Wednesday, December 10, 2008

What's in a name?

Thoroughbreds that have been raced have lip tattoos - it shouldn't be that difficult to figure out from the letter and numbers who the horse is. Once that information is gathered, a request can be sent to the Jockey Club to obtain racing records and such. Doesn't sound that tough.

American Thoroughbred tattoos consist of a letter and a series of numbers. The letter is the year of birth and the numbers are part of the registration identification. Our Scotty does not have a letter. Further research has indicated that AQHA race horses are tattooed with a series of numbers followed by a letter. Australian TB's are freeze branded. He is definitely not a Standardbred so we didn't bother to research that breed. So what the heck? Just like the reason for him being dumped is a mystery... so remains his name. I feel like Sherlock Holmes with so much research.

What about European TB's? Supposedly they are tattooed much like American TB's however they sport an asterisk in front of a series of numbers. Upon looking at his upper lip we have found what *could* possibly be an asterisk however it could be a blood vessel as well. So was he imported? How does someone pay so much money to have a horse flown overseas, very possibly win races, then wind up nameless in such bad condition. Imported TB's are also supposedly microchipped, however run off a different frequency, rendering American scanners useless. Our vet ran a scan with no luck. Damn.

We did get some information regarding his trainer. Supposedly one of the big shots at the track who will do anything to win. Armed with that information and his lip numbers I will try to get a hold of someone at the racetrack. Problem is, it's the off season. Time to put the Sherlock Holmes hat back on.

On a side note, Scotty went back to the vet today. It was supposed to just be for the microchip scan, however when I got to the barn I found him nearly unable to walk. His left hock had swelled up pretty bad and resembled something of a sausage. Bless his little heart he followed me slowly to the trailer, and used all of his strength to hoist himself inside. Once at the vet he backed out and pretty much fell out of the trailer. We gimped inside and he was given a banamine shot much against all of our liking. It will make him feel better but who knows what it will do on his weak system. He has no fever so that is a positive. He once again used all of his strenght to hoist himself back in the trailer and we were on the road back home. Once at the barn I let him choose weather he wanted to back out or turn around. He decided it was going to be easier to turn around and jump out. It was still difficult for him but he did it. Tomorrow he will be on stall rest. Keeping him company in the stall across is my 8 month old AQHA colt, Jack. He somehow injured his left fetlock. Always something.

Scotty is a fighter. It is clear he has such a passion for life, to be in such poor condition, in pain and still be cheerful and friendly is amazing to me. We can all take a lesson from him I suppose. I have made him a promise. I will not give up on him as long as he does not give up. Hopefully he will continue to fight.

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