys for saving Karazan and being a bright spot in the world! May you all have many happy years together!

  15. Lisa Neely

    I’m speechless except to say that the is the singlemost wonderfully touching story I’ve seen in ages…what a wonderful young guy…. Blessings to all

  16. Anthea

    Oh God, I’m crying.

  17. Mare

    Brandon & Karazan,

    May you both have a lifetime of beautiful days together. She will always be your “first love”. Time will help you develop that bond that is unbreakable; where you both learn to speak each other’s language and earn the trust needed to have a partnership like none other. Take good care of her and she will return the gesture. You both are very, very lucky to have each other.

  18. Paige

    Brandon, you are truly a savior! Thank goodness you were there for this mare! You remind me a lot of my son Keith – same color hair and he had a horse when he was about your age.
    Best of luck to you and your mare. Kudos to your Mom too!!

  19. Lindsay

    Wonderful job young man! If I may ask what was the website that MJ and Brandon found this beautiful mare one?

    1. MJ Allen
  20. Caroline

    Lucky to have eachother. I’m sure it will be a long and happy partnership.

  21. Jan

    how wonderful,

  22. Jerry Supiran

    good job son.We need more guys like you.

  23. Darren J Fish

    I am a thoroughbred horse owner trainer and professional groom. I am so proud of this fine young MAN. My eyes are tearful and my heart is pounding at an excellerated rate just like these two lucky partners. I am at your service for advice any day any time for the well being of this fine RED thoroughbred. I can so relate to what these two are feeling and this is simply wonderful! <3

  24. Theresa H

    Brandon, you are an awesome young man! Hats off to you and your huge heart and to you mom for helping make your dream (and Karazan’s) come true!

  25. Patti Goettler

    The first horse I rode was an 18 yo TB mare (ex racer , ex brood mare), a 16.1 chestnut named Dream Passes…I had been on ponies but she was the first horse. She belonged to my friend and we did everything with this kind mare, including sneaking her into the house once…her Mom came home unexpectedly, but we took her out the back, down 3 stairs into the garage, then opened the Garage door and got back to the pasture with out being caught!

  26. Diane

    I have a 29 year old mare and can’t imagine her being slaughtered. I am proud of this young man!

    If you look at the white marking on her forehead, it looks something like a heart with a cupid’s arrow going through it, from the left top to the right bottom. That’s the way it is for both of them. Love. Pure and simple. She has many more good years left! So does he!

  27. susan

    What a remarkable young man you are Brandon! You saved her life and she will love you forever!! Thank you from all of us for doing a wonderful thing for the horse!

  28. Myrna Jordan

    Thank you and God bless you, Brandon, your Mum, and Karazan. You are a wonderful example of God’s love.

  29. Jeanne Luddeni

    He will not only go far u did a great job and letting him
    Have his pet I grew up with everything I brought home he will be a great man
    Thank u

  30. Suzanne Alderton

    I saw your story on facebook and it made me cry happy tears to see such a wonderful caring boy do such an amazing thing. I have a passion for horses and had my own when I was growing up and again in my 30s until I suffered chronic back problems and could no longer care for him. He was retired to a beautiful big property where the owner spoilt him rotten until he passed at a ripe old age.
    I know he will have a wonderful time with this beautiful horse and give him lots of love and care. He will grow up to be a fine young man and go places as I think loving animals makes that happen. Have a happy life Brandon and Karazan. I must add she is a beautiful girl and a very lucky one. Thanks to you Mum for making this happen. xxx❤️❤️

  31. B Pittson

    What a wonderful young man, wishing you both every happiness in your future xxx

  32. Sarah Purvis

    Amazing job Brandon, MJ and your entire family! She is one beautiful girl and I think you are an incredible young man for saving this babies life! I wish you guys nothing but the best in the future! And MJ Allen I can’t say enough amazing things about you your compassion and love for these animals shines through and I couldn’t be more happier to call you a friend!!

    1. MJ Allen

      Thank you Sarah xo I think the same of you 🙂

  33. Callie1983

    Great kid! His parents are to be thanked for such a fine young man. 🙂

  34. Jon

    Well done. It is nice that Brandon chose to do something great with his birthday money. May their friendship be long.

