Category Archives: Horse Care/Protection

Robb Report’s Horsepower Gala Honors Frank McCourt, Georgina Bloomberg, and Jessica Springsteen

Left to right: Penske Media vice chairman Gerry Byrne, Penske Media board member Sophie Stenbeck, Georgina Bloomberg, Robb Report managing director David Arnold, Kelly Klein, Monica McCourt, Frank McCourt, and Robb Report editor in chief Paul Croughton.

The gala benefited the EQUUS Foundation’s vital work to stop equine abuse

Robb Report, the world’s leading authority on luxury lifestyle, held its inaugural Horsepower Gala on Sunday, December 8, at the Boca Raton Resort & Club, a Waldorf Astoria resort. The EQUUS Foundation, America’s foremost equine-welfare organization, was chosen by the prestigious publication as its charitable partner to raise funds and to increase awareness of horse abuse, neglect, and slaughter.

The power and magic of horses were the inspirations of the invitation-only event, which honored three champions of equine protection: Frank McCourt, Georgina Bloomberg, and Jessica Springsteen. More than 150 guests gathered with Robb Report and the EQUUS Foundation to celebrate the majesty of horses and all they bring to our lives and to honor the three special individuals who embody passion for horses and equestrian sport.

Frank McCourt received the Horsepower Leadership Award for his commitment to safeguarding the protection and dignity of America’s horses and was introduced by his wife, Monica McCourt.

Mr. and Mrs. McCourt are enthusiastic supporters of equestrian sports and own several amateur and competitive horses as well as the Miami Celtics, a world-class show-jumping team that competes in the Global Champions League.

Georgina Bloomberg received a Horsepower Rider of the Year Award and was introduced by Valerie Angeli, vice president of engagement at the EQUUS Foundation.

Jessica Springsteen received a Horsepower Rider of the Year Award and was introduced by Sophie Stenbeck, a gala co-chair, equine advocate, and Penske Media board member.

Bloomberg and Springsteen were recognized for their tireless work on behalf of the EQUUS Foundation and the protection of America’s horses throughout their lives. Both are leading competitive show-jumping athletes who have supported the EQUUS Foundation since its earliest days, motivating fellow equestrians and horse advocates to become horse protectors.

“We are thrilled and privileged to be part of this stunning and meaningful evening for those who ride, work with, care about and care for horses and to celebrate the accomplishments of our honorees — Frank, Georgina, and Jessie. Each is a champion of the equestrian sport and equine protection,” said Lynn Coakley, EQUUS Foundation president.

“The EQUUS Foundation is committed to not only increasing adoptions of at-risk horses and providing a safe haven for aged horses, but also increasing opportunities for all people to engage and partner with horses in new, innovative ways.”

“Horses bring joy to old and young alike. Evenings like this help us ensure a safe and sustainable environment for horses now and in the future.”

About EQUUS Foundation: The EQUUS Foundation, a 501(c)(3) public charity established in 2002, also known as Horse Charities of America, the only national animal welfare charity in the United States 100% dedicated to protecting America’s horses and strengthening the bond between people and horses. Donations are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law. Contact the EQUUS Foundation, Inc., at 168 Long Lots Road, Westport, CT 06880, Tele: (203) 259-1550, E-Mail: mail@equusfoundation.org, Website: www.equusfoundation.org.

Patch, 2017 Kentucky Derby Contender, Arrives at Old Friends

Patch with assistant farm manager Antonio Marin.

GEORGETOWN, KY – JANUARY 20, 2020 – Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement facility based in Georgetown, KY, welcomed 2017 Kentucky Derby contender and graded-stakes-placed Patch.

The son of Union Rags out of the A. P. Indy mare Windyindy, Patch was donated to the non-profit organization by owner Calumet Farm following his three-season racing career. His last start was in the Birdstone Stakes at Saratoga this past August.

A 30-1 long shot in the 2017 Kentucky Derby, Patch became the season’s feel-good story after it was revealed that he had lost his left eye as a two-year-old but overcame his adversity to make it to the Churchill Downs starting gate on the First Saturday in May.

Trained by Todd Pletcher and ridden by Tyler Gaffalione, Patch eventually finished 14th in that race behind winner Always Dreaming.

“Patch is a great horse and he has a great story,” said Old Friends founder and President Michael Blowen. “He is beloved by fans, and we are so looking forward to welcoming them this year. Patch has already stolen the hearts of everyone at Park Equine, where he spent a week while we made paddock space available, and everyone here is really excited about him.

