Grand Strand, a 4-year-old Thoroughbred who sold for $300,000 as a yearling, was purchased for $950 two days ago by Thoroughbred activists, bravely outbidding a meat buyer looking to fill up his load of slaughter-bound horses headed to Canada.
“What a fall from grace, eh?” says Mindy Lovell, an Ontario-based horse rescuer and advocate.
Acting on a tip Monday morning from friend and fellow horse advocate Kelly Smith of Omega Horse Rescue of Pa., Lovell, who has rescued many Thoroughbreds and runs Transitions Thoroughbreds in Canada, was able to quickly identify the strikingly pretty Thoroughbred as a top-selling son of Tiznow by verifying his lip tattoo and physical markings, Lovell says.
“After Kelly read the tattoo to me, and I found out who he was, I double checked by having her confirm his physical traits, which are in his Jockey Club records,” Lovell says. “I read down the list, and after each one, she said, ‘Yup, yup, yup.’ ”
Dam: Myrtle Beach, by Kingmambo
Foal date: April 30, 2011
Earnings: $92,509, in 21 startsAs soon as the identification was made, Lovell and Smith bid against the kill buyer, driving the gelding’s price up to $950, says Lovell, noting, “I swear to God, I would have moved heaven and earth to get him out of there.”
The pair bought Grand Strand his freedom without raising funds on social media; a deliberate decision to avoid making the plight public, and possibly risking the safety of the horse, she says, explaining that she was concerned undo publicity could jeopardize the animal’s safety. Lovell explains that it is not uncommon that attempted horse rescues are hindered by undo social media attention and outrage.
So she waited until after the horse was safe to release his name yesterday.
As Grand Strand awaits a ride to her Ontario facility, Lovell has been fielding phone calls and inquiries about the horse. Grand Strand’s former trainer Ramone Preciado reached out yesterday and offered to cover the cost of the rescue, including the $950 as well as shipping and quarantine, Lovell says.
Preciado, reached by email, says he was very upset when he heard the news.
“We offered to take him home to retire him,” Preciado says. “But, Mindy decided to take him and I said I would cover his costs. I was heartbroken, but I am so happy now to know that he is safe with Mindy.”
The distraught trainer thought the gelding had placed with a hunter/jumper facility, Lovell says, noting that Preciado says he retained a bill of sale after visiting the facility, she says. “I told them that we see situations like this often enough, and that there are some people out there who are very good at duping trainers and horse owners into believing” their horses are going to a good home.
“This is not the first $300,000 yearling I’ve pulled from a kill pen,” she says. “I’ve got some of the best, by Silver Charm, Dixie Union, you name it. But he is my first by Tiznow.”
Grand Strand will now reside with Lovell, and possibly train for a hunter/jumper career if his condition allows. And when he joins the others in her herd of thrown-away Thoroughbreds, he will join a distinct group who were once priced so high they seemed destined for greatness, and not the insult and outrage of the auction pen.
“The whole point of this, and why I did say something, is be because what is highly disturbing to me is this is not the first horse I have pulled out of a slaughter situation who has impeccable breeding. Nor will he be the last,” Lovell says. “This tells me that no matter what their breeding, so many of them are at great risk for shipping to slaughter.”
88 responses to “$300K Tiznow son saved from slaughter”
Reading all of this is exhausting..Main point, whether at risk or not, how in the hell does a horse thst cost $300,00 end up at an auction of any kind and be purchased for a more $950.00. Obviously, someone thete sre way too many people in the racing industry thst have more money than a conscious or a brain.. I applaud Mind for pulling this jorse for the $950. She had guts yo do the tight thing….Mr. Tim whoever you are, cause you did not….
I’ll be the first to admit a lack of knowledge here. After reading all the comments, one thing came to mind. Certainly not a solution but an area to look at? Someone mentioned throwing the non-winners into claim races. How many of these horses end up at auction? Is this a point to take/buy horses from trainers before KB do? Not a solution but thinking of reducing the quantity – chipping away making it harder to stay in business. QUESTION FOR ALL OF YOU WHO REALLY KNOW THIS BUSINESS: I know how many non horse people are horrified by the “slaughterhouse secret” I know it’s no secret – they just don’t have a clue. is there any viable benefit ito blunt in your face “oh, no, Molly’s pony is going to be butchered”
Or would focusing on putting the KB OUT OF BUSINESS via Whale Wars-type programming be beneficial? Would Animal Planet ever consider showing “The other side of the Track” or “Behind the Barn?” Please remember I don’t know this like you all. Learned a lot reading the posts tho. But, hay, sometimes ignorance is bliss I believe Gilligan once said! THX
I skimmed through these comments and agree wholeheartedly that a KB, Bruce Rotz and Brian Moore the main KBs at New Holland, would NOT pay $950 for a thin thoroughbred. Rotz maintains he won’t ship T-breds, though we have yet to PROVE that Viandes Richelieu, the Canadian slaughterhouse which buys his horses does not take tattooed T-breds. They may have bid up Kelly Smith, and as an auction attendee for years, she knows that game. Wanting to save a single horse at any cost is only perpetuating the slaughter business. Yes, I understand completely how once you set your sight on saving a horse, breed specific or not, the admirable determination of our anti-slaughter stance keeps up the bidding war. Every time you pay more than meat price for a horse from a KB, you just bought another, possibly 2 more horses to go on the truck. Do you think about them? Or do you pat yourself on the back for saving the one and forget about the two you just sentenced? I know I will get plenty of backlash for my comment; people will drag out old rumors about me. So be it. I enforced PA Anti-Cruelty Law from 1999 to 2009 at PA slaughter auctions; weekly at NHSS. My present anti-slaughter work has taken from the TX border slaughter pens to the inside of a Canadian slaughterhouse.
Apparently Grand Strand made it to Canada a few days ago. Since being “rescued” he has lost at least another hundred pounds. He also developed rain rot. Where has the horse been since NH ? Why wasn’t the money sent in to care for the horse, used for food and shelter? I said before that the horse was bought for an inflated price, to use to extort money out of past connections. I say now that it looks like whatever money they bamboozled, did not get put toward the horse because he looked a heck of a lot better standing at N.H than he did when he finally got to Canada.
This is disturbing information, Tim. Although a bit ribby at NH (to be expected given his circumstances since he’d last raced) he looked good to me.
I personally know the person that was caring for Strand in the states and he received the best care. Every penny that was sent has been spent on this horse, and then some. He was being fed more than enough good grain and was receiving treatments for his so called rain rot. Strand has other underlying problems that are now being addressed that could be the reason for his weight loss. Many horses that come directly off the track lose weight the first month or two since their bodies are in high gear and they are coming down from racing. You seem to have all the answers for all the problems of the slaughter horses in the world.