  35. Delrene Sims from Carlsbad, Ca

    HELLO BRANDON!! What a caring young man you are. This pretty mare will love you forever. You are both so deserving of each other. Way to go Mom

  36. Sue Spencer

    Alec from ‘The Black Stallion’ in the flesh!

  37. Lynne Jones

    God Bless You, Brandon. May you enjoy many years together and have all the love of a lifetime together. Thank you Mom, as well. I have saved horses and there’s never a better feeling when you know that you got this horse and it may have ended up in a situation it never was intended to have happen to it. She is beautiful as well.

  38. Beckette

    Way to go Brandon! I owned two thoroughbreds, both saves from auction. Doing the right thing will make you feel good the rest of your life, and I can tell you have a great future ahead of you. Thanks to your mom too. Enjoy your beautiful mare.

  39. Don Martello

    Sue is there anyway of getting this little boys address, I would like to send him something. I am known at the TRF.

    Thank you

    Don Martello

    1. Judith Donlan

      Thank you Brandon for being wise and compassionate beyond your years and thank you Don for all the charitable work you do for our OTTB’s.

    2. MJ Allen

      Dearest Don,
      Please keep an eye out in the mail, there will be something special coming your way from a little red haired boy 😉 thank you Don. Your amazing

      1. carmenmwhite

        Hi. I’m an editorial assistant for Good News Network, Is there a way I can get in contact with MJ Allen and Brandon? We covered their story back in 2015. I would love to reconnect and talk to them about their story/any updates on how Brandon and Karazan are doing.

  40. Heather

    Good for you, Brandon. We all admire you so much! Enjoy your new mare, and treat her to a wonderful life. Many thanks to you and your Mom.

  41. Stephanie Morse

    Congratulations Brandon. thanks Mom.

  42. Britta

    What a touching story. Brandon, you have a huge heart!! Thanks for saving her!! I am sure she will be your best friend forever!

  43. Viktoria KS

    As a redhead who has rescued over a dozen Thoroughbreds, including the 8 my husband and I support and/or care for monthly, a BIG HORSE HUG and a freckle-faced kiss to Brandon and a horse rescuer’s advice…Take good care of her Brandon and get her micro-chipped. Don’t ever GIVE HER AWAY to anyone or sell her either, without a signed contract that they will owe you $5000 dollars IF that horse ever disappears, is neglected, abused or is given away or sold to anyone else, without them also signing a contract. Blessings to you, your new best friend and your wonderful Mom!

  44. Kathy Dube

    What a heart-warming story! I hate to think of any ex-racehorse going to a slaughter house. Way To Go, Brandon!

  45. Judy Elliott

    Wonderful!!! Just wonderful. I’m so happy for you, Brandon…and for your mom who made it happen. You and Karazan will have such fun together. She will be your best friend and will love you all her life.

  46. Michelle Y.

    Brandon, you are an extraordinary young man!! I can tell you will go far in life. I would like to say thank you to you and your mom for saving her. I have a mare who is the same color, I think they are great!! I hope you have lots of fun riding her and taking care of her in the years to come.

  47. Pam

    This story is just the BEST!! I could feel his excitement when she arrived at his home. I know that feeling of seeing your first horse arrive in a horse truck, get unloaded and have the lead rope placed in your eager hands. May this young man save many more deserving horses.

  48. Cathy

    Gotta love those gingers! Congrats Brandon on your new horse!

  49. Paddy Head

    Brandon, you are a shining example for the world to see. Enjoy every moment with Karazan.

  50. Lynn Smiley

    Well Done Brandon ! Well done Mum !

  51. MJ Allen & Brandon

    He’s very proud of his mare, Brandon says thanks for all the kind comments. Thanks again for sharing this Susan. We love it.

  52. Sandy Carr

    Great story!!! Thank goodness for the red-heads!

  53. Linda McDowell

    What a nice story.

  54. SusanA

    Brandon…what a wonderful young man you are! I applaud you and wish you and Karazan many happy memories together. I hope and pray there are many more young people who will see this story and be as generous and thoughtful as you!

  55. tbdancer


  56. Colmel

    What an incredibly sweet story. That young man will go far with his compassion and all the wonderful things he will learn from his beautiful, new friend. Once again, a child shows the way. I LOVE his hair, too. Perfect match.

Leave a Reply