A ratty chestnut gelding who by a stroke of luck was able to catch a ride out of the Bastrop kill pen in Louisiana, and be spared the slaughterhouse, is expected to make a grand appearance at a Kentucky horse show next month.
A Miracle’s On, a 3-year-old gelding rescued by MidAtlantic Horse Rescue earlier this summer has been entered to compete at the Kentucky Horse Park as part of the Retired Racehorse Project’s Thoroughbred Makeover show, says Bev Strauss, president of the horse rescue.
A Miracle’s On
Barn name: Mo
Sire: In a Walk
Dam: My Foriels On
Foal date: May 12, 2012“It was a miracle that we got this horse out of the kill pen and onto our trailer,” says Strauss, explaining that last-minute details that can bottleneck a negotiation were handled in record time with help from friends who pulled out all the stops to get A Miracle’s On added to a shipment of rescued Thoroughbreds.
It just as easily could have been a ride to the slaughterhouse, says Strauss, who notes that A Miracle’s On was saved only by fluke.
Strauss had already arranged to purchase three other Thoroughbreds with funds that had been bequeathed to her charity for the purpose of horse rescue, and with additional funding raised by a community of her supporters to ship them north. And after everything was in order—the horse dealer had been paid, the shipper had been hired, and the trailer was on its way—A Miracle’s On appeared at the kill pen, and across Strauss’s radar.
“When I saw his picture, and he looked so ratty, I thought that we already had a trailer going down, and we had funds to add him on, but that the stars would really have align to get him up on this load,” she says.
Doubting she could get it all arranged in time, Strauss called on her friend Shelly Grantham Riley, who agreed to make a special trip for him and the other horses for quarantine, and then reached out to Georganne Hale, vice president of Maryland Racing, and willing friend who helped grease the wheels. Hale is the creator of the Totally Thoroughbred Show at Pimlico, and was happy to pick up the phone to help.
“I knew he’d raced at Evangeline and that Georganne” could be very helpful in getting all necessary health certificates and Coggins reports, she says. “And the stars really all did align, and he loaded on the trailer.”
In the weeks since his rescue, A Miracle’s On has proved such an agreeable animal, that when it came time to re-think horses the charity would show at the well-known Thoroughbred Makeover Project in Kentucky next month, he sprang immediately to mind, she says.
“We’d originally entered five horses in the show, but three were adopted, and one we decided not to bring. So I looked around my field and was looking for horses who were ready to start training,” she says, noting that the unassuming young gelding seemed perfect. At 15.2 hands and in a growth spurt, A Miracle’s On deserves this chance to be seen in a better light, she says.
His rescue, and that of the three other Bastrop kill pen horses MidAtlantic Horse Rescue acquired, was made possible by an unexpected donation from friends and family of well-known executive Stephen Racioppo, whose obituary requested donations to MidAtlantic Horse Rescue. “We understand that Stephen loved horses and because of his passion, we received donations from as far away as England and California,” she says.
Strauss adds, “We had the funds to purchase these horses thanks to the many friends of Steve Racioppo’s, but no way to get them north,” she says. “It was an amazing effort by (MidAtlantic Horse Rescue’s) many friends and supporters, to raise enough money to ship these horses north. We could never have rescued the 3+1 without EVERYONE rallying to help! Shelly Grantham Riley picked the first three up and quarantined them, and then made a special trip back to get this guy in time for the ride north. We really appreciate what everyone did for these four deserving guys!”