Three Chimneys presents Good News Friday: The Tale of ‘Great Fortune’

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Magna Fortuna with mom, Silver Option Magna Fortuna with mom, Silver Option

There’s a story behind every horse that walks into the starting gate, but the story of a 2-year-old colt about to debut in Illinois is one of the more unlikely tales you’ll ever hear.

It begins on June 6, 2009, when former trainer Gail Vacca and colleagues arrived at the Shipshewana livestock auction in northern Indiana.  As Vacca puts it, “Shipshy” is not a place that any caring or passionate horseman would care to visit.  The horses that wind up there endure miserable conditions before an almost-certain fate of slaughter in Canada or Mexico.

Vacca had come to Shipshy looking for off-track Thoroughbreds that might have been transported there in violation of Arlington Park’s zero-tolerance policy for sending retired racehorses to kill auctions.  That day, Vacca only spotted one Thoroughbred.


In the back of a pen filled with horses, Vacca saw an attractive dark bay mare that appeared crippled.  She asked the “kill buyer” if she could purchase the horse from him.  He said no.  She asked if the mare was a Thoroughbred.  He said no.

“He went in and flipped her lip, and said, nope, no tattoo,” Vacca said.  “I knew he was lying.”

Vacca managed to get to edge of the pen and flip the mare’s lip herself.  Just as she surmised, there was a tattoo signifying her registration as a Thoroughbred racehorse.

“I told the kill buyer, I’d really like to buy that mare.  She will not make the trip to Canada,” Vacca said. “He didn’t want to, but eventually he sold her to me for $300.”

After a 30-day spell in quarantine, the mare Vacca named “Lulu” was brought to the Illinois Equine Humane Center (ILEHC).  Vacca, the center’s president, spent hours on the Jockey Club website trying to figure out who Lulu really was.  She had no luck.

In the meantime, Vacca and her staff were doing their best to improve Lulu’s condition, but they knew she wouldn’t be adoptable.

“We had been debating whether it might be more humane to euthanize her because we are a non-profit, and she would be costly to manage with her lameness issues.  But in the weeks that followed, my suspicions about Lulu were confirmed.”

The mare was pregnant.

After months of nursing Lulu along, on April 15, 2010, the staff of the ILEHC celebrated the birth of a colt they named “Taxi” because it was Tax Day (see photo box above for pictures of mom and foal).

“He was so gorgeous, with classic Thoroughbred looks,” Vacca said.  “I said this is not a Heinz 57, this is a Thoroughbred colt.”

Vacca renewed her search for Lulu’s identity.  She found the sales ticket from the Shipshewana auction and tried to track down the consignor.  Eventually, she found his Facebook page and sent him a message.  A couple days later, Vacca received a call from Lulu’s owner.  The mare’s real name was Silver Option.

“He said, ‘do you know who that horse is?’” Vacca recalled.  “He said, that mare’s by Silver Hawk, she’s a really well-bred mare.  He couldn’t believe the mare had a foal.  He said the vets told him she had lost the pregnancy.”

Vacca said the man begged her to sell the new colt to him, promising to take good care of Taxi.

“I said, ‘are you out of your mind?’  I said, buddy, there’s not enough money on the planet for me to sell this horse to you.  You threw his mama away like yesterday’s garbage, and I hung up.”

Silver Option, a 1997 foal, only raced twice in her career for owner John Amerman and was well-beaten in both starts.  She was later sold as a broodmare, and in 2009, she was bred by the man who called Vacca to a new stallion at Darby Dan farm.  It turns out Taxi was a son of Magna Graduate, although the farm had no idea Silver Option was in foal.

Technically, the non-profit Illinois Equine Humane Center was now on the hook for Magna Graduate’s $5,000 stud fee.

“We thought it’d be great if we could get Taxi registered, but we couldn’t afford the stud fee,” Vacca said.  “I contacted Darby Dan, and the farm and owner of Magna Graduate graciously agreed to reduce the fee to $1,000.”