“Our gratitude goes out to Calumet for entrusting us with Patch,” Blowen added, “as well as to Park Equine, and to the people at Sallee Horse Vans for transportation.”

Old Friends is planning a “Welcome Home Patch” day at the farm sometime in the near future. Announcements will be made soon with date, time, and details.

For more information, please call (502) 863-1775 or visit the website at www.oldfriendsequine.org.

MEDIA CONTACT: Cynthia Grisolia, (347) 423-7322, cindy@oldfriendsequine.org; Michael Blowen (502) 863-1775, michael@oldfriendsequine.org

Grade 1 Winner Next Question Euthanized

Next Question, known as Q, at Old Friends at Cabin Creek in New York.

GREENFIELD CENTER, NY – JANUARY 17, 2020 – Grade I winner Next Question was euthanized on January 16 at Old Friends at Cabin Creek due to complications from a paddock accident. He was 12.

Based in Greenfield Center, NY, Cabin Creek is an official satellite facility of Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement farm in Georgetown, KY.

Affectionately known as Q, Next Question (Stormy Atlantic-Seattle Stardust, by Slew City Slew) initially retired to Old Friends at Cabin Creek in 2014, where he lived for one year before returning to his owners, Three Diamonds Farm, for a second career. He returned to Old Friends at Cabin Creek in November of 2019.

Racing for Three Diamonds Farm and trainer Michael Trombetta, Next Question’s greatest accomplishment came in the Grade 1 Nearctic Stakes at Woodbine Racetrack, where he upset the field at 16-1. Other accolades include a placing in the 2013 Around the Cape Stakes at Belmont Park, and participation in the 2012 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Santa Anita Park.

In 2013, his career ended with three wins, one 2nd, and two 3rd’s from 13 starts, and earnings of $424,391. He was bred in New York by Dr. Lance G. Bell.

“Q was a kind, sweet horse who was well loved by everyone who cared for him throughout his life,” said Old Friends at Cabin Creek owner and manager JoAnn Pepper. “We are heartbroken to carry on without him, and grateful to Three Diamonds Farm for allowing us to have this time with Q.”

For more information, please call (502) 863-1775 or visit the website at www.oldfriendsequine.org.

MEDIA CONTACT: Cynthia Grisolia, (347) 423-7322, cindy@oldfriendsequine.org; Michael Blowen (502) 863-1775, michael@oldfriendsequine.org

Cajun Beat, 2003 Breeders’ Cup Sprint Champion, Dies at 20

Cajun Beat at Old Friends in Georgetown (Photo: Laura Battles)

GEORGETOWN, KY – JANUARY 17, 2020 – Cajun Beat, the 2003 Breeders’ Cup Sprint Champion, has died.

The 20-year-old son of Grand Slam had been pensioned at Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement facility based in Georgetown, KY, since 2016. Old Friends founder and President Michael Blowen made the announcement of his passing this morning.

Details of Cajun Beat’s death are pending following a full necropsy.

Co-owned by Padua Stables and John and Joseph Iracane, Cajun Beat proved himself a consistent winner in his three seasons on the track. He broke his maiden at Calder in only his second start as a two-year-old, and captured his first stakes early in his three-year-old year, winning the Hallandale Beach Stakes at Gulfstream. He followed that with a win in the Grade 3 Kentucky Cup Sprint at Turfway.

A month later Cajun Beat entered the starting gate for the 2003 Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Santa Anita at odds of nearly 23-1, but just over a minute later he put himself, trainer Steve Margolis, and jockey Cornelio Velasquez in the limelight by cruising to a 2¼ length victory.

His time of 1:07.95 was, at the time, the third fastest ever in the Sprint.

The following year Cajun Beat earned two more graded wins — including a victory on the grass in the Hollywood Turf Express at Hollywood Park for new trainer Bobby Frankel — before retiring in 2005 with Padua Stables.

He joined Old Friends in 2016 along with his closest friend, Padua’s Pride.

“He was a lovely horse, a real champion,” said Satish Sanan of Padua Stables. “With all of the horses we’ve had, he was one of our favorites — he was my wife’s favorite. He didn’t show much talent until we gelded him, and then he became a hell of a sprinter. He gave us a lot of thrills. We were very grateful to Old Friends for taking he and Padua.”