What is the difference between this horse and Wolf King? Lots of similarities there and not one person is over there complaining about what was done about Wolf King on the articles that just came out on him. He cost $900.00 to get back from the killers – is it that extra $50. for this horse that is the issue? Or, is it that neither I nor Kelly were mentioned in that story? Well, news flash – who do you think took the photos of Wolf King at New Holland and who do you think got the call on him as well to ID him and try and get help for him? Now, is Sam Elliott also in the wrong for investigating and upholding the no slaughter policy at PARX, is Turning for Home wrong for sending the funds to pay the killers for him? It is pretty clear that that horse was suffering and I knew that right from the get go – are we ALL wrong for believing he should not have to face even more suffering in the slaughter pipeline?
Therein is the problem, Mindy. When people are concerned about getting credit, altruism takes a back seat. No KB is paying the outrageous prices that the so-called rescuers are paying them. They either bid up the horses with full knowledge that the rescuer wants the horse, or ask an outrageous price. Yes, it helps that horse and that is a difficult emotional stance to overcome. Since we don’t see the 2 or 3 other horses the KB bought with the profit, we don’t think of those who endured the trip thanks to rescuer’s money. If rescuers across the country would take a stand and STOP paying outrageous prices to the KBs, we could end this scam on their part. I know particular detail in which rescuers refused to cooperate with law enforcement regarding not-fit-for-sale horses, as they did not want to affect their relationship with the KBs. Overpaying KBs for horses is contributing to slaughter, not helping end it. What will end slaughter is when it no longer is profitable.
This horse was a pawn in the all too common extortion scam that goes on. He was never at risk for slaughter in the first place.Then after being purchased by Kelly Smith, several people offered to pay for and retire him in luxury. But he was being used as an ATM so the “rescuers” kept him. They just forgot to feed him.
“No Slaughter” policy at racetracks is a joke! Impossible to monitor and police. Exposure of a case like Wolf King (dead) is rare – got to be seen to be doing something about horses going to slaughter from the track, a public relations exercise and in the meantime Sam Elliott allows Wolf King’s owner to continue to race horses – speaks for itself!
Just to add that the way in which Sam Elliott responded to the sickening death of ARMANI THE WON at Parx recently was deplorable. In lieu of pulling ATW out of the race, jockey continued racing the horse to the line when it had fractured its leg??? Then they tried to put ATW in a van with his severely broken leg, stuffed around with the traumatised terrified horse no end, whilst horse was in excruciating pain. Finally had to resort to putting the screen around him to euthanase – oh yes they go to extremes to avoid that, ATW is just one example. Sam Elliott’s response to this incident was that the jockey was “new”….. matter closed.
As the “other” person involved in helping this horse I would like to add a few things. First I could care less how much or how little a horse has made, we help horses who have made nothing to horses who have made over a million dollars during their racing career. Tim is clueless he was not there and if he were he forgot to mention the horse we had put out of its suffering at the same sale. I can assure you I did not make one cent from helping those two horses not to mention the other 3 that we helped. Tim is a pro slaughter activist who gets his jolly of slandering people who he does not agree with. Which btw is actionable and he could find himself in a court room defending his defimation and he better have his proof. Sad that anyone would waste a moment of time listening to a person who has a pro slaughter agenda and certainty is not looking out for the welfare of animals. Thank God for people like Mindy.
Tim Daly …YOU ABSOLUTE MORON …if you knew the people who put this horse in the sale and you actually have even a shred a concern or compassion for animals you would be screaming bloody murder at the condition of said animal…NOBODY IS DRINKING YOUR KOOL-AID SO STOP TRYING TO MIX IT …everyone knows Mindy is an exceptional human being who goes well outside of her means to provide safety and sanctuary for those animals discarded by owners who no longer generate a revenue from the horse … mindy has a barn full of rescues straight out of a kill pen who have never even started or were broodmares only .. HOWEVER, it’s even more disgusting, if that is possible when you see a horse who ran their heart out and won tons of money for their owner and when they are used up discarded like a piece of shit !
What is wrong with the condition of the animal Theresa? Have you seen it? Do you know how long the people who put it in the sale had it?
Tim, you are a pro slaughter fool. You clearly have no clue how the kill buyers work, or maybe you do, but are just deflecting. There is no profit in rescue. I have 4 OTTBs in my pasture, part of the 15 rescues i have. Believe me when I say, even if Mindy got some dpnations for the rehab of Grand Stand it will not support the horse, or the other rescues OTTBs she has for very long. Mindy has rescued many many OTTBs from those who didnt winore than a few hundred and up to horses like Grand Stand. And the horse was very much at risk of going to slaughter. Any horse dumped loose at New Holland is at risk of going to slaughter.
Exactly right Jo-Claire. The people who believe in slaughter–in fact, ALL breeders who wish to register a horse, should be required to attend a horse slaughter pipeline and process plant education class, with a field trip to a real slaughter house–just like the idiots who drink and drive have to attend classes. Then and only then, should they be allowed to breed. And all breeding fees should have an allocation for a fund for the horses. Forget the minimal fees for those that make money. The percentage is laughable, as to the horses that actually even break even on their costs, let alone make a profit. That’s why there is an endless parade of horses going to slaughter.
I know exactly how the people you call “kill buyers” work because I buy horses from them. I know who sold this horse at N.H. I know it was never at risk for slaughter, and so does Mindy. I never said there was a profit in rescue. I said there was a profit in this particular horse. This horse generated thousands for Mindy because she said she saved it. She did not save it, she bought. She paid about triple meat price for it it because she knew it was a money maker. Mindy got a lot of donations for this horse, she has turned down good homes for the horse and still has people soliciting for her over this horse. This horse was not “dumped” at New Holland. It was brought there for the specific purpose of getting a dishonest group of people to overpay for it and expose themselves as the con artists the are. The horse was never at risk for slaughter and the sale price demonstrates that clearly. Why would someone who buys lots of horses to kill bid double it’s meat value ? This practice of seeking out quality TBs at sales then extorting money from their previous connections is the reason good TBs rarely get a chance at second careers. Their connections can not risk their careers because Mindy and Kelly and Co. will do what they did here, every chance they get.
Clearly you have not been watching the broker programs. Sometimes to keep a horse out of the kbs hands you have to beat their bids. Had she not of bid against the kill buyer he would be sitting in their oen or on his way to the plant. It happens everyday and the owner dumped him. there was no reserve on the horse and he ran through loose. Mindy fundraises because as every rescue must fundraise to support the horses, vet care farrier, feed, hay. All I hear from you are excuses and lies.
Yes, to become the owner of a horse sold at auction you have to be the highest bidder. Your “kill buyers” are also horse dealers. What kind of fool is going to bid over $900 to kill a horse. They would lose well over $500 on the deal. If Mindy had not bought the horse, someone else would have. Maybe another extortionist? Maybe a dealer? The guy who told me about the horse before it ever got near the ring would have bought it for me if it was at risk.