Taxi was then registered with the Jockey Club and named Magna Fortuna (which means “great luck” or “great fortune”).

“We got to thinking that it’d be really cool if he could do what he was bred to do,” Vacca said.  “I thought maybe he could make it to the track and become a “spokeshorse” for the way some of these broodmares are treated. It just defies description that people can do this, throw them away like garbage the minute they can’t make money off of them.”

Vacca and ILEHC volunteer Laura Donohoe assembled a group of people to form a racing partnership they called Rescue Me Racing.  They put their own money in and bought shares of Magna Fortuna.  

“The partnership isn’t about making money for the partnership, it’s about taking care of (Magna Fortuna) and giving him the opportunity to do what he loves to do,” Donohoe said.  “If he makes it to the track or wins a race, that’s a bonus, but all along it was about taking care of him first and foremost.”

Magna Fortuna, now a juvenile, is set to make his racing debut Dec. 26 at Hawthorne Race Course in an Illinois-bred Maiden Special Weight race.  

“I probably won’t sleep the night before,” said Donohoe.  “All of the partners are just so excited.  Whether he wins or not, I just want him to come back safe.”

At least five percent of any proceeds from Magna Fortuna’s racing career will go to the Illinois Equine Humane Center.  

“Really what I want people to think about is what could’ve been,” Vacca said.  “He would’ve been slaughtered with Lulu.  I just want people to think about, before they own a horse or broodmare, what they’re going to do when they’re no longer able to keep the horse.  We owe it to the horses to do better than what we’re doing now.”

Silver Option has a permanent home at the ILEHC, and Vacca said the 15-year-old is doing very well now that her broodmare days are over.  The ILEHC welcomes donations to help keep up with the costs of caring for Silver Option.

Jennie Rees at the Louisville Courier-Journal helped launch a blog that is following Magna Fortuna’s training.  About half of the 15 partners are chipping in to the blog, as well as the colt’s trainer, Michele Boyce.

The partners have agreed Magna Fortuna will never be entered in a claiming race where he could be purchased by someone else, and if the colt doesn’t seem to enjoy racing, he’ll be retrained for a new career.

“We would try to find a good forever home for him,” said Donohoe.  “With the partners, we’d probably have to draw straws to see who gets him, so that’s not going to be a problem.”

***

Thanks to the generosity of Three Chimneys Farm, the sponsor of Good News Friday, a donation of $100 will be made in support of the Illinois Equine Humane Center.  Three Chimneys will be donating $100 each and every week we bring you a story of people or organizations making a positive difference in our world.

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  • Gail Vacca

    Thanks so much for sharing Lulu and Taxi’s amazing journey! We are all chomping at the bit for his debut on the 26th!

  • Gail Vacca

    Thanks so much for sharing Lulu and Taxi’s amazing journey! We are all chomping at the bit for his debut on the 26th!

  • Sebare

    THIS POINT BEARS REPEATI{NG!! 

      “I just want people to think about, before they own a horse or broodmare, what they’re going to do when they’re no longer able to keep the horse.  We owe it to the horses to do better than what we’re doing now.”

    These are gracious and powerfully sentient creatures – and we do them and mankind a terrible injustice to treat them with less than the dignity and respect they deserve!  It is a lifelong commitment when one owns a horse, especially a broodmare.  Please take it seriously and look past the glamour and possibility of fortune and glory. 

  • Sebare

    THIS POINT BEARS REPEATI{NG!! 

      “I just want people to think about, before they own a horse or broodmare, what they’re going to do when they’re no longer able to keep the horse.  We owe it to the horses to do better than what we’re doing now.”

    These are gracious and powerfully sentient creatures – and we do them and mankind a terrible injustice to treat them with less than the dignity and respect they deserve!  It is a lifelong commitment when one owns a horse, especially a broodmare.  Please take it seriously and look past the glamour and possibility of fortune and glory. 

  • Wtreadaway

    What an amazing story.  God bless Gail Vacca for taking Lulu in. Good luck to Taxi on the 26th! I hope he has a fun and safe race!

