Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Free to Good Home

Sometimes you plan posts and sometimes they just jump up and land in your lap. This is one of the latter.

A lot has been made in the news lately about the lives of former racehorses - much of it not pleasant. There are owners out there who are unscrupulous and don't care what happens to their horses as they are just merely columns in a ledger book. But there are many out there - a considerable number, in fact, that love their horses and truly try to do what's best for them. That is most definitely the case with Ticketsandtomatoes (pictured above). I am going to just paste in here a note I received from my friend Karin Wagner. Karin runs Neigh Savers, a non-profit group dedicated to working with horse rescue groups to find homes for retired racehorses. I urge you to take a look and donate a couple of shekels if you can.

I'll have her tell the story:

TicketsandTomatoes, a five year old OTTB gelding is in need of a GOOD HOME. This horse is so special to his owners that although completely sound, he is being given away even though his estimated value is still around $10,000. It is rare to find a sound horse off the track but TickTom's story itself is a bit unique. His owners purchased him for $35,000 at the Keeneland yearling sale a few years back. He started racing competitively in Northern California where he had 11 starts, won twice, placed twice and showed once. However, as he started falling down into the lower level claiming ranks, his owners were disturbed that he might either get hurt or claimed by someone who would race him to death or ultimately send him to slaughter. Therefore, they retired him to Once Over Farm thinking they might bring him back after a long refresher.

Upon his return to the track some months back they discovered he was body sore after his workouts and none too happy there either. The decision was made right then and there to retire him permanently. I visited with TickTom today and of all the horses I have been around he is one of the smartest, calmest and most gentle thoroughbreds I have ever encountered. He is the kind of horse you could envision snuggling up to with a good book in hand. Efrain Guzman, Manager of Once Over Farm, has told me that this horse may not be put up on a public board for adoption or showcased on the Internet by a rescue. Efrain and his owners want him placed in a good home and will wait it out until the right connection is made through people they feel they can trust to do the right thing by him.

After visiting with him today I can fully understand why they are so attached to this fine gelding. He is so very easy to fall in love with. TickTom is about 15 hands and has a stellar pedigree. His sire is More Than Ready and he is directly out of the Woodman line crossed with Northern Dancer and Mr. Prospector. If you are ready for a totally people friendly horse, TickTom is your guy. Please contact me if you are interested in pursuing this adoption.

I sent this around to all the folks on my stable mailing list and fellow TBA members. I figure the more people that know, the better shot he has at finding a good home. Nellie Browning, a TBA blogger (http://www.lastfilly.com/) sent me a note with what, I'm sure she thought, was an innocuous remark about how THESE type of owners never get any play. I thought about it and she's right. We always hear about the worst because it makes good copy. Here's my minor attempt to shine some light on what's right and something that all of us that own racehorses should aspire.


Anonymous said...

Thank you Ted for posting this. The owners don't want him adopted out to anyone unless prequalified. However, this gelding's story is positve and deserves some press. Happy Racing. Karin

Anonymous said...

He's adorable!!!

I hope he finds a great home!

Theodore L. Grevelis said...

Thanks, folks. The response has been great.

A note about comments:

Some of you may notice that I removed a rather lengthy comment posted 'anonymously' (of course), by PETA or one of their ilk. A couple of points on that - I don't care about anonymous posts, but don't use it to hide behind commentary and, 2 - don't use my space to advance your own agendas. That is why that post was removed.

Brooklyn Backstretch said...

I assume that that's the same comment that's been posted--anonymously--on a number of TBA blogs. Over at Foolish Pleasure, I asked why, if one felt so strongly about a cause that one would be moved to post it on multiple site, one would not want to put one's name on it.

I don't blame you for taking it down.

Anonymous said...

Thanks to the wonders of the Internet we have been connected with three potential placements for TickTom. One came through one of Ted's contacts, Kathy from South Dakota, another through my cousin Jessica in Illinois from her friend Laurie and a third from a forward from a friend to Trudy near San Francisco. Something should work out thanks to compassionate people from it seems all corners of the US. I feel confident we will have a placement for our darling boy and look forward to sharing the news on this blog. Karin www.neighsavers.com

Wind Gatherer said...

What is required to be pre-qualified?

Anonymous said...

Update on TickTom -- Laurie from Oak Park, Illinois is flying to California later this month and will probably adopt this guy. Laurie lost her beloved "Barnsey" over two years ago at the age of 25and was determined never to own another horse. However, the photo of TickTom so reminded her of Barnsey that after careful consideration of her feelings, the costs of owning a horse and finding a good place for him near her home, she decided she wanted to pursue this adoption. I sent Laurie many more photos and it convinced her that this was the one for her. As for someone who asked what does it mean to be "qualified" -- it simply means we need to determine if you can take on the responsibility of a horse and have the right intentions. There were many inquiries about TickTom ... some serious and some from people who were looking to turn him around for profit. Our "pre-qualified" clients are those with existing facilities that we have personally inspected and interviewed and are either partners or trusted friends. I will post again after Laurie's visit the end of July to let you know if it was a go or not. Karin www.neighsavers.com

Anonymous said...

I love what you're doing Ted & Karin. Ticktom looks and sounds like a complete darling. If not in Australia I'd have loved to have offered him a loving home. I've designed a house with barn attached for the very purpose of spending time reading with my horse. Only hasn't happened already on account of my beloved anglo-arab's death almost 3 years ago. And I'm still crying.

Theodore L. Grevelis said...

Linda - I'm so sorry for your loss and the pain it causes you. I can take absolutely no credit whatsoever. Karin and her contacts do the hard work each and every day to make these things happen. I only try to give them a little press to get them the attention they deserve and donations that they need.