I am a small breeder owning 1/2 of 1 mare and boarding a few mares for other owners. We typically find partners for our babies and race them ourselves. Sometimes we sell them before they retire and probably just as often, we own them when they retire. I try to keep track of those that are sold and offer to assist with placement. We will also take them back to rehab, reschool or whatever is necessary. I do not, however, have dozens of retirees just standing around my fields waiting out their 20 years of post racing life in abject boredom! That, IMHO is not in the best interest of the horse. These are competitors and athletes who are accustomed to lots of care and attention. They are happiest in a home where they have a job and are valued! That said, and before everyone who is villifying breeders piles on, what happended to Grand Strand is completely unacceptable and I don’t believe for a minute that Preciado was “distraught” about the horse’s situation. More likely he was distraught that he was found out and afraid he would lose his stalls at Parx but, I digress. The only way we will end horses going to slaughter auctions is to make transport of horses for the purpose of slaughter illegal in this country. Starting in 2017, the Jockey Club will require microchipping of foals as part of registration. They already donate about 10% of their registration toward aftercare. No other breed registry does as much as the Jockey Club to see that these amazing animals are treated properly. Can we do more? Of Course! And we will continue efforts to improve. I hope all of you have written your legislatures in support of the SAFE Act! If you haven’t, go do it now! The Humane Society has a very easy link on their page you can use that takes about 5 minutes out of your day.
Ms. Hooper, I agree with you that Preciado was “distraught” ONLY because he was found out. I bet he couldn’t make that $950 check out fast enough. But lose stalls? – that’s a joke and we all know it. The zero-tolerance policies some tracks have are completely worthless and those who read here and follow particular rescues know that damn well. And even if they do, the ruled-off trainer simply transfers his racehorses to daddy or the girlfriend. This industry is so damn corrupt. Why are rescues like Mindy’s always begging for money? Because there are only a few bad people in this industry? No – there are too many to count. Even you, Ms. Hooper, state “I try to keep track of them”. You TRY. Like I said in my other comment, this industry sets horses up for bad endings. Trying isn’t good enough. If you can’t financially care for every horse you put on this earth, then stop putting them on this earth.
What’s even more disturbing than the bad apples we know and can identify in this industry are those who spin stories such as these to make the guilty parties appear innocent. Poor Preciado was so distraught, heartbroken, upset. Again, BS. For the sake of argument, let’s say Preciado sold GS to a hunter/jumper barn. At the very least, he is guilty of doing a p***-poor job of reference checking! Come on, folks – the quickest way to rid himself of GS was all he was interested in. This is a blog I don’t encourage others to read because no one in racing is ever held responsible. Enable, enable, enable. And ultimately, it is betrayal of the horses.
Saying it as it is – thank you Victoria Leonard.
Just to add that in my experience, most trainers have a strict policy of their “retired” horses going directly to slaughter, thus preventing any repercussions for them.
So what you are suggesting, Victoria, is that the only people who will own OTTBs will be breeders? That is the result of every breeder taking their horses back after racing. What you are suggesting is not realistic. I am all ears when someone suggests something that is reasonable but what you think is the solution is no solution at all. And you are off base about trainers in general. I understand why you would have that view if you are working routinely to save animals going to these sales but, it is slanted and inaccurate.
I find it perplexing that people still want to support horse racing when we read day in and day out of the racing TB’s found in kill pens. “Oh it happens in all disciplnes”. “Oh it’s not the breeder’s fault”. “Oh the trainer just felt awful”. BS. Horses in this industry are set up for a bad ending. Breed thousands to get the next KD winner. Put them in claiming races to get rid of them. Do you industry members really think all of these horses are going to get wonderful homes when their owners and trainers are all “done” with them? I don’t get it – what makes you think everyone or anyone but YOU needs to give a good home to a horse you either bred (and made money off of) or raced (and made money off of)? Every single person who used that horse – yes, used it – bears responsibility.
And it’s troubling to see Mr. Preciado receive thanks . So he paid the $950. Big deal. He OWED Grand Strand so much more. Google Preciado and Little Cliff. Sickening. Here is what a Diana Baker said about that situation – “He (Preciado) said he sold Little Cliff to a hunter barn. A number of people worked very hard to uncover the fact that he was sold to a dealer, and sent to a direct to kill pen. Little Cliff had a sesamoid fracture. Nobody would have bought him as a riding horse at that point.” Tells you what kind of heart and mind Preciado has. Come on, people, wake up. Those of you who put this guy in a good light are enabling him to do this again.
Thanks to those who saved this horse. Not to those who got found out and scrambled to save face. And thanks to those who are brave enough to tell a story without fluffing it up and making certain not to hurt anyone’s feelings. It’s difficult to read the truth. But it needs to be told and it takes guts.
More racing TB’s found in a kill pen yesterday. Not named. Sometimes former owners get angry when they’re called to help, the rescue said. It’s time for this to end. Every discipline that sends their horses to slaughter needs to end. Racing is one of them.
Interesting. Tim, you’re incensed that Mindy went to a price you think got jacked up, to save him? Let’s see; his other option seemed to be the SLAUGHTERHOUSE! .I’m sorry to burst the bubble here, but,after watching the videos of horses who go to slaughter, the owners have the responsibility to find a place for these horses. There are many options, but these TB rescues really help save horses who still could do a job. And I agree; why not put in a stipend for these racehorses, for money, for their post racing life? They are like throwaway toys these racing owners get rid of. The shame of the racing community. And just like any sport, there are a world of horses who don’t make it big time.The hunter, jumper world is bringing the TB back right now. If we cannot take care of these lovely animals, we should NOT be breeding them. Racing needs to take responsibility for this nightmare situation.
This horse was NEVER going to any slaughterhouse. The people who put the horse in the sale knew perfectly well what it was worth. Mindy is saying that to get people to send her money. She and her partners knew the horse’s past connections before they ever bought it and knew perfectly well that if notified those people would have sent a truck to Pa. to get the horse right away. Mindy has received thousands of dollars already and is still asking for more. The ex-trainer gave her back everything she spent plus a profit and asked for the horse back to retire it. Mindy said no. The people who bought it as a yearling would go to Canada and bring it back to retire in the lap of luxury, Mindy says no, she wants money from them too. Mindy has a cash cow and she is going to milk it. You people are all supporting an extortion scam that is common knowledge in both the racing world and the bottom end sale world.
Apparently ‘Mr. Daly” seems to be privy to a whole lot of information that I am not, including the contents of my bank account. He also seems to be speaking for people that I would hazard a guess that he has never spoken to himself and whom I certainly never contacted. If there is any doubt there, please feel free to contact them and ask them if I contacted them about this horse or any other horse at any point in time as I sure would like to see proof of that. I am not sure why exactly this horse seems to be so special to him or exactly why he is on a one man mission to discredit both myself and other tb organizations and/or rescues – perhaps there is a hidden agenda there and I am betting it is pro-slaughter. Why exactly is THIS horse any different than any other thoroughbred that has crossed my path over the years? Is it because of its connections maybe? Well, here’s a newsflash for Mr. Daly – I have and/or have had numerous horses that might also be considered ‘high profile’ cross my path and how exactly has that made any difference in my life with regards to my finances? Here’s the answer – it has not – it has made no difference in the price of tea in China. And as to the allegations that I deliberately target high profile horses, wrong again – the majority of the horses in my program or that have been or that cross my path that we STILL go out of our way to try and help are the furthest from that you could possibly imagine. However, that being said, every single one of them is equally deserving and that is OUR opinion that we will stand behind. As far as I am concerned Mr. Daly is no better than those that immediately jump to conclusions and target former connections to these horses as being the guilty parties except that me may be worse in that he is on a mission to discredit those of us that work our butts off to try and help as many tbs as possible every single day of the week without a miss and that to me REEKS of pro-slaughter.