    • Gail Vacca

      Thank you so much! Taxi is having a great time at his little job thus far…hopefully he will like racing as much as he enjoys “practicing!” 

  • Barbara Wood

    This is the point we are working so hard to get across: Owners and breeders, YOU are responsibile for the horses you own/breed. And horse buyers, YOU are responsible for the horses you buy. Thank you so much for doing the right thing.

    • Gail Vacca

      Amen! Our slogan here at ILEHC is ..”Every horse has an owner. Every owner has a responsibility.” If only every horse owner would just put this to practice!

    • Laura Archer

      AGREED!

  • Wtreadaway

    What an amazing story.  God bless Gail Vacca for taking Lulu in. Good luck to Taxi on the 26th! I hope he has a fun and safe race!

  • Barbara Wood

    This is the point we are working so hard to get across: Owners and breeders, YOU are responsibile for the horses you own/breed. And horse buyers, YOU are responsible for the horses you buy. Thank you so much for doing the right thing.

  • Gail Vacca

    Thank you so much! Taxi is having a great time at his little job thus far…hopefully he will like racing as much as he enjoys “practicing!” 

  • Gail Vacca

    Amen! Our slogan here at ILEHC is ..”Every horse has an owner. Every owner has a responsibility.” If only every horse owner would just put this to practice!

  • Loonylinda1

    I put him in my Vertual Stable and will be cheering him on…… Hope TVG still carries Hawthorne. I am so aware of what happens to the in utero foals at slaughter. Just thrown in a pile, live or dead. Very sic!

  • Loonylinda1

    I put him in my Vertual Stable and will be cheering him on…… Hope TVG still carries Hawthorne. I am so aware of what happens to the in utero foals at slaughter. Just thrown in a pile, live or dead. Very sic!

  • LNorman

    Please speak out for the mustangs also going to slaughter. They are being stolen from their legal domain on our PUBLIC lands using YOUR tax dollars. http://www.causes.com/actions/1706663

  • LNorman

    Please speak out for the mustangs also going to slaughter. They are being stolen from their legal domain on our PUBLIC lands using YOUR tax dollars. http://www.causes.com/actions/

  • Beknighted

    Great Christmas story………..Please keep us posted!!!

  • Beknighted

    Great Christmas story………..Please keep us posted!!!

  • TERRY PAINTER

    GREAT STORY HOPE HE LOVES THE TRACK

  • TERRY PAINTER

    GREAT STORY HOPE HE LOVES THE TRACK

  • FDF

    Ray, thanks for posting these wonderful stories…there must be a way to get this type of story out to the general public, for the most part, they believe no one in this industry cares…when the opposite is true.
    Thank goodness for folks like Vacca and Jennie Rees, Micheal Blowen and so many others…
    I am especially partial to mares, having had my own, the bond you have with a broodmare goes deep, they are all so very special and described so well within this story.

    There is NOT one good reason in which any horse owner throws away these wonderful creatures when they don’t want them anymore…and I believe that criminal penalties need to be enforced to keep owners responsible for every horse they own.

    I’m going to follow Taxi (his race name is excellent) and I am going to donate money to help the cause…and I hope LuLu lives a long and happy life now…

    God Bless Every One.

    • Gail Vacca

      FDF…thank you for  your very kind comments. I fully agree that there ought to be REAL repercussions for people that dump their horses at slaughter auctions, etc. Unfortunately, while some tracks have implemented a “zero tolerance” policy against this irresponsible practice, these policies are seldom if ever enforced.

      Case in point… later that same year that I rescued Lulu, Arlington Park was made aware of 2 horses sent to slaughter by a trainer stabled there. Thankfully, we were able to intercept the horses and keep them from being slaughtered, but the trainer got off basically scott-free. Arlington Park could have and should have denied this trainer stabling at the track, but they essentially did nothing. Laws, rules, regulations, etc are only useful if they are enforced.

