After nine years of searching for the special race mare who could always be counted on to win for her, Anne Buxton found Sarah Says Go at the end of the line: the Camelot feedlot in New Jersey.
Over the summer, Buxton stumbled across some information on Camelot’s website indicating a horse by the same name had been there, but had been purchased by a new owner.
But any relief she felt was short lived. As she did more research, eventually tracking down the new owner online, it was unclear whether the chestnut with big, white blaze had survived at all.
“Over the years I’d made inquiries, but nobody knew anything about Sarah, and I finally figured she was dead,” Buxton says. “Then fast-forward to this summer. I was messing around online, punching in names to Equibase, a pedigree query, and her name turned up!”
With a hammering heart, Buxton started to delve further, tracking down the name of the new owner via the Internet, only to discover that the young lady who took the horse had indicated on her Facebook page that the mare was put down.
Name: Sarah Says Go
Sire: Beau Genius
Dam: Sarah Says So
Foal date: 1997
“I almost fell over,” Buxton says. “I looked for this horse for nine years, and it appeared that I found her the day after she was put down. I was devastated.”
Information was confusing, and thinking the horse had already been humanely euthanized because of illness, Buxton wrote anyway to the new owner. This is when she learned the horse still lived.
“I was told Sarah was still alive, but was scheduled to be euthanized the next day!” Buxton recalls. “The owner told me the mare had been dropping weight, and that a veterinarian recommended she be put down.”
Immediately, memories of her special race mare, who won for her when she needed it most, came flooding back. She decided she owed the old girl something.
“I never felt good about our decision to sell her. She put food on the table and made it possible for us to pay our bills,” Buxton says. “But, when we sold her as a four-year-old, she was the most valuable horse we had, and we really needed the money.
“I always wanted to get her back.”
Still somewhat strapped for money, Buxton’s friends, along with horse-welfare nonprofit The Second Race contributed toward the $500 cost to ship Sarah from Virginia to Ocala, Fla., where she and her husband live.
The young lady who purchased Sarah from Camelot personally drove the mare roughly 80 miles to meet a professional horse-shipping company, and transfer the horse for the long haul.
“They met at a rest stop and the horse was taken off the van and put on a truck,” Buxton says, noting that Sarah was the type of Thoroughbred who proved again and again she was “tough as nails.”
After Sarah left Buxton in 2001, she completed 49 starts and earned over $100,000 before her career ended in low-level claimers. After that, she became a brood mare, and eventually wound up at the feedlot.
It appears to Buxton that Sarah had quite a difficult life before she found her again. The horse was skittish and had to be tranquilized shortly after she arrived in Florida. And adding to her heightened anxiety was a recently diagnosed thyroid condition, which is steadily improving with correct medication.
Now safe in her barn, Sarah once again wears her original halter with brass nameplate, a piece of tack that Buxton held on to all these years. The familiar piece of leather is a reminder that she is again home.
11 responses to “Saved twice, Sarah Says Go makes it home”
There are always very nice TB’s at Camelot auction……some weeks there are very high numbers. I encourage folks to check it out…..I got one from there! Wonderful!
[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Alex Brown. Alex Brown said: x owner reunited with mare after many years, very cool: http://offtrackthoroughbreds.com/2011/01/12/saved-twice-sarah-says-go-makes-it-home/ […]
It was a pleasure to assist Anne, this was truly kismet and how can you not love a happy ending?! Loved reading the story all over again!
Sharla, I was so happy your nonprofit agency, The Second Race, was able to help get Sarah Says Go on the trailer, pointed southward. What a wonderful thing!
Lovely! 🙂 What a wonderful story!
A lovely story indeed! I hope many years of only sunny moments lie ahead for Sarah and her devoted owner…
Lynne, Nancy, Karen, Kim, Louise– Thank you for taking the time to write in. What I liked in particular about Anne’s story was that it demonstrated a commitment and love on Anne’s part that kept her always hanging on, wishing to learn about her old mare. She wasn’t really in a financial place to start rescuing horses, but she couldn’t pass Sarah up either. Anyway, I just loved learning about Sarah Says Go, and hope she spends the rest of her days fat and happy.
We are all overjoyed Sarah has come home to Anne 🙂
Susan, this is such a beautiful and encouraging story. One that proves there is always hope where there is genuine love. I am so happy for you, Anne and Sarah. This is a wonderful story with a happy ending because of the love you had for your horse. Sarah will thrive and be healthy and happy, and so will you Anne. You both deserve the very best.
Thank you! There was a whole effort to get this horse back to Anne, including help from The Second Race. What good people they are.