I replied to Mindy but don’t see it here, so lets just try this. Mindy, why did you bring the horse back to Canada when people offered to give it a good home here?
The answer to that is more than obvious for many reasons – I am sure you can figure it out since you seem to be the one holding all the info or so you claim, Might I suggest incorporating facts though – it helps with credibility.
Yes, the obvious answer, to me, is that you are holding on to the horse because it generates money for you. Why don’t you give a straight answer? Why did you bring the horse back to Canada when people offered to give it a good home here? You are always asking for money to help care for your horses. Why turn down great homes for this one ?
What seems obvious to me Mr. Daly from numerous comments you have made yourself, is that you are just annoyed that you did not end up with this horse yourself as you seem to be claiming first that you had someone bidding for you and now that they would have bid so I am not really sure which it is as that keeps changing; however, it does seem you wanted this horse for some particular reason. Could it be that all these things you so freely accuse me of with absolutely no evidence to back it up, are really what you had in mind yourself? I have been wondering about that since you seem to be so obsessed. I also wonder what exactly would have happened to this horse the second you discovered he was not 100% sound but I bet I can guess. What was decided upon for this horse and his future is really not your business – he is 4 years old, he can have his rehab and then have a second career in whatever he is most suitable for. I am not exactly sure what your problem with that is. It is actually quite laughable that you think this horse will be continuing to generate revenue – please do not think I am foolish enough to actually believe that and if YOU are then I hate to burst your bubble but that is certainly not reality with any of these horses. If it were, NONE of us would ever have to do fundraisers again. A lot of information on the degree of fundraising that has to be done by all tb aftercare programs and/or rescues as well as the TAA is easily obtainable. I suggest you check that out – it might be quite an eye opener for you.
Well Ms. Lovell. If I have been able to discourage people from falling for this extortion scam I’m glad. Hopefully some of your backers from the racing world will pay attention to what your minions are saying and realize that the majority of them would do whatever they could to eliminate Tb racing completely. And yes, I would have liked to have gotten him, but getting in a bidding war with someone who sees dollar signs through the blood in her eyes would have been stupid, especially since the horse was never at risk to begin with. I did hear that he had been injured by one of your people after leaving N.H, but if you ever actually see this horse yourself you will still like him. He is a very nice horse.
Where did you see this horse Mr. Daly? If you were at New Holland and wanted him so badly, why were you not bidding on him? You claim that you knew about him before he ever got there so why not buy him from whomever was planning to bring him in beforehand? I am just curious and am not trying to bait you – still wondering what your real issue is. This horse is also no further injured than he was at New Holland so is this more fabrication on your part and why would you care anyways? Again, what is the motivation in all of this? Is it really over this horse or the whole tb aftercare program/network that now exists to help place these horses in suitable homes? If you want tbs, there are plenty listed – you would not even have to bother with New Holland or is there a reason you would not or could not use these avenues to acquire tbs?
Mindy, read what Carolyn Macdonald said above 9/5. One thing I have decided here is that your intentions are good. Seems that you are surrounded by a lot of haters, but you are not one. Your….buddy? Kelly is pretty much universally despised at the sales because rather than shutting her mouth and helping horses she puts a whole lot of energy into saying dumb crap like she did above and trying to harm people. I have wrongly lumped you in with what I see as her mindset. I am not pro-slaughter. I am pro-horse. Right now thousands of horses are enduring horrible suffering in Mexican slaughter pipelines because so many people worked so hard to make sure that was where they had to go. They can scream all they want about coulda woulda shoulda, the horses pay the price. One thing that could be fixed a lot more quickly is the issue with good TBs going straight to slaughter rather than getting a chance. It happens because of what happened with this horse. The article above is deliberately misleading and inflammatory. Maybe you did not try to extort money over this, but other people used your name to do so. If you lie down with dogs, you are going to get fleas. As far as acquiring horses at TB aftercare programs goes 1) those horses are not at risk. 2) I want really good horses. I want the next Jet Run. The reason TBs have fallen out of favor with big time competitors in other disciplines is that what ends up at these rescue places is second or third rate horses. The worst mistake a horseman can make is to fill his barn with mediocre horses. I have one of the best sport horse breeding stallions in America. I want to have some of the best TB jumper prospects in the world, but they are dying in Mexico because their connections do not want to get caught up in B.S like this situation which is centered around YOU.
The tb industry is anti-slaughter, there are no kill policies at numerous tracks. Those policies are there in an attempt to protect the horses. Maybe I am looking at things in black and white but it seems to me that if a person wishes to participate in racing at a track with a no kill policy then they should abide by the rulings of that track. You and I are both from a show horse world and you know full well that should you not comply by the regulations of a sanctioned horse show, you will not be allowed to compete. Why should this be any different? On top of this, the public for the most part is opposed to horse slaughter, the racing industry depends upon the public to place bets on their horses and therefore there is an accountability factor there. In the case of Strand, he was sold to someone in OUR world or someone who claims they are and I, for one, would sure like to know who not to sell a horse to if this turns out to have been their intentions. Nothing has been determined with respect to that so I will not be pointing fingers at those people or the trainer for that matter – facts and proof speak volumes, hearsay or speculation is just that and not credible IMO. I also know for a fact that numerous tbs go straight to slaughter simply because their LAST connections chose that route as opposed to continuing to pay bills on a horse no longer productive; however, that being the case, they have no right to participate in racing at a no kill track – again, the black and white scenario and I am not referencing this horse. I know many in the industry that are opposed to this type of behaviour and I really feel that it is not their responsibility to continue to clean up after those that deliberately defy these racing conditions. These types are the ones that put the horses in those kill pens, not those of us that try and protect them and give them an opportunity for a career such as you describe. I also have friends that are wb breeders and show line horses, etc. on top of the performance horse people and they have outstanding horses with records to prove it. Do not sell the CANTER listings or any other tbs on any other listing services or in tb aftercare programs short though, you might be very surprised at what is actually available. I cannot even begin to list the horses that I have seen from these programs go on in the hunter/jumper, etc. world to do some pretty awesome things. My own show horses – all ottbs – all very good show ring hunters. It is the same thing as people thinking that just because it came from a kill pen, there has to be something wrong with it – not always the case so you can never generalize. That would be like saying every show ring hunter that steps in the ring is doped to the ying yang to make it look that quiet – not the case again. You just cannot generalize and say that every industry is made up of entirely the same people. Take the AQHA for example – the powers that be of that organization are pro slaughter and they do not pretend to be anything else; however, I know many qh people that are NOT pro slaughter so it is unfair to lump them all in on that. Not all people that run rescue programs are bad either, not all breeders are bad, I bet there are Tennessee Walker people out there that are not soring their horses, etc. I also know that many of these tbs are obtained under false pretenses and I sure have had a boatload of those that came out of kill pens – this does not make every buyer a bad person though but I know that the people duped out of these horses by those not so wonderful con artists are sure glad to know who to never sell a horse to again. I could go on and on, relating story after story on this, these types seem to be getting better and better at it by the day. Anyways, I am sure you are tired of reading this by now but just know this – I am no one’s judge and jury and I do not point fingers publicly – I am a facts person but I do bear in mind all info that I am provided with as these days, you can never be too careful it seems and IMO, for what it is worth, it is unfair to generalize in any aspect. In the case of this horse, you most definitely jumped to the wrong conclusions and maybe that is based on past experience with someone, somewhere, I have no idea but no one here – not Kelly, myself or Maggi had anything in mind but the welfare of this horse because I can guarantee you that his ‘pedigree’ as a race horse prospect will do pretty much nothing for him in a second career in another discipline and you know that as well as I do and in fact, it really did not do a hell of a lot for him in his first either.