      Good, caring horseman and the racing public must demand better of this industry. The horses have only us as their voice. We need to shout from the rooftops our demand for better treatment for these horses.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Gj-Ubar/1262539910 Gj Ubar

    Great story! I hope I catch his race on the 26th at Hawthorne (on HRTV or TVG?).  Please remind us when he runs. I know I’ll forget.

    • Gail Vacca

      Hawthorne is on TVG. I will let Ray know when he’s officially in the entries and maybe he can post a message somehow. Or you can look us up on Facebook and follow that way.

      • nu-fan

        Gail:  I would hope that TVG might also make a comment about his story when he runs that day.  It would be an opportunity for all of those watching that race to be made aware of his previous circumstance.  And, know that all of us will be happy to just see him run–win or not.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Gj-Ubar/1262539910 Gj Ubar

    Great story! I hope I catch his race on the 26th at Hawthorne (on HRTV or TVG?).  Please remind us when he runs. I know I’ll forget.

  • Gail Vacca

    Hawthorne is on TVG. I will let Ray know when he’s officially in the entries and maybe he can post a message somehow. Or you can look us up on Facebook and follow that way.

  • Alex Brown

    I am pretty sure I galloped the dam’s mom, Hot Option ?

  • Alex Brown

    I am pretty sure I galloped the dam’s mom, Hot Option ?

    • Gail Vacca

      wow..small world Alex! Who trained Hot Option?

      • Alex Brown

        Drysdale, MANY years ago.

  • Gail Vacca

    wow..small world Alex! Who trained Hot Option?

  • Beachy

     “I said, ‘are you out of your mind?’  I said, buddy, there’s not enough
    money on the planet for me to sell this horse to you.  You threw his
    mama away like yesterday’s garbage, and I hung up.”

    Well, God bless you and you’re a better woman than me; I would have been seriously tempted to punctuate the above with several(or more) blue words. 

    I will be thrilled and happy to watch on the 26th. 

    And thank you also(Three Chimneys and Jen as well) for underscoring the sickening problem of throwing these animals away like trash.  THEY ARE NOT TRASH.  I’m coming to the point where I’m about to start signing all my posts, too–

    “THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A JUNK FOAL” 

    Horse hugs for Magna Fortuna and dam; may he run safe and well.  :-) 

  • Beachy

     “I said, ‘are you out of your mind?’  I said, buddy, there’s not enough
    money on the planet for me to sell this horse to you.  You threw his
    mama away like yesterday’s garbage, and I hung up.”

    Well, God bless you and you’re a better woman than me; I would have been seriously tempted to punctuate the above with several(or more) blue words. 

    I will be thrilled and happy to watch on the 26th. 

    And thank you also(Three Chimneys and Jen as well) for underscoring the sickening problem of throwing these animals away like trash.  THEY ARE NOT TRASH.  I’m coming to the point where I’m about to start signing all my posts, too–

    “THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A JUNK FOAL” 

    Horse hugs for Magna Fortuna and dam; may he run safe and well.  :-) 

  • Francesbull03

    glad some people are trying to help. hate the killbuyers who do the devil’s work….also, i love the photo, mat i use as an artistic reference?

    • Laura Donohoe

      Glad you like the photo and I’m fine with you using as a reference.  Just please let me know when you do use it so we can see!

  • Francesbull03

    glad some people are trying to help. hate the killbuyers who do the devil’s work….also, i love the photo, mat i use as an artistic reference?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Linda-Brown/1034380872 Linda Brown

    Enjoyed the story up to the part where you are putting Taxi on the track to race. Surely his mom being saved meant he would never have to race? Horse racing is a dirty business – too much whipping and drugging and injury.

