Breeder takes starved T-bred home, in tears

Danzel, pictured on her track pony Cooper, staples a card to the Jockey Papers of the horses she sells: If the horse doesn’t work out, she will pay twice the meat price and shipping to bring the horse home.

Danzel, pictured on her track pony Cooper, staples a card to the Jockey Papers of the horses she sells: If the horse doesn’t work out, she will pay twice the meat price and shipping to bring the horse home.

When the broodmare Quiddich, whose name was derived from the Harry Potter books, delivered a delicate gray filly, her breeder Danzel Brendemuehl knew that life wouldn’t necessarily be a fairy tale for the little foal she named Silver and Smoke.

Because the proprietor of Classic Bloodstock Farm knew that bad things could happen to racehorses, she stapled a card to Silver and Smoke’s Jockey Club papers promising to the horse back.

As she had done with all her horses, she also promised in the note to pay double the meat price at a livestock auction, and to cover the shipping expenses to return the horse to her Florida farm.

The protection only went so far, however.

Though the filly was returned safely to Brendemuehl after injuring herself as a 2-year old, the note afforded the gray Thoroughbred no protection later on, when the Miami-Dade Police Department seized the starving animal from ramshackle and squalid shed.

Silver and Smoke
Sire: Mountbrook
Dam: Quiddich
Foal date: March 5, 2010
Silver and Smoke was found locked in a low-slung, ramshackle facility in the NW area of Miami-Dade Florida in early August 2014. The stall was so tight she couldn’t fully lift her head. The stall floors were thickly covered in waste so deep it prevented her from lying down.

“It was just disgusting,” says South Florida SPCA Director Laurie Waggoner, who accepted Silver and Smoke into her rescue. “Nobody had cleaned those stalls for a long, long time. And the horses had a body score of 1.”

But despite all she had suffered, the mare still had someone on her side.

Her breeder, shocked and sickened by the story, reached out immediately to make good on the promise of the card she once stapled to Silver and Smoke’s papers.

Silver and Smoke was seized by the Miami-Dade Police Department in early August, and turned over to the South Florida SPCA. When the filly’s breeder found out about the situation, she raced to the SPCA to take the horse back.

Silver and Smoke was seized by the Miami-Dade Police Department in early August, and turned over to the South Florida SPCA. When the filly’s breeder found out about the situation, she raced to the SPCA to take the horse back.

“It absolutely shattered me. I spoke to Laurie (Waggoner) right away, I can’t remember if I called her first, or if she called me,” she says. “I wanted to come get her right away … this is a living, breathing animal I brought into this life, and this is my fault.”

She adds, “I’m a careful breeder. I may breed four horses a year. And I feel we have a responsibility to our animals … who can’t defend themselves.”

As soon as Silver and Smoke was deemed fit to travel, Brendemuehl and her sister raced to the South Florida SPCA to retrieve her. It was even worse than she expected. “People at the SPCA wanted me to stay and take photos, but I was too devastated. I just wanted to get her home,” she says.

She has since placed her in a paddock she can see easily from her house, which sits near the front gate, in full view. “I don’t want people to see her looking like this, but in a way, it’s a reminder to all of us what can happen. It’s a reminder to find out about their horses,” she says.

Though it’s too soon to tell how Silver and Smoke will do, the disconnected look in her eye has started to fade as she has begun to take an interest in Brendemuehl’s track pony, Cooper. “I’m not sure if she’ll thrive. But she’s starting to make eyes at Cooper,” she says. — This story was originally published on Aug. 21, 2014.

15 responses to “Breeder takes starved T-bred home, in tears”

  1. Mary

    Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all breeders were as responsible as Denzel?

  2. lynn schwarz

    Iam thankful u found her and was able to get her back, I hope she recovers, so meany fall threw the cracks 🙁

  3. Louise

    Please update me on Silver and Smoke. I’m very glad the breeder was able to get her back!

  4. Connie Moore

    Horrible to see this turn of events for this girl. I have a rescue in Southern California and this is an all too common event here close to so many racetracks. God Bless this breeder by doing right by this horse. I wish more were like her. We would love to know the outcome for this mare. The majority of our horses are thoroughbreds that can go on to be wonderful family horses or compete in other sports.

    1. Lynne Jones

      Connie, where in Southern California? I, too, rescue. I’m looking to rescue one out of state right now in the near future. I’ve been lucky as I have them where I can muck, etc. their board and feed them. I love these animals and hope to retire and be next to them – to love them each and every day and spend the day with them, God willing, of course.

    2. Lynne Jones

      Connie, where in Southern California? I, too, rescue. and live in Southern California. I’m looking to rescue one out of state right now in the near future. I’ve been lucky as I have them where I can muck, etc. their board and feed them. I love these animals and hope to retire and be next to them – to love them each and every day and spend the day with them, God willing, of course.

  5. Deb Dodd

    Please update us on this horse and God bless you for taking her back.

  6. Whitney K

    Such a sad story with a happy ending. God bless her for doing everything in her power to get to Silver and Smoke as fast as she could. I am dying to know how Silver and Smoke is doing now at 8 months out – I can see a beautiful and loving mare in the photo. God bless them both!

  7. Lynne Jones

    God Bless You. I love her and wish her well. She will be beautiful again and I believe, with her will to live through all she’s been through, you will see her continue to fight her way back. I would love to come and see her. I rescue horses just to give them a loving home. I also would love to have her.

  8. Corinne Bell

    It is so sad to see people who do not love there animals. She looks like she was once a beautiful mare. I hope her rehab goes well and that she makes a full recovery.

  9. Jeanne

    Hi there. I am in Michigan. I have a gelding and some minis and work where they are boarded. I will take her if you wish. I am currently getting certified to be a therapeutic riding instructor. I feel horrible after reading her story and will take her if you want to re Home after she gets healthier. Perhaps she could become a therapy horse. ..:)

  10. ELVIRA JANZ

    How very fortunate that Silver and Smoke had such a wonderful breeder that remembered her responsibility to her. This is very rare occurance. God bless Silver and Smoke but also Danzel Brendemuehl

  11. SusanA

    Hi Susan, How is the mare doing..any update?

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