You were doing well until you added Kelly and Maggi. I got involved with this when I saw a post of Maggi’s trumpeting Mindy Lovell having bought and saved this horse from slaughter. With a long list of the names of the horse’s former connections. Asking people to send money to you and implying that the former connections, who were totally unaware of the situation, were somehow culpable. There was a pile of comments on there bad mouthing those individuals and businesses. Maggi did not say one word to discourage the assault. (She was however very quick to block my comments and contact me directly to warn me with basically the same gibberish Kelly posted above.) It was a shitty thing to do. A simple phone call to those connections and a truck would have been on it’s way to get the horse. I guess you are claiming that you had no part in that? Maybe you didn’t. Any person with eyes can see that there was an attempt made here to extort money using your name. There is also the part about the horse was going to slaughter if the under bidder had gotten him. How are you so certain who was bidding? How do you know their intentions? Did they know they were bidding against you? Why would any savvy dealer kill that horse for half of what they paid for it rather than say, run it thru Camelot, or just call a former connection themselves? That makes absolutely no sense at all. I did not jump to any wrong conclusions. I had heard about this scam in the past. I got a phone call on Monday telling me what was going to happen with this horse. It happened just that way. I will say though that your name was not mentioned to me on Monday. I was told that Kelly made a big scene about buying the horse and did. Your name came up on Maggi’s post, and another phone call which drew my attention to this blog. Apparently, I was already on your shit list? To be honest, although I recognize your name I have no idea what you think I did to you.
Tim, i couldn’t see a “Reply” option for your most recent post, so i’m responding here. When i saw the name of a certain person in Mindy’s most recent post, my suspicions about this story from the very beginning were confirmed. “bravely outbidding a meat buyer”? When i looked at the photo of Grand Strand and then read the caption underneath i thought no way is this horse going to slaughter!? There’d be a scout or two there for equestrian people. He looked good to me and i was not surprised that he has Mr Prospector in his bloodline, MP’s progeny that i’ve seen have always looked good (i’m a student of the pedigree, my great grandfather being the best pedigree consultant for the racing industry that Australia ever had – he’d be turning over in his grave if he saw what was going on with the out of control breeding and also the irresponsible indiscriminate breeding today). In my experience, the good pedigree of an OTTB is often a factor for re-sale value. GS only raced for 18 months (21 starts) for $92,509. Of course he didn’t come up to the owners’ expectations given his pedigree but he didn’t do badly either (averaging $4,405 per start) and came home 4th/10 in a one mile race in his very last start. He wasn’t vanned off with an injury. When one compares Blessed’s story to Grand Strand there is absolutely no comparison whatsoever. It is very disappointing that this story tells the public that GS was saved from going to slaughter when that was not the case. The above is just my opinion only.
Thanks Carolyn. Yes there most certainly was at least one scout there to buy that horse for someone. My friend was going to buy the horse for me. He called me and said that Kelly had her hooks in the horse so it was going to go for a high price because they are looking to screw someone with the horse. He said to stay away from what was going to be an ugly situation. It is also obvious that other people wanted the horse because the biding went far above kill price. The horse was never in danger of being killed. The extortion tactics of these “rescues” is common knowledge throughout both the racing and sale world. The people who entered the horse in the sale knew very well that they had something that would appeal to scammers. Just like they would know that a pretty pony with 4 white sox would appeal to people with kids.
So far, Mindy has stood behind the story that she bought the horse. Mindy has allowed comments about the horse being in horrible condition to stand. I believe Mindy was aware of Maggi’s post with all the names. Mindy has refused to allow former connections to take responsibility for a comfortable life for the horse. Fund raising efforts citing needs for this horse are ongoing with Mindy as the designated recipient.
I have come to believe that Mindy is a well intentioned person. Maybe she is stuck between a rock and a hard place here. The other two women involved with this deal are major fundraisers for Mindy. They got caught red handed on this deal. Choosing sides can be tough.
Tim, I have to disagree with what you are saying here – I have known Kelly for years and never once have I ever known her to be less than honest – she always has the horses’ best interests at heart and runs a very reputable rescue in PA. She has put herself out time and time again to do right by horses that others should have but chose not to. As far as Maggi goes, you are also dead wrong on that one as well – Maggi is a highly respected, prominent figure in tb racing that is also quite passionate about doing right by the horses of that industry or any equine industry for that matter, Maggi has stepped up time and time again to help slaughterbound tbs that she was never associated with in her life, that those that were should have been responsible for doing right by but chose otherwise. She has fought time and again for the rights of these tbs and has done her absolute best to affect change. She is also a very well respected lawyer. Maggi is well aware of the battles that we fight on a daily basis for these horses and she has the right to be passionate about doing what is best for the thoroughbreds and the industry that she is a significant player in,
Well, you aren’t quite disagreeing with what I said. You have to defend your buddies or jeopardize cash flow from the U.S. And you would be a fool not to defend them. But. Mindy you are talking about the character and intentions of those two people based upon what you know about them. I have never met either of them. They may well be the reincarnations of Mother Theresa, and Maggie certainly does have a bunch of good race horses. This time though, with this horse, it was a shady, mean spirited scam. I am talking about their actions. What they did in this particular case. Kelly was the final bidder on the horse at a price that far exceeds killer price. Which means that she knew the horse was not going to be killed. Maggie posted the names of the horses connections with a story about the horse being saved from kill buyers and a request for money. That, in my opinion is extortion. I think the fact that the postings were taken down quickly, by a lawyer, supports my conclusions.
Now, I am going to let this thing go. Hopefully some good will come of it in the form of less horses having to suffer because trainers are afraid of being screwed over by this particular scam.
Now, why don’t you use your good name and pushy friends to expose some of these “rescues” that are acting as sales agents for kill buyers.
If you breed an animal for fun, profit, or entertainment then the buck stops with you. No matter what happens to it. If your cattle are neglected or mistreated then you share culpability with the person you sold to. Any rancher or breeder understands this. And no one said it is fair. If you don’t want the culpability and risk then don’t breed.
