A Thoroughbred purchased for $30 at an upstate New York auction house in September, and who managed to elude a trip to the slaughterhouse when a woman said his eyes pleaded, ‘save me,’ is set to begin prepping for a national OTTB event.
Metallic Sky, a dark bay New York bred who was once so thin he registered a mere 1.5 on the Henneke body condition scale, and so pathetic in appearance that he appeared a full 1-hand smaller than he is, beseeched Barb Devers, a pre-kindergarten teacher from Ithaca, to change his life; and soon, he competes at the Retired Racehorse Project’s makeover and symposium in Kentucky.
Barn name: Noble
Sire: Silver Train
Foal date: March 25, 2010The 4-year-old gelding will ship next month to Second Chance Thoroughbreds, a Spencer, N.Y. charity, and begin training with Shannon Ryan, Devers says, noting that it’s pretty much a miracle that a bottom-rung horse nobody wanted would wind up showing at the Kentucky Horse Park.
“I think it’s just awesome,” she says. “This is a horse who would have probably been shipped to a renderer because nobody was interested in bidding when he first ran through the auction.”
Though there were roughly150 people in attendance the night she found Sky, who she nicknamed Noble for his regal bearing, he possessed a beauty only she could see. “There were a lot of horses there that night, so even the good horses were only going for $200,” she says. “Noble wasn’t considered a ‘good horse’ and was tied up with the lesser horses when I noticed him.”
Tied with 12 others to a fence, Noble was the very picture of cruel fate.
His coat was tattered and bleached far lighter than its natural dark-bay luster. His hips jutted out as evidence that it had been a long time since his last good meal. And yet, there was a dignity about him, and even a kindness.
“If a horse looks me in the eye, that means a lot to me. And I felt that when he looked at me, it was like he said, ‘Save me.’ I go to the auction pretty regularly, I guess I’m trying to defeat death, and I think a horse like Noble is worthy of having a good life.”
—Off Track Thoroughbreds will follow Noble’s progress as he preps for the Retired Racehorse Project’s Kentucky event. Please stay tuned.