    • Blugrsgrl

      Though I certainly don’t speak for all, I have to say those of us involved in the partnership love racing and know it can be done the right way. We have the utmost confidence in our trainer, Michele  Boyce, to do what is right for Taxi. In fact, this is why he is almost three and has not yet made a start. Horses of any stripe – thoroughbreds to backyard ponies – can and do get injured. It is often said they will find a way to hurt themselves. It is our responsibility to minimize that potential as much as possible, and again, a big part of that is the trainer and the barn crew/exercise riders/vet etc., those who are around him everyday. As Laura said, when the time comes for him to retire as a multiple-graded stakes winner, or a “need to find another career” type, or something in between, it is anybody’s guess how we will determine which of us “gets to have him”. In closing, he has from the very start shown a willingness, eagerness, and the want-to required for training. He is quite level-headed and smart, and that is not just a “mom” talking, everyone who has been around him in a professional capacity has noted those traits.

      I hope you will be assured Taxi has the best of care, and will for the rest of his life.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Linda-Brown/1034380872 Linda Brown

        I have had my OTTB Water Czar for seven years. He has arthritis and ringbone from track injuries and being forced to race when he was not fit. He had had so many caregivers (I use that term loosely) that it took him a year to learn how to trust a human again. This is my experience of OTTBs. I hope yours will be different.

        • Gail Vacca

          Linda, Sadly stories like yours and Water Czar are all too common in the racing industry. There is a large element of people involved in horse racing that will always put $$’s ahead of the welfare of their horses. The industry needs to implement medications regulations and improved humane standards (including fully funded aftercare programs!) that will help to weed out people who rely on drugs and the mistreatment of their horses to make a living.

          That said, there is also a large element in the industry that DOES care about their horses and strives to do what’s best for them. The trainer we’ve chosen for Taxi is one of the best horseman (man or woman) that you’d ever meet. We are 100% confident that Taxi’s welfare will always be the #1 priority of everyone involved with his life both on and off the track.

        • J L

          czar is a lucky one and thankyou for what you have done but a LOT of horses come off the track into the show world pretty sound   some just cant run fast enough to hurt themselves   as to being forced to run when not fit…that is a really stupid owner/trainer situation andsadly it happens,but those people often eliminate themselves because they cant make enough$to stay     

    • J L

      too bad you feel the way you do Linda   would like to take you on a tour of the backside of a track   you will see some bad people but the majority are good caring people whon love their horses and no matter the level    are doing a good job….times are tough expenses high but most of the horses will get what they need before the human does…..would like to eliminate the bad ones

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Linda-Brown/1034380872 Linda Brown

    Enjoyed the story up to the part where you are putting Taxi on the track to race. Surely his mom being saved meant he would never have to race? Horse racing is a dirty business – too much whipping and drugging and injury.

  • Blugrsgrl

    Though I certainly don’t speak for all, I have to say those of us involved in the partnership love racing and know it can be done the right way. We have the utmost confidence in our trainer, Michele  Boyce, to do what is right for Taxi. In fact, this is why he is almost three and has not yet made a start. Horses of any stripe – thoroughbreds to backyard ponies – can and do get injured. It is often said they will find a way to hurt themselves. It is our responsibility to minimize that potential as much as possible, and again, a big part of that is the trainer and the barn crew/exercise riders/vet etc., those who are around him everyday. As Laura said, when the time comes for him to retire as a multiple-graded stakes winner, or a “need to find another career” type, or something in between, it is anybody’s guess how we will determine which of us “gets to have him”. In closing, he has from the very start shown a willingness, eagerness, and the want-to required for training. He is quite level-headed and smart, and that is not just a “mom” talking, everyone who has been around him in a professional capacity has noted those traits.

    I hope you will be assured Taxi has the best of care, and will for the rest of his life.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Linda-Brown/1034380872 Linda Brown

    I have had my OTTB Water Czar for seven years. He has arthritis and ringbone from track injuries and being forced to race when he was not fit. He had had so many caregivers (I use that term loosely) that it took him a year to learn how to trust a human again. This is my experience of OTTBs. I hope yours will be different.

  • John McEvoy

    Gail Vacca and Partners deserve a Special Eclipse Award.

  • John McEvoy

    Gail Vacca and Partners deserve a Special Eclipse Award.

