Monday, January 12, 2009

"Bailey Road"

Over the past month I've learned a lot about Scotty's history. It's been interesting to say the least. I've pretty much absorbed myself in trying to figure out what exactly happened to him and why he was dumped. Talking to anyone and everyone I can who may have been associated with this horse. It has taken my mind somewhat off of his his originally guarded prognosis and has given me something to focus my energy on.

Emotionally it has been draining. I have been involved in rescuing horses for quite some time, and it never seems to get any easier. Scotty is by far the most severely malnourished horse I've ever taken in and we weren't certain he'd make it. With the help of his guardian angel, he has managed to pull through with flying colors - even in such a short period of time. I am amazed.

Registered as "Bailey Road", Scotty was born Feb 21, 2005 on beautiful, big name breeding farm in FL. His sire, Aldebaren, was son of the famous Mr Prospector. I had heard his stud fee had been upwards of $60K. His dam, Vintage Champagne, was by AP Indy out of the famous Meadow Star. In November 2007 he was sold to SEJ Stables for $65K and ran mostly at Turf Paradise and Canterbury Park . In the year that they owned him, he won over $38K for his owners. Not a bad beginning.

He was trained by "super trainer" Justin Evans. Mr Evans is well known at both tracks as a "win at all costs" trainer. In fact, he was recently suspended down in AZ for illegal practices and in May 2008, he was fined for using the drug Methylprednisolone in two of his first place finishing horses. One of which was Scotty.

In July 2008 "Someone" at the track gave him a shot in his back. According to the owners, no one (Justin Evans or his vet, Dr. Luper) would own up to administering it. The shot went into his spinal column and paralyzed the nerves going to his left hip and leg. As a result, the muscles in his left hip started to atrophy. I was also told that the shot had actually been some sort of nerve block. He was deemed useless as a racehorse.

The owners needed him gone so they asked a fellow trainer that was on their way down to FL if they wanted him. It was either that or they would euthanize him. The trainer wanted him as a pony horse, however, did not have room in his trailer for him so they tried to find him a home. They made arrangements with an acquaintance of mine who was working at the track at the time, to temporarily take him. She in turn, contacted our mutual friend who runs a local boarding facility. The agreement was supposedly for 6 weeks, until they could either find him a home or transport him to FL.

Long story short, the trainers thought the acquaintance had placed him in a home, so they never bothered to check on him. I am not going to go into all the details as it is very touchy. There are underlying debts and agreements that need to be ironed out and I will not air them on this blog.

Throughout all of this I have been able to track down and speak with Scotty's breeders, previous owners, and the trainer that was going to take him to FL. I am happy to say everyone has been very pleasant and helpful. I still have work to do. I am going to get to the bottom of the "shot" he was given.

I have posted pics of him taken 1-10-09. You can clearly see he's gained quite a bit of weight. If it were warm enough I could turn him out sans blanket without the fear of the neighbors calling PETA.

1 comment:

TBDancer said...

Here I put your blog as one of my favorites and then I don't visit for days and days. Shame on me.

Now, for your entry of Monday. I have been there and done that, though the damage done to my horse was not that of neglect. He was "race horse thin only thinner" and had not been off the track very long because his coat was still very shiny. His condition was no groceries, but he had been bought off the track by someone who subsequently lost his job and could not afford the horse and rent.

This was in 1998 which is probably why my horse wasn't skin and bones.

When I found his tattoo and researched his pedigree, I discovered that, though born in KY, his racing had all been done here in CA. I write a newspaper column and wrote about Huey, calling him by his registered name. I received a phone call from the wife of one of the bloodstock members who had bought Huey at auction (for $60K) and brought him to CA as a yearling.

He told me about one of Huey's trainers, brother to a prominent jockey. This trainer left CA because, according to a quote on his biography, he "didn't like people looking over his shoulder" and he liked training further southeast because he could "do what he wanted."

Huey came to me with some real mental issues. He was sweet and had good ground manners, but he would PANIC if I took him anywhere, particularly if there were other horses.

He was terrified of new things. Terrified of little men (jockeys? jockeys' brothers??)

The man who was part of the bloodstock came out to see Huey and said that he didn't think the trainer in question had liked Huey very much--and Huey does need time and patience (two things in short supply in most training barns at the track).

It took about two years of patient "taking him everywhere for a looksee" and working with another gal whose horse was a packer and who gave Huey confidence before I was able to actually begin to do things with him. It's been a long journey (11 years ;o) but it has been fantastic.

He LOVES dressage because even though the jockey is a little heavier, the "track" is smaller and he's the only one in the "race." When we started to go places for dressage shows or lessons, Huey would get upset and then SEE the court and then it was okay. He knew why he was there and what his job was.

Over these 11 years, my love for TBs has grown by leaps and bounds (my leaps and bounds, not theirs, haha).

Humans can do terrible things to each other, but those things pale by comparison to what they can do to animals. The damage is not always visible, either.

Scotty is one lucky duck. I'm with you--happy that his condition is returning so quickly and that he has found a good place to be.

Keep up the good work!