“Cajun Beat was as sweet as he was speedy,” said Old Friends’ Blowen. “Yesterday, after his unexpected death, his long-time pal, Padua’s Pride, stood over the body, nudging him, as if he was trying to get him up. All of this with the setting sun in the background. He earned every bit of it… to die with the dignity that the rest of us can only hope for.”

For more information, please call (502) 863-1775 or visit the website at www.oldfriendsequine.org.

MEDIA CONTACT: Cynthia Grisolia, (347) 423-7322, cindy@oldfriendsequine.org; Michael Blowen (502) 863-1775, michael@oldfriendsequine.org

Weakening of NEPA Could Threaten Existence of Wild Horses and Burros

Many of you may have seen the President’s press conference January 9th and wondered what impact, if any, watering down the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) may have on the future of our wild horses and burros. It’s a valid question, and the answer is troubling.

Weakening protections for our public lands makes the land and the many species of wildlife that make their homes there more vulnerable, most especially our wild horses and burros. These American icons are the only species to be defined by the land upon which they live. If the land is less protected, so are our beloved wild herds.

Ironically (and appropriately), NEPA itself requires a public comment period on these proposed changes. We will be calling upon you soon to lend your voice in support of our wild lands and wildlife!

Click here to read our Press Release and one TCF Board Member’s take on what the proposed NEPA changes could potentially mean.

Dana Zarrello
Deputy Director
The Cloud Foundation
107 South 7th St
Colorado Springs, CO 80905
www.thecloudfoundation.org

Ride Along with Ginger and Flint as They Take a Look Back at 2019 and What’s to Come in 2020

Much has transpired for our wild horses and burros in 2019. They faced new and varied attacks, some coming from organizations we thought were friends of these magnificent animals. Through it all, you’ve stuck with us and supported our work to keep our wild mustangs and burros in the wild where they belong. No matter how many times we say it, it bears repeating: we couldn’t do that essential work without you.

But there were many bright spots in 2019 too!

We invite you to ride along with Ginger and Flint as she discusses all of it.

As ever, we thank you for all that you do to keep our wild ones wild and free.

Dana Zarrello
Deputy Director
The Cloud Foundation
107 South 7th St
Colorado Springs, CO 80905
www.thecloudfoundation.org

Palm Beach Equine Clinic Is Changing the Prognosis for Condylar Fracture Injuries

Photo by Jump Media.

Wellington, FL – Palm Beach Equine Clinic is changing the prognosis for condylar fracture injuries in race and sport horses. Advances in diagnostic imaging, surgical skillset, and the facilities necessary to quickly diagnose, treat, repair, and rehabilitate horses with condylar fractures have improved dramatically in recent years.

Most commonly seen in Thoroughbred racehorses and polo ponies, a condylar fracture was once considered a career-ending injury. Today, however, many horses fully recover and return to competing in their respective disciplines.

What is a condylar fracture?

A condylar fracture is a repetitive concussive injury that results in a fracture to the cannon bone above the fetlock due to large loads transmitted over the cannon bone during high-speed exercise. On a radiograph, a condylar fracture appears as a crack that goes laterally up the cannon from the fetlock joint and out the side of the bone, essentially breaking off a corner of the cannon bone, sometimes up to six inches long.

“A condylar fracture is a disease of speed,” said Dr. Robert Brusie, a surgeon at Palm Beach Equine Clinic who estimates that he repairs between 30 and 50 condylar fractures per year. “A fracture to the left lateral forelimb is most common in racehorses as they turn around the track on a weakened bone and increased loading.”

Condylar fractures are further categorized into incomplete and non-displaced (the bone fragment hasn’t broken away from the cannon bone and is still in its original position), or complete and displaced (the fragment has moved away from the cannon bone itself and can often be visible under the skin).

Additionally, condylar fractures can occur laterally or medially. According to fellow Palm Beach Equine Clinic surgeon Dr. Weston Davis, most condylar fractures tend to be lateral on the outside condyle (a rounded projection on a bone, usually for articulation with another bone similar to a knuckle or joint).

“Most lateral condylar fractures are successfully repaired,” said Dr. Davis. “Medial condylar fractures tend to be more complicated configurations because they often spiral up the leg. Those require more advanced imaging and more advanced techniques to fix.”

What is the treatment?

The first step in effectively treating a condylar fracture through surgery is to accurately and quickly identify the problem. Board-certified radiologist Dr. Sarah Puchalski utilizes the advanced imaging services at Palm Beach Equine Clinic to accomplish exactly this.

“Stress remodeling can be detected early and easily on nuclear scintigraphy before the horse goes lame or develops a fracture,” said Dr. Puchalski. “Early diagnosis of stress remodeling allows the horse to be removed from active race training and then return to full function earlier. Early diagnosis of an actual fracture allows for repair while the fracture is small and hopefully non-displaced.”

Once the injury is identified as a condylar fracture, Palm Beach Equine Clinic surgeons step in to repair the fracture and start the horse on the road to recovery. Depending on surgeon preference, condylar fracture repairs can be performed with the horse under general anesthesia, or while standing under local anesthesia. During either process, surgical leg screws are used to reconnect the fractured condyle with the cannon bone.

“For a small non-displaced fracture, we would just put in one to two screws across the fracture,” explains Dr. Davis. “The technical term is to do it in ‘lag fashion,’ such that we tighten the screws down heavily and really compress the fracture line. A lot of times the fracture line is no longer visible in x-rays after it is surgically compressed. When you get that degree of compression, the fractures heal very quickly and nicely.”

More complicated fractures, or fractures that are fully displaced, may require additional screws to align the parts of the bone. For the most severe cases of condylar fractures, a locking compression plate with screws is used to stabilize and repair the bone.

Palm Beach Equine Clinic surgeon Dr. Jorge Gomez approaches a non-displaced condylar fracture while the horse is standing, which does not require general anesthesia.

“I will just sedate the horse and block above the site of the fracture,” said Dr. Gomez. “Amazingly, horses tolerate it really well. Our goal is always to have the best result for the horse, trainers, and us as veterinarians.”

According to Dr. Gomez, the recovery time required after a standing condylar fracture repair is only 90 days. This is made even easier thanks to a state-of-the-art standing surgical suite at Palm Beach Equine Clinic. The four-and-a-half-foot recessed area allows doctors to perform surgeries anywhere ventral of the carpus on front legs and hocks on hind legs from a standing position. Horses can forgo general anesthesia for a mild sedative and local nerve blocks, greatly improving surgical recovery.

“A condylar fracture was once considered the death of racehorses, and as time and science progressed, it was considered career-ending,” concluded Dr. Brusie. “Currently, veterinary medical sciences are so advanced that we have had great success with condylar fracture patients returning to full work. Luckily, with today’s advanced rehabilitation services, time, and help from mother nature, many horses can come back from an injury like this.”

Competing in Wellington this season? Stop by the Palm Beach Equine Clinic annex office conveniently located next to the stabling office on the WEF showgrounds, visit www.EquineClinic.com, or call 561-793-1599.

Hats Off to the Horses 2020

The “Einstein” modeled by Dagmar Steiner (Photo by Laura Battles)

The “Einstein” is the latest design on the block in the Old Friends 11th Annual “Hats Off to the Horses” auction

The annual “Hats Off to the Horses: The Road to the Derby” online fashion auction kicks off with a beautiful Derby-style chapeau going on the virtual block to raise money for Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement Facility in Georgetown, KY.

This is the 11th consecutive year that Old Friends has joined with acclaimed milliner Sally Faith Steinmann of the Massachusetts-based Maggie Mae Designs® to auction off four handcrafted Derby hats between January and April, each inspired by one of the non-profit organization’s 200-plus retired racehorses. To date this online fundraiser has garnered over $37,000 for Old Friends.

This new hat was inspired by the multiple graded stakes winner Einstein and it is showcased here by equine artist Dagmar Galleithner-Steiner.

The hat will be up for bid for 10 days only from 8 pm (EST) January 1st through 8 pm (EST) on January 11th. Interested bidders can go to the Old Friends website at www.oldfriendsequine.org and follow the link, or CLICK HERE to visit our eBay page.

To read more and to view additional images of the hat, CLICK HERE.

About the Horse

Einstein is the Brazilian-bred son of 1985 Horse of the Year Spend a Buck. Throughout his career he accomplished what few racehorses have done. He earned graded stakes victories on three different track surfaces: the Turf Classic (on turf), the Clark Handicap (on dirt), and the Santa Anita Handicap (on synthetic). Other races Einstein called his own include the 2006 and the 2008 Gulfstream Turf Handicap, the 2007 Mervin H Muniz Jr Memorial Handicap, and dual runnings of the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic in 2008 and 2009. In all, he finished his career with wins in 11 of his 27 starts — five of them Grade 1 stakes — and earnings of $2.7 million.