  • Gail Vacca

    Linda, Sadly stories like yours and Water Czar are all too common in the racing industry. There is a large element of people involved in horse racing that will always put $$’s ahead of the welfare of their horses. The industry needs to implement medications regulations and improved humane standards (including fully funded aftercare programs!) that will help to weed out people who rely on drugs and the mistreatment of their horses to make a living.

    That said, there is also a large element in the industry that DOES care about their horses and strives to do what’s best for them. The trainer we’ve chosen for Taxi is one of the best horseman (man or woman) that you’d ever meet. We are 100% confident that Taxi’s welfare will always be the #1 priority of everyone involved with his life both on and off the track.

  • Laura Donohoe

    Glad you like the photo and I’m fine with you using as a reference.  Just please let me know when you do use it so we can see!

  • Alex Brown

    Drysdale, MANY years ago.

  • carrie

    that is a feel good story I needed to hear today

  • carrie

    that is a feel good story I needed to hear today

  • Cheri Vaughan

    Wonderful story! Simply wonderful. God bless everyone involved! 

  • Cheri Vaughan

    Wonderful story! Simply wonderful. God bless everyone involved! 

  • Laura Archer

    AGREED!

  • Bmcdukey

    Please send a follow up after Taxi’s race to let us know how he is doing!  Thank you!

  • Bmcdukey

    Please send a follow up after Taxi’s race to let us know how he is doing!  Thank you!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kathryn-Baker/100000670932928 Kathryn Baker

    I love this story. I hope Magna Fortune has a stellar racing career but it appears that they have his back no matter what he does on the track. Great work ladies.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kathryn-Baker/100000670932928 Kathryn Baker

    I love this story. I hope Magna Fortune has a stellar racing career but it appears that they have his back no matter what he does on the track. Great work ladies.

  • Lesleydyke

    Thank goodness there are people who care, animals give us so much and often deserve a lot better. The trouble is that many people are treated badly too in this world. We must respect all life.

  • Lesleydyke

    Thank goodness there are people who care, animals give us so much and often deserve a lot better. The trouble is that many people are treated badly too in this world. We must respect all life.

  • Soniabarr

    Can you post a picture of “Taxi”?

    • Laura Donohoe

      Hi Soniabarr!  We have TONS of photos of Taxi and Lulu on his website – magnafortuna.weebly.com – and on the blog that the Louisville Courier-Journal has started for him – http://blogs.courier-journal.com/magnafortuna/

  • Soniabarr

    Can you post a picture of “Taxi”?

  • J L

    too bad you feel the way you do Linda   would like to take you on a tour of the backside of a track   you will see some bad people but the majority are good caring people whon love their horses and no matter the level    are doing a good job….times are tough expenses high but most of the horses will get what they need before the human does…..would like to eliminate the bad ones

  • J L

    czar is a lucky one and thankyou for what you have done but a LOT of horses come off the track into the show world pretty sound   some just cant run fast enough to hurt themselves   as to being forced to run when not fit…that is a really stupid owner/trainer situation andsadly it happens,but those people often eliminate themselves because they cant make enough$to stay     

  • Laura Donohoe

    Hi Soniabarr!  We have TONS of photos of Taxi and Lulu on his website – magnafortuna.weebly.com – and on the blog that the Louisville Courier-Journal has started for him – http://blogs.courier-journal.c

  • http://www.facebook.com/judith.donlan.3 Judith Donlan

    Judith Donlan What a wonderful, heart warming story!  Thank goodness there are people like this that care so very much and become involved in rescues like this story portrays. I cannot encourage everyone out there enough after reading about Magna Fortuna to support at least one favorite Thoroughbred Rescue organization.  Every penny counts to keep these horses fed, trimmed and sheltered.  Special thanks to Three Chimneys…and Jen Roytz.  Jen is a caring and loving individual who steps up to the plate continuously, owning several rescues herself and is a continuous advocate for the entire thoroughbred industry.  I’ll be watching this race Dec, 26th at Hawthorne

  • http://www.facebook.com/judith.donlan.3 Judith Donlan

    Judith Donlan What a wonderful, heart warming story!  Thank goodness there are people like this that care so very much and become involved in rescues like this story portrays. I cannot encourage everyone out there enough after reading about Magna Fortuna to support at least one favorite Thoroughbred Rescue organization.  Every penny counts to keep these horses fed, trimmed and sheltered.  Special thanks to Three Chimneys…and Jen Roytz.  Jen is a caring and loving individual who steps up to the plate continuously, owning several rescues herself and is a continuous advocate for the entire thoroughbred industry.  I’ll be watching this race Dec, 26th at Hawthorne

  • Gail Vacca

    FDF…thank you for  your very kind comments. I fully agree that there ought to be REAL repercussions for people that dump their horses at slaughter auctions, etc. Unfortunately, while some tracks have implemented a “zero tolerance” policy against this irresponsible practice, these policies are seldom if ever enforced.

    Case in point… later that same year that I rescued Lulu, Arlington Park was made aware of 2 horses sent to slaughter by a trainer stabled there. Thankfully, we were able to intercept the horses and keep them from being slaughtered, but the trainer got off basically scott-free. Arlington Park could have and should have denied this trainer stabling at the track, but they essentially did nothing. Laws, rules, regulations, etc are only useful if they are enforced.

    Good, caring horseman and the racing public must demand better of this industry. The horses have only us as their voice. We need to shout from the rooftops our demand for better treatment for these horses.

  • Delrene22

    That is such a beautiful story.  Thanks to all who helped save this mare.  good luck Taxi and safe racing to all.

  • Delrene22

    That is such a beautiful story.  Thanks to all who helped save this mare.  good luck Taxi and safe racing to all.

  • Alassandro

    I am so grateful that there are people like this with such big hearts.  I think that they do God’s work.

  • Alassandro

    I am so grateful that there are people like this with such big hearts.  I think that they do God’s work.

  • Suntanadobe

    What a cool story!  Thank you for saving them both.  My brother’s first horses were rescues–one was a retired racehorse whose tattoo was unreadable.  Buddy finally died a couple of years ago at about age 36.  He was about 20 when my brother got him.  My brother is also a small-time racing TB breeder (only one broodmare now, two at the most) and not only does he not put them under saddle until they are almost 3, but he is careful to find good retirement homes for them.  One, Thunkin Theodore, is now an eventer.  

  • Suntanadobe

    What a cool story!  Thank you for saving them both.  My brother’s first horses were rescues–one was a retired racehorse whose tattoo was unreadable.  Buddy finally died a couple of years ago at about age 36.  He was about 20 when my brother got him.  My brother is also a small-time racing TB breeder (only one broodmare now, two at the most) and not only does he not put them under saddle until they are almost 3, but he is careful to find good retirement homes for them.  One, Thunkin Theodore, is now an eventer.  

  • Spunky4c

    What a wonderful story. Good Luck to Taxi in his first race. Please come home safe!

  • Spunky4c

    What a wonderful story. Good Luck to Taxi in his first race. Please come home safe!

  • LL

    Gail, I love your persistence and perseverance. A terrific story. I hope he turns out to be something special. Will be watching that day to see how he does. Good luck. Sounds like a fun group. Wouldn’t have minded jumping in on that partnership. I’m sure he’s in good hands with Michele.

    • Gail Vacca

      Thank you, LL!

      Entries just came out for Hawthorne Dec. 26th. Taxi is in the 6th race. Post time is 4:40 pm CT. Cue the nerves:) 

  • LL

    Gail, I love your persistence and perseverance. A terrific story. I hope he turns out to be something special. Will be watching that day to see how he does. Good luck. Sounds like a fun group. Wouldn’t have minded jumping in on that partnership. I’m sure he’s in good hands with Michele.

  • LL

    Just checked the entries for Hawthorne but the race isn’t posted yet. If weather’s good, we’ll be there to cheer him on. 

  • LL

    Just checked the entries for Hawthorne but the race isn’t posted yet. If weather’s good, we’ll be there to cheer him on. 

  • Gail Vacca

    Thank you, LL!

