Two years having passed since Susie Martell adopted a horse who once subsisted on dumpster garbage, the kind-hearted kindergarten teacher stood back and beheld her now-beautiful Thoroughbred.
Crowning Glory’s dappled coat glistened in the late day Florida sun, her round body showing not a hint of the ravages of hunger, her perfect head held proudly.
“Sometimes I just stand back in awe. She has come so far in two years,” says Martell, who adopted the OTTB from the South Florida SPCA following a dramatic rescue effort. “Whenever I feel like I just want to give up on something, I take a look at her, and at her rescue pictures, and I’m inspired all over again. Her will to survive, and her ability to remain sweet and trusting, despite what she endured, is incredible.”
New name: Hopefully Mine
Sire: Caller I.D.
Dam: Crown and Sceptre, by Affirmed
Foal date: March 5, 1996So after a dramatic rescue effort in June 2014 that saved six Thoroughbreds from the Miami-Dade region of Florida, and spotlighted Crowning Glory—the most emaciated and least likely to live—Martell quietly rang in her two-year anniversary of owning the horse she renamed Hope. On Aug. 7, Martell lugged “a ton of carrots” out to her beloved horse, and lavished her with a spa day. “We did a little riding, she got a bath, and she grazed,” says Martell, who notes that the day she passed papers and adopted Hope has been a “life changer” for her.
“In the two years I’ve had her, I’ve learned so much about horses and I’m just in awe of her,” says Martell, admitting she has taken upwards of 500 pictures of her mare. “My phone is always with me, and I keep my camera in the car. Sometimes I’ll just be walking her from the barn to the arena to ride, and she’ll stop, look around, and I just have to take her picture.”
Hope has gone from wretched throwaway to a horse so beautiful she looks far younger than her 20 years.
Rehabbed on a feed regimen of 10 pounds of Triple Crown Low Starch feed, fish oil, and five to six flakes of hay a day, and worked under saddle to build her topline, Martell is so proud of her SPCA cover girl horse, whose before/after photos grace their literature, that she is considering finding a coach and training for a horse show. And as she decides their next steps, she is just soaking in the glory of being Hope’s owner and caretaker.
“I took her off the property on a trail ride for the first time and she was really, really good. I ride her five out of seven days a week, heading out early evening when the heat of the day cools. Thinking back on those early days together, and the heartache of the mare’s struggle, to where they’ve come on their journey, words like grateful and lucky bubble up as Martell describes their anniversary day. “I still can’t believe it. Sometimes I just stand back in awe of all that we’ve been through, and how far she’s come in two years,” she says. “Hope is a huge success story, and an inspiration to me and everyone who knows her. She really is the belle of the barn.”
Please read about Hope’s rescue here: