Lights On Broadway dies of colic in Texas

Lights On Broadway, the top-earning racehorse who inspired Dallas and Donna Keen to found Remember Me Rescue, succumbed to colic this past weekend.

Lights On Broadway, the top-earning racehorse who inspired Dallas and Donna Keen to found Remember Me Rescue, succumbed to colic this past weekend.

Lights On Broadway, the 2001 Texas Racehorse of the Year, a racehorse so special he inspired Donna Keen to found Remember Me Rescue, died over the Labor Day weekend after a severe and sudden bout of colic.

In an announcement via Facebook Keen says, “I feel like I lost by best friend today.”

The son of Majestic Light, who years ago came perilously close to the slaughterhouse after knocking out a formidable race record, and earning more than $500,000, was taken in by Donna and Dallas Keen several years ago, and made a poster horse for their new rescue in Burleson, Texas.

Their long and happy friendship however, ended suddenly. After the farm manager, while conducting his morning chores, discovered Lights was suffering from colic, the veterinarian was called. When he arrived, Lights was very toxic, with reflux coming out of his nose, and in extreme pain, Keen says.

Lights On Broadway
Sire: Majestic Light
Dam: Script Gal
Foal date: May 29, 1997
Earnings: $572,445, 83 starts
“He (determined) his stomach had ruptured,” says Keen, adding, “Even in extreme pain, Lights was polite and a gentleman to the end.”

He was administered heavy sedation and humanely euthanized at the farm, and his remans will be buried beneath a huge pecan tree, alongside Dallas’ beloved pony horse, Blue.

“The evening we buried Blue, this beam of sunlight shined through the clouds and trees and illuminated the huge pecan tree, only that tree, turning it almost orange,” Keen says. “It was like God comforting us, telling us Blue was with him. I can almost bet we’ll see it again when we bury Lights.”

Lights on Broadway had a tumultuous life.

When he was up, he was winning against the best of them. As a 4-year-old in 2001, he won the Assault Stakes at Lone Star Park, the Chick Lang Jr. Memorial Handicap at Retama Park, and the Star of Texas Stakes at Sam Houston Race Park. With those three black-type scores and many other impressive performances, Lights was crowned 2001 Texas Horse of the Year, according to the Blood Horse.

Lights was a favorite at Remember Me Rescue. Here is receives a visit from Lilly Armstrong.

Lights was a favorite at Remember Me Rescue. Here is receives a visit from Lilly Armstrong.

He dropped in class and was running in low claimers by 2004, according to Mary Cage’s column in the Blood Horse, eventually selling to a horse broker and headed to a Canadian slaughterhouse.

“When the trailer driver made a stop at a café, he met Gregg Sanders, an Oklahoma-based Quarter Horse trainer. The two began talking and the driver informed Sanders he had a racehorse on the trailer that had several wins listed on his papers. Sanders recognized Lights on Broadway’s name and impressive race record. In that moment, he decided to buy Lights to keep him from going to slaughter,” Cage wrote in the article.

By 2008, Lights On Broadway caught the attention of Alex Brown, and he was placed on the Top Bunk List, which tracks there whereabouts of Thoroughbreds who have earned $500,00 or more. Lights earned just over $570,000.

Though by this point in his career, there were several who stepped up to offer Lights a home, include LOPE of Texas and Joe McDermott, Light’s breeder, it was Dallas and Donna Keen who would eventually open up their farm and their hearts to the hard-trying racehorse.

After he arrived, Keen says she fell in love with the 17-hand racehorse with flaxen mane and tail.

And it was with a heavy heart that she announced over the weekend that the horse who “came inches from death” and went on to become a foundation horse for her charity would no longer run the fields of her Texas farm. Light’s burial costs are $650, and eventually the farm would like to place a headstone. Those wishing to donate to these costs may do so at this hyperlink to Remember Me Rescue’s Pay Pal Account. ♦

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13 responses to “Lights On Broadway dies of colic in Texas”

  1. Nuala Galbari

    What a beautiful poem, Darrell.

    Condolences to the Keen family. What a gorgeous, angelic face he had, with his wide-set, soft eyes — an angel on this Earth. Thank you for giving him such a loving home. He will be in your hearts, always. Sleep softly, gentle Metro, until you are reunited with your beloved family — human and equid.

  2. Darrell C

    Don’t cry for the horses that life has set free.
    A million white horses forever to be.
    Don’t cry for the horses now in Spirit’s hand.
    As they dance and they prance in a heavenly band.
    They were ours as a gift, but never to keep.
    As they close their eyes forever to sleep.
    Their spirits unbound. On silver wings they fly.
    A million white horses against the blue sky.
    Look up into heaven, you’ll see them above.
    The horses we lost, the horses we loved.
    Manes and tails flowing they gallop through time.
    They were never yours – they were never mine.
    Don’t cry for the horses. They’ll be back someday.
    When our time is gone, they will show us the way.
    Do you hear that soft nicker? Close to your ear?
    Don’t cry for the horses. Love the ones that are here.
    ~Brenda Riley-Seymore~

  3. Gary

    My horse rescued from becoming tiger food at a lion farm in Aurora Texas was an 18 hand thoroughbred. His name? Son of Seattle Slew that had won over $385.000 at Louisiana Downs before he bowed a tendon in his front right leg. I healed this horse and the final analysis from my vet was that his right leg was more sound than his good leg. These horses are discarded by race horse owners as expendables, an expense. It’s all about the money! So sorry to hear of this magnificent creatures loss of life. Horse colic happens, and at the stage that this horse had colic it was only in God’s hands, not in the hands of the veterinarian. If you have ever had to put a horse down then you know it was the only thing they could have done.

  4. Barbara Griffith

    I have supported every anti-slaughter bill coming out of congress for the past ten years to no avail. The US Senate are the very ones that refuse to support the bills or bring the bills to the floor for a vote. There are almost 170 House members that support and have signed on to cosponsor H.R. 1094 Safe Guard American Food Exports Act of 2913. The Senate bill S.541 is supported by only about 28 or 30 Senators that have cosponsored S.541 with most of them being the same Senators that cosponsored the last anti-slaughter bill a few years ago that died in committee. There are paid lobbyists that constantly make the rounds of the politicians offices talking up a storm to prevent the bills from being passed. Some of the major players are the racing industry its self because with out horse slaughter that would slow down their rampant over breeding. The owners of race horses like Lights was there to snap up his winnings to pay for their big expensive houses and was the first one to ship horses like Lights to the slaughter plant when they start to lose money out they go with no mercy. You can thank the Senate for not passing every anti-slaughter bill ever introduced in congress. These are the same people that want your vote when they are running for reelection so remember that when you go to the polls this November. Remember, elections have consequences.

  5. cheri vaughan

    A profound loss, to be sure. Run free, sweetheart. Surely, all that have gone before you were there to greet you warmly.

  6. Michelle Y.

    So sorry to hear of Lights passing. I am so happy for him (and thankful for the Keens) that he knew several years of love and happiness with the Keens. It was definitely a serendipitous moment that he was saved from that trailer.

  7. stephanie rosenberg

    I lost my last horse the same way in 2007, and it tore my heart out. The pain doesn’t go away, it just lessens a little. Good memories of happy times with that special friend helps.

  8. nancy atkinson

    Every day they spend at their rescue home is a gift. You saved him and extended his life from human abuse to human love. Thank you for loving him making his last years as they should be. My greatest wish is to put his previous owners on the trailer you rescued him from. I have 10 rescued TBs and they are so beautiful and giving. I hate an industry that throws them out like yesterdays garbage, Know you did a great thing for him.

  9. KWebers

    And I agree, Victoria Racimo.
    So sorry for the Keen’s loss. They gave Lights secure and comfortable days, where he might not have had that.
    Many of us mourn the loss of an individual horse, or the passing of a horse known to many, but after such a loss, are we not better for a positive act on behalf of horses? Here’s a suggestion:
    As of August 28, over 64,000 US horses shipped to slaughter in Mexican slaughter plants this year.

    A similar number were shipped to Canadian plants.
    Gain humane treatment for horses by contacting your elected members in Washington.
    TELL all three that you’re their constituent.
    ASK all three to cosponsor and actively support HR.1094 & S.541, the current federal bills that would ban horse slaughter for human consumption, as wall as banning the horrific bulk transport that the industry uses to get profits from horse slaughter.
    THANK them if they already are cosponsors.
    Find your two senators and your representative in Washington:

  10. Pam

    This is so sad. There is some comfort in knowing that he was loved ’til the end. Are Thoroughbreds more prone to colic than other breeds?

  11. elvira

    Now Lights On Brodway can run in God’s Heaven for his animals…. Run free Lights On Broadway.

  12. Victoria Racimo

    So moving. Condolences Donna and friends, you, who gave Lights a few years of joy and health. Stories like this stir up deeply seated sadness and also rage that our horses, champions or not, are sent off to slaughter, every hour of every day of every year. If it weren’t for the serendipity at that truck stop and the souls who swung into action, Lights would have wound up in the kill lot. Bless you all. WE MUST STOP TRANSPORT, SLAUGHTER AND DEFINING OUR EQUINES AS LIVESTOCK.THEY ARE NOT FOOD. RIP LIGHTS ON BROADWAY.

  13. Greg Jones

    So sad, heart goes out to Donna and all that cared for Lights on Broadway.

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