That’s it in a nutshell…very simple…if you don’t want the responsibility, the bad press, the cost…DON’T BREED!!! Do you hear that all you big name, wealthy, Eclipse Award winners and seekers out there with hundreds of horses’ slaughtered that you bred for your ego and social status?
As I see it, Anne and Viktoria have the right view: whoever you are, if you breed a horse, then provide care for that horse and plan for his retirement days. But, if you are a commercial breeder, you should be compelled to set aside funds on registration with the Jockey Club, (perhaps equal to 10% of the stud fee?). Grand Stand’s breeder may have paid the full $75,000 to breed to Tiznow, though he more likely foal-shared. But adding 10% to his cost would not likely have deterred the breeder, who ultimately realized $300,000, less board, vet bills, sales prep, etc., still leaving a healthy profit. I’d say to pin responsibility squarely on them…not on the Jockey Club, which lacks authority to mandate much more than a modest registration fee. And while we’re at it, would a 5% retirement fund fee levied by the Auction Sale company have dampened Centennial’s enthusiasm to pay a nickel less than $300K? Doubtful. But who will mandate that a fund be established? Certainly not the impossible to organize TB racing and breeding industry! Finally, since most of the 41,277 TB races run in the US last year were “claiming races”, where the winning owner stands a chance of taking home less than $12K to pay the feed and training bills, it’s unrealistic to expect those owners and trainers step up like Preciado did here. So Grand Stand was and is indeed blessed that Mindy took control of his future by outbidding the others.
Great article Susan, as always. The thing that matters most is that this horse is going to be fed, cared for, and loved. I don’t care by who, trainer, breeder, rescue group, the man on the moon, I care that he is safe. Now to play devils advocate a minute, what is the average person to do when they find themselves with a horse (TB) that is not right for them? If they sell them they have no control over what happens next, whether it be to a private citizen or at an auction. Rescue groups don’t take horses who are not in “jeopardy” of going to slaughter (that I’ve found). If you get a TB off the track you can’t “test drive it” so until you get it home and work with it you don’t know if it is the right horse for you. If it isn’t what are you to do? I have three that I can’t ride but am scared to sell for fear of this happening down the road for them. I am grateful for people like Mindy and Bev Dee and many other rescuers, because of them I know have the perfect (once slaughter bound) TB and love of my life. Thank you for letting me ramble as I try to see all sides and figure this out.
You answered your own question: You keep the horse and provide for it, because you KNOW what it faces in the REAL horse world out there. However, you are not the breeder. A breeder CREATES the horse that would have no worries of the REAL horse world, but for its creation by the breeder. Horses, unlike human children, cannot care for themselves once they reach a certain maturity. They don’t have a voice, but for kind, honorable humans who “get it” and actually take responsibility for it’s safety and quality of life (and death). Kudos and blessings to you for doing the right thing. Being honorable isn’t often the easy way to go, but it is indeed the ONLY way to go, especially when it involves the innocent, who cannot take care of themselves.
Well said Anne…the only peope responsibe for any horse ending up in a kill pen…is the person who SENT him there…..you cant blame the breeders, owners, trainers, vets, farriers, etc etc…THANK owners like Mike Repole who reclaimed a horse and retired him to Old Friends at age 9 with a hefty donation…the kill pen/auction has become a racket…..check out some of the rescue sites…..”emergency….these 4 need bail money to be ‘safe’…shipping date is tomorrow 9am…this posted at 6pm the night before….all diff breeds….many fat and shiny and shod…..the kill buyers go to the sales and buy these horses to sell off there lots to the rescue grps for alot more money….one site changes the ship to slaughter date more than we change underwear……then the ‘truck breaks down’ so there are 2 more days to raise funds for ‘bail’…..one site raised over 2 grand in less than 2 hrs to ‘save’ 2 grade mares and foals….other days is a lot of reg paints…all fat n shiny……they are not going to slaughter…..and on and on……some of the same ppl donate day after day and when they can’t…the’emergency’ post goes up…..the kill buyers are laughing all the way to the bank……they get their money either way…but get alot more if the rescues buy before they ship…which could be 30 days later or more……this one lot you occasionally see an old thin broken down horse…..but 95% are fat and healthy…..and the other scam is….oops….didnt raise bail so ‘goldie’shipped…..but we will put your donation towards a diff horse…..or amazingly….;goldie missed the truck but we need to start over with raising funds cuz hers went to save a lame mule….supposedly…..makes you wonder who is padding whos’s pockets….one girl pd total bail on a horse but ‘ so sorry – she was loaded and shipped’….huh? but you can have us put your bail towards a differnt horse(that we pick off lot)…….she bailed the horse SHE WANTED to buy/own……and was scammed….it sux……i have lost a ton of respect for ‘rescues’….jmho…but glad this guy is safe
What you describe are brokers not rescues. There are always bad apples, but the legitimate rescues can be verified, and I don’t know any that use the tactics you describe.
I am an owner and trainer of 8 equine athletes which I either purchased at sale as yearlings or were given because there is such a glut that many good equines are not sold or even have a chance that a $300,000 purchase has – having said this I also have had the same 8 equine athletes through their race careers and are still feed them every morning, clean their stalls, turn them out and groom them and then tuck them in at night. My oldest is 11 and raced until he was 10 at allowance level in Kentucky and is a common name for most race fans and my $1,500 Fasig-Tipton purchase was a stakes winner who raced against the Sheik in a GIII, all 8 of them know they are loved and cared for and proved themselves because of the sense of security they have known. I do believe that it’s my duty to take care of them for all of their lives and not just an investment. I know that I am privileged to be able to afford to do so and this is the where the rubber meets the road. Horse racing is not a sport for shallow pockets and it’s not for the hardest of hearts – it takes money, dedication and responsibility and to be for the long haul. There are so many things that need to be ‘fixed’ in the Sport of Kings and Queens and this is all but one of many. We each need to do our part. Thank you for caring and taking them in – these equine athletes will forever be grateful as will I. Reta A. Underwood, Trainer/Owner Golden Gait Racing Stable, Kentucky USA
A heart-felt Thank you!
The problem with this story is that it hinges on the idea that this horse was going to be slaughtered, which comes from the person with the money in her pocket. That story is just plain not true. Mindy outbid other people to buy a nice horse at a public auction. To say that someone else was going to buy the horse for over $900 and then kill it for $450 after having to ship it all the way to Canada is preposterous. There is a very disturbing trend among horse rescues where they locate TBs and more or less extort money out of their past connections. This situation looks like exactly that. Kelly spotted and identified the horse. Mindy paid whatever she had to, bidding far beyond the kill market cut off point. Maggie solicited donations and dragged all the past connections thru the mud. Mindy left Pa. with a nice horse and if you figure in all the donations that were solicited on top of the trainer’s $950….a whole lot more money than she came with. The horse has a new home, but please call this what it is.
I think the problem with this story is that this horse was standing in New Holland to begin with. Mindy has been rescuing horses from slaughter or the slaughter pipeline for a long time. If she says she bid against the kill buyer, I believe her.
Of course she bid against a kill buyer, but once the bidding got past kill price an was bidding against a horse dealer, or two…. who saw an opportunity to make money like she did. There is absolutely no question that a quick profit was generated here.
Just curious: How much “profit” do you think Mindy made? And I’m not understanding why it’s a problem for you that she kept bidding. Was there someone else who you would have preferred to get the horse?
It is common knowledge that the killers will push hard on the prices to push it to what they want you to pay. Had he outbid us on this horse, he would either ship it and make his losses up on another to prove a point or ransom it back and at quite a higher price as is the norm. However, that being said, I too would like to know where the profit is. Mr. Daly seems to make quite a few assumptions AND accusations combined with outrageous name calling based on zero fact. All that has been offered and yet to be received I might add, is his purchase cost, transport to quarantine and quarantine covered. I will also add that THOSE PEOPLE offered, THEY contacted me – I did not contact one single person about this horse. Any donations that were received over and beyond this will not cover half of the costs to get him here to Canada nor will it cover any vet assessment. This horse will also require a fair bit of rehab time on top of it and who knows what he may or may not be capable of in the future as a second career and personally that matters little to me – he simply should never have been there. Any person owning horses for any period of time is clearly aware of the on-going costs to maintain any horse so exactly where is that profit again? Pretty sure it will never be in my pocket – just like every other tb that leaves this program – massive losses on every single one of them. For some of us, this is NOT about the money.
Actually, Mr. Daly, kill buyers outbid the Joes at auctions all the time. There is a big problem with kill buyers buying horses for their tertiary (third) market where they are sold via social media either directly by the KB or via brokers with the cry of “the truck is coming” and major misrepresentations as to the horse’s health and ability. People with good intentions (and usually no horse experience and insufficient finances) then wind up getting an animal that will cost a small fortune to rehab, isn’t what they expected and will probably wind up back in the slaughter pipeline once again.
There is absolutely NO PROFIT in equine welfare organizations. Those of us who volunteer for these organizations are doing it for the sake of the horses. And neither they nor the organizations they work for are getting rich.
I meant to type “the regular Joes”.
The “third market” you mention involves very few horses that are bought for a price above what they would kill for. Usually it is horses that for one reason or another have little value to kill. Many “rescues” act as sales agents for these deals. The dealer wants to get more suitable slaughter horses so they about triple the purchase price of poorer horses and the “rescue” organization pedals them. The “rescue” gets a commission….which is called a donation. The dealer takes his profits and fills another Mexico bound truck. If you call these people on their scam you get a similar reaction to what we have here to me pointing out that the Grand Strand deal is an extortion scheme based upon a lie.
Yes, you are also correct that most of the rescues are non-profits. The profits from the Grand Strand extortion scheme will not offset the costs of the entire operation. What is worse though is that stuff like this convinces trainers who might want to give a horse a shot at a second career, to just sacrifice the horse rather than risking what happened here.
I respectfully disagree that breeders are not responsible for what happens to horses once they leave their possession. I have bred two TB. I am responsible for them. I brought them into being. If a breeder does not want the responsibility for what happens to a horse they breed/create/bring into being into this extremely cruel horse world…PLEASE do NOT breed any more horses! They are not inanimate pieces of machinery…they are living, breathing, feeling, amazing creatures and it is a PRIVILEGE to be able to be associated with them…NOT A RIGHT. The racing industry is knowingly irresponsible and complicit in the plight of the horses that are bred for the purpose of serving a high risk chance/facade of making money and bolstering human egos. And don’t even get me started on trainers, especially the ones on boards of governing entities within the racing industry. Viktoria King-Steele – Registered owner and breeder of two Thoroughbreds.
You live in a fairyland. I love all horses and wish I could save them all. But you’re the type of person that creates the problems that were touched upon in the article. You need to get a grip that it’s impossible to keep track of every single horse that one breeds. Breeders are not the bad guys here….the people that abuse and neglect horses are the bad guys. You need to understand that and not point fingers at the many people who breed and raise horses for a living. Most do it because they love them, want to be around them and are proud to see them perform in whatever discipline they go on to. And the part of it being a PRIVILEGE, not a RIGHT…..sorry ….but again, you’re very naive. You’re up on a soapbox, full of harsh words, but you’re kind of laughable. Too emotional without any grip on reality. YOU are one who would get in the way of people like Mindy getting things done, hence the avoiding of social media. And PS, I have a LOT of horses that I will have till they die. MANY more than 2! I would have more if I had more stalls and more money.
No…you missed the point Janice. If you are going to breed a horse, or any animal, YOU are creating a life that the animal must now face, whether it is a good life or a horrific one. So, if YOU create a life, who should be responsible for it? And if you don’t want the responsibility for it, WHY should you be allowed to irresponsibly create these lives for your own amusement, ego, profit or whatever?
Continued comment to Janice above: Forgot to mention the following: I own and care for 14 horses–13 TB and 1 QH. All are offtrack retirees; 8 are rescued. None of the rescues were bred by me. Up until last month, I had 16. One was luckily adopted with a solid contract by a wonderful young woman and the other, sadly had to be euthanized, with me holding his head in my arms because he injured himself playing with the other geldings in turnout. But for his already horrific knees and a bad shoulder that he came with, when I rescued him, his hind end injury would not have been life-ending. But as the vet and farrier told me, I could put $10million into him and I still could not give him a quality life because of his previous physical state. He is the only one I could not actually identify from his tattoo and believe me, I would like to–not only to honor him but to be able to understand who could have let him get in that condition, in the first place. He–CISCO–was between 20 & 24 years old, per the Vet. NAIVE I am not, dear Janice.
My sentiments exactly, Viktoria! The breeding in the racing industry is out of control and i believe the racing industry is facing an animal welfare crisis.
Off the subject, but WOW! Look at the shoulder on that horse!
I am thrilled at this happy ending. I have a gelding by Tiznow. Best horse I’ve ever owned. Whoever gets this boy will have a very special equine partner
Look, I am thrilled he is safe but they outbid the meat buyer by a large margin so to say he was saved from slaughter is misleading in my opinion. I don’t think that needed to be included for it to be a good story.
My understanding is that Grand Strand is not the first Preciado horse to end up in such an auction. Thank goodness Mindy kept him. Lets hope there is a full investigation as promised by Parx…and appropriate accountability.
I can only thank Mindy Lovell and the other folks who tirelessly keep trying and succeeding with saving these animals who do no harm to anyone. And try and send money if possible. Thanks to all who have been a part of this rescue and others.
Thank God the Jockey club still requires live cover- could you imagine how many more there would be! We visited Old Friends in Kentucky and I thought it was horribly shameful that so many winning horses ended up there. One horse was owned by a Saudi Prince. A percentage of all wins should go to supporting retirement facilities.
Becky: I get your point, but, Old Friends is a pretty awesome place to be a horse.
At Parx every time a jockey rides or a trainer runs a horse a portion of their fee goes to turning for home the adoption program there.
Old Friends is a retirement sanctuary for retired studs that is accredited by the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (TAA) and receives a lot of funding from those in the racing industry. How is that horribly shameful?
I would like to know Gran Stand’s race record. and Money earned.
You can look his record up on Equibase. Just enter his name into the Profile field in the upper right portion of the home page. You will also find race charts, workouts, etc. It’s free.
Richard: His name is actually Grand Strand, with an R. He earned approx. $90K. Here’s a link to his Equibase page http://www.equibase.com/profiles/Results.cfm?type=Horse&refno=9111385®istry=T
I am so thrilled that there are rescue groups for these horses, but I do feel the need to defend the breeders. I am a breeder, not only of TB’s but also warmbloods. It tears my heart out each time I raise a beautiful foal, dream of its future, sell it to someone who I’ve very carefully checked out as a more than adequate home for my horse, only to discover later that the animal was abused, or sold to a bad owner.
Once the horse leaves my stable, I have absolutely no control over what happens to it later. That’s why I so carefully screen prospective buyers. One would think that the higher the individual is able to pay, the better they will care for the horse. Not always true.
Certainly there are breeders who are just “in it for the money.” Not all of us fit into that category. Many of us simply are in it for the love of the animal…that first nicker of the foal to its dam, the love that mare demonstrates for her new one, the beautiful mares and foals frolicking in the pasture, and later training the young mind to accept the saddle and bridle. Many of us breed because we love the animals and we love the process of development. We often get to enjoy watching our buyers have great success with their purchases and our horses have forever homes!
Please don’t label us as a group of bad people!! If you visited my farm you would see happy, healthy horses interacting with a patient, kind, caring staff. We pray that none of our youngsters will end up in the killer pen. We wish we could guarantee that none would end their careers there…but we have no control!
Thank you for commenting/weighing in on this. You sound like a wonderful lady, and I don’t personally believe the breeders should bear the brunt of this, for lack of a better term, unwanted horse issue.
You and Fern raise two important points: (1) everybody who made a nickel on this very nicely bred gelding should share in providing his retirement fund, and (2) it should not all fall on Preciado’s shoulders, though the last owner and trainer must not close his/her eyes when selling a horse for small-change.
In this case, while Centennial must have lost between $400-500K between buying, training and racing him, the Breeder (John Adger), the Consignor (John Stuart), the Auction Company (Fasig-Tipton), the trainers (Jerkens, Rodriguez, Jacobson, Naipaul and Preciado), various vanning companies, farriers and veterinarians – all earned some money thanks to Grand Strand, with the breeder receiving the lion’s share. Had Grand Strand performed like American Pharoah, Centennial’s bet would have paid well, replacing its huge loss with a huge profit. So it would not be fair to shift the entire retirement risk to the breeder, though it would be the safest and easiest to collect.
What formula and collection mechanism would you propose as fair to all concerned, assuming that a lifetime retirement annuity could be purchased for $25,000?
Why can’t the Jockey Club institute a requirement that for all horses registered through the JC, they have to have a “retirement plan”. Also, every horse sold overseas should have a “buy back, ship back” clause. There needs to be some fines and penalties for owners/breeders who don’t take care of their horses. If you bring an animal into the world, you have an obligation to provide a safe landing down the road.
In Ontario the Greedy Liberal Government brought in gambling on the backs of racing. After many years of running a successful partnership with the horse racing community they pulled the plug forcing many horses to slaughter cause of reduced race dates and lack of funding. This all to cover the mismanagement of the Ontario Economy. The trickle down effect was huge right through every aspect of the horse industry. So bad they had to create a subsidy fund and were sued by the breeders who had invested millions in breeding stock.So now you can see how so many can fall through the cracks. Many just quit the buisness cause the investment and opportunities to make a living just weren’t there anymore. And what happens when the government decides they can’t afford the subsidy from the money they are making at those race track locations.
Don – you are so right in what you are saying. 2012 and 2013 were the biggest nightmare year’s of my life and I know what it did to those in the industry. I was on the receiving end of so many calls from so many people that were absolutely devestated. I tried to save every tb I could and I know a lot were lost – it is not a period of time I will forget any time soon.
What gets me is that everything was done right for this horse by his racing connections connections and he still ended up in a kill pen.
I truly hope that someday all TBs will have a safe landing spot. However, I also wish the same for ALL breeds of horses, in all disciplines.
While I know that this is a TB blog, and I love that it is and enjoy Sue’s writing. It bothers me that there are always posts that seem to put across that it is “only the TB” breeders, trainers, owners that do this. That send horses off to “facilities” to have them end up in a kill pen. With the end of summer camps across the country there has been a glut of “camp horses” out there for sale on the cheap side or free. These horses are of many breeds and run the gamut in age- although most are older. So yes, TB’s of every sex, price and grade are out there. But dont fool yourselves into thinking that it is just a TB breeder/owner/trainer issue.
You hit the nail on the head Martha! Thoroughbreds are easily identifiable because of their tattoos and starting in 2017, they will all be microchipped as part of the Jocky Club requirements. Since they can be identified and the info relative to who bred, raised, raced and retired them is publicly available, they are getting a lot of attention if they show up in a kill pen and, don’t get me wrong, they should! But, they are a relatively small percentage of the horses that actually go to slaughter. Because ponies, quarter horses, mules and so on are not marked and their registration info is not easily obtained, they stay the nameless and unknown sufferers. The Jockey Club collects $25 from every registration to attribute to aftercare. They maintain a database of horse needing soft landings and connections willing to provide for horses coming off the track. More and more tracks have strict no-slaughter policies. No other breed association or discipline does as much!
This kind of thing will only stop when each TB horse bred retains a sort of bank account that goes with the horse for life. The money would come from the breeder, the owner, the trainer…for each race entry a sum would be put aside, the breeder would put aside a certain amount, and so forth. Then when the horse retires there would be funds for after care. Only when enough people care about aftercare will this situation change.
Mindy, Kelly, all the ones who CONSTANTLY keep vigil and ACT on saving as many horses as possible, especially these noted T-breds, are heros and angels on earth. Yes, when will the senseless and inhumane actions of trucking any horse to slaughter stop! Movement is afoot, tho’, I can feel it. Praise these human heros.
The question is: how many mares are these stallions servicing every year? 150? As many as 300 if shuttling to the Southern Hemisphere? Is it any wonder there is a glut of unneeded horses, even the well-bred ones? Stallion books even for the best stallions used to be full at 30 to 40 mares. Northern Dancer sired fewer foals in his entire career (635) than some of these stallions sire in just three years! When is the Jockey Club going to realize this cannot continue? No wonder there are throwaway horses even with good breeding.
I agree with you–have felt that way for years. If I owned a quality horse–I would have limited his book to 75-80 mares a year. That is what they used to do–and should go back to it again.
This is not the first or last of this nonsense! When will it ever stop? The breeders pass it off on the last owner to have the horse. They have no heart. Grand Strand was blessed in two ways. The tireless group,who find these lost souls in killer pens and the trainer. Rarely do you see one step totally to the plate as Preciado did. Thanks to all who put their time and efforts in saving these poor lost souls. I,for one, know it isn’t easy.