Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Ellie's Village

Sometimes it does indeed take a village.
Though I’ve been lax here with the launch of Midwest Paddock Report and running our groups and the Canterbury Racing Club, those of you that tuned in regularly know that Elusive Edition (Ellie) did not pan out the way we had hoped.

Her 2 year old season was a scratch due to sore shins.  Russ Rhone had her during the off season and worked on those shins all winter long and she never had a shin issue again.
Heading into her 3-year old season we decided to send her south to get her ready early and avoid the bad weather.  The Lexington area had some of the worst weather in generations and then she ended up bowing a tendon and being retired. So much for the best laid plans.

We had no place to really take her to make her well without it costing a small fortune.  She needed a lot of stall rest and attention and we do not have our own farm.
Enter Heather Haagenson and Scott and Angie Rake.

Heather, our Good Samaritan, thought Ellie would be a good project.  We checked with her employer, Rake Farms, who said that if Heather could handle it, Ellie could move in.
Ellie shipped to MN in May to Rake Farm where she was examined by Dr. John King.  John took a great deal of time examining and explaining to a very curious Heather (Frisbie) and I all about what we were seeing on the ultrasound, how bowed tendons occur, how they heal and what her prognosis was (good to excellent, though not as a racer).

Heather Haagenson then took over Ellie’s care: hand walking her twice a day and reporting back to us her progress, her friendship with pig Frankel and keeping detailed notes of her progress for Dr. King.  Lindsey, who handles Rake Farm stable on weekends, did the weekend duties.
As the summer progressed, Ellie improved and after about 100 days we had John re-examine her.  She could expand her horizons and, once again, the good doctor was very patient with our questions and providing easy to understand explanations and Heather carried out his orders perfectly.

As the racing season at Canterbury drew to a close (and the Rakes picked up their well-deserved TOBA breeding award in Lexington – gratuitous, but we’re proud of them!), it was time for Ellie to move on.  Racers were coming home - as were the formidable new babies – so she recently moved back to where her career began: Russ Rhone’s farm on the Shakopee/Chaska line near Canterbury Park.
She’s there, turned out for the first time in a long time, only because of the efforts of Heather, Lindsey, Scott and Angie.  The care and love she received in the beautiful and nurturing environment of the Rakes’ farm from the people and pig alike all gave her the time and attention she needed to heal.

Hopefully she will provide someone with years of enjoyment as a riding horse.  She could be very successful in dressage, flat classes and as a trail horse.  She has a good mind, moves beautifully, and has great ground manners and a wonderful personality.
That’s the task now: to find her a person will love her and a job she will love.  While not “free to good home”, her asking price will be small – enough to mean something to her new owner(s).  I never, ever want to find out that she’s ended up in a kill pen somewhere.  Her racing career has been snakebit but she came through it all with her disposition and love for humans intact because, in my opinion, she’s destined for a happy life doing something else.  She certainly deserves that.

If not for Ellie's Village, I don't know if she would have properly recovered and for that I could never fully express my thanks. 

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