    Entries just came out for Hawthorne Dec. 26th. Taxi is in the 6th race. Post time is 4:40 pm CT. Cue the nerves:) 

  • jmom54

    I loved this story and I send to Magna Fortuna best wishes for a good career in racing or whatever he ends up doing.

  • jmom54

    I loved this story and I send to Magna Fortuna best wishes for a good career in racing or whatever he ends up doing.

  • nu-fan

    Gail:  I would hope that TVG might also make a comment about his story when he runs that day.  It would be an opportunity for all of those watching that race to be made aware of his previous circumstance.  And, know that all of us will be happy to just see him run–win or not.

  • Brianfrench
  • Brianfrench
  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/RYG7N5ZDUP4AMZQTLO32XQ3CZA perspectives

    Great to hear a great story with a positive ending with the redemption of a thoroughbred mare and her foul saved from the grip of certain death before her real time was nigh. 

    Would like to see a donation and the same type of positive story on the contribution/efforts of individuals and organizations to the plight of human women and young girls who are kidnapped and sold into the human sex slavery trade and discarded by their pimps and owners with equal callousness once they are deemed no longer money makers and are perceived as reaching their expiration date of usefulness regardless of whether they were are thoroughbreds or hienz57.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/RYG7N5ZDUP4AMZQTLO32XQ3CZA perspectives

    Great to hear a great story with a positive ending with the redemption of a thoroughbred mare and her foul saved from the grip of certain death before her real time was nigh. 

    Would like to see a donation and the same type of positive story on the contribution/efforts of individuals and organizations to the plight of human women and young girls who are kidnapped and sold into the human sex slavery trade and discarded by their pimps and owners with equal callousness once they are deemed no longer money makers and are perceived as reaching their expiration date of usefulness regardless of whether they were once thoroughbreds or hienz57.

  • Nanksy

    I never owned thoroughbreds, just a registered Paint gelding (Diablo) a Quarterhorse Throughbred cross gelding (Chance),and a Quarter/Morgan mare (Brownie).  Chance,was a handfull and after he sunfished on my daughter in a 4H playday I had an offer from a Kill Buyer and a Rodeo Buyer. In spite of the fact that Chance had given us grief more than once, I told them both, “No”. I actually told the Kill Buyer to “go to hell”.
    We put him out to pasture for several months and then my son, who gentled troublesome horses, worked with him and sold him to an elderly couple who paired him with a look-a-like mare and rode him in parades. I could not sell him for rodeo stock, although he could buck non stop, because he had slender throughbred legs, and I could not risk them being broken. He was ours and we owed him a decent life and a painless death.
    Is there any possibility of Taxi running in any of the classics, like the Kentucky Derby? I would love to see that. 

  • Nanksy

    I never owned thoroughbreds, just a registered Paint gelding (Diablo) a Quarterhorse Throughbred cross gelding (Chance),and a Quarter/Morgan mare (Brownie).  Chance,was a handfull and after he sunfished on my daughter in a 4H playday I had an offer from a Kill Buyer and a Rodeo Buyer. In spite of the fact that Chance had given us grief more than once, I told them both, “No”. I actually told the Kill Buyer to “go to hell”.
    We put him out to pasture for several months and then my son, who gentled troublesome horses, worked with him and sold him to an elderly couple who paired him with a look-a-like mare and rode him in parades. I could not sell him for rodeo stock, although he could buck non stop, because he had slender throughbred legs, and I could not risk them being broken. He was ours and we owed him a decent life and a painless death.
    Is there any possibility of Taxi running in any of the classics, like the Kentucky Derby? I would love to see that. 

  • Tonto

    When racing started to ‘tank’ 20 years ago- we quit breeding.. Our stud was out of Northern Dancer’s first stakes by a Horse of the Year The mares were good race record winners.. Most of our raehorse geldings retired to life as Dressage or H/J show horses. We kept the others ‘home’ until they died of the problems of old age. The ‘baby boomers’ feel no such responsibility to their family let alone their horses and dogs. It all about them

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