About the Hat

The distinctive red, black, and gold silks of owner Frank Stronach’s Racing Stables provided the hues for this stunning Derby hat. A foundation was created using a base layer of red dupioni silk overlaid with a swirling black scroll lace. A red silk under brim creates a bold, elegant effect when the wearer’s face is upturned, while the edge of the brim is trimmed with a double layer of black silk organza ruffles, which allows light to pass through the sheer fabric.

To further showcase Stronach’s stable colors, a red silk-organza Marguerite fleur with a red dupioni rose curl center adorns the front of the hat, while a black button with gold edging provides an accent in the back. For a final touch, black silk organza leaves and three black silk organza “feathers” were added to reflect Einstein’s dark bay coloring.

As always, several strands of the horse’s tail hair have been braided and woven into the trim.

Bidding on the “Einstein” is open now.

For more information about Old Friends, see their website at www.oldfriendsequine.org or call the farm at (502) 863-1775.

Maggie Mae Designs® Custom Millinery offers magnificent hats for all occasions, from glamorous racing events such as the Kentucky Derby and the Royal Ascot to stunning bridal wear and handsome cocktail fashions. Every hat is carefully handcrafted by milliner Sally Faith Steinmann from her home base in South Harwich, MA. Salons of her fashions can be seen on her website at www.maggiemaedesigns.com.

MEDIA CONTACT: Cynthia Grisolia, (347) 423-7322, cindy@oldfriendsequine.org; Maggie Mae Designs (508) 430-1626, sally@maggiemae.com

Cloud Foundation Political Update: BLM Seeks Single-Dose Sterilization Shot

The Cloud Foundation recently responded to a BLM Preliminary Environmental Assessment (PEA) which proposes an experiment on formerly wild mares in order to test the efficacy and longevity of a new injectable fertility control vaccine, called the Oocyte Growth Factor (OGF) vaccine.

BLM’s stated goal is to develop an injectable that would provide permanent infertility (sterility) with a single dose.

While The Cloud Foundation does not object to a fertility control vaccine with longer-term efficacy (several years with a single dose) we do have strong and valid concerns about BLM plans to sterilize wild mares and jennies. With regards to the OGF vaccine, we see the following problems:

  1. The way this vaccine renders a mare infertile is that it affects the ovaries, disrupting ovulation and therefore hormone production.
  2. Disrupted hormones affect natural social behaviors – behaviors that make up the fabric of wild horse society. Most wild horse advocacy organizations oppose gelding for the same reason – it destroys natural hormone production and thus negatively impacts natural wild equid behaviors.
  3. The potential use or overuse of a permanent sterility vaccine in the hands of BLM without sufficient oversight.
  4. The fact that the majority of our western wild herds are already managed at “Appropriate Management Levels” (AML) that are below the minimum threshold for genetic viability. Sterilizing individuals and further reducing genetic variation could lead to irreversible harm.

You can read our full comments and explanation for the above concerns, as well as our suggestions regarding this proposed study, by clicking here.

Thank you for your support and interest. We appreciate the fact that you care about the health of our herds and how BLM manages them.

The Cloud Foundation
107 South 7th St
Colorado Springs, CO 80905
www.thecloudfoundation.org

Update to AQHA Racing Awards and Publicity Policy

The American Quarter Horse Association is committed to the welfare of horses, as well as the integrity of American Quarter Horse racing.

In an effort to recognize only those whose standards help to maintain the integrity of our sport, the Association created the Racing Awards and Publicity Policy in 2018. This policy prohibits any horse or trainer of record with racing violations from being considered for AQHA awards or publicity.

Effective January 1, 2020, any horse associated with a trainer who is added to the violations list during the year will be required to pass a hair test, in addition to meeting the other requirements, before it will be removed from the AQHA Awards and Publicity list.

This recommendation originated from the AQHA Racing Committee, and was then approved by the AQHA Racing Council, followed by the AQHA Executive Committee.

Violations include positive tests for Class 1 or Class 2 substances, clenbuterol, any prohibited substances in the presiding jurisdiction, or any medications other than those defined by ARCI as being a controlled therapeutic medication, and also include as a violation the failure to report for out-of-competition testing.

The full AQHA Policy Concerning Awards and Publicity of Horses and/or Trainers with Racing Medication Positives, as well as a list of trainers and horses with violations, is available on the AQHA website. Information will also be posted about the standard procedure for the collection and testing of hair.

For more news and information, visit www.aqharacing.com.

American Quarter Horse Association
1600 Quarter Horse Drive
Amarillo, TX 79104