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    Barbaro Update 820

    Updates are now here

    Update 4712: Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum will be returning to the Kentucky Derby after seven years away: Sheik Gets Back on the Kentucky Derby Trail

    Excerpt: "Both horses ran super races and they are legitimate contenders for the Kentucky Derby," said Simon Crisford, the racing manager for the sheik's Godolphin stable. "They will ship to Churchill, and we will wait until closer to the Kentucky Derby to decide if both run, or we leave one for the Preakness, but we will cross that bridge when we get to it."

    Update 4711: Superfecta here, with your regular weekly update.

    Well Armed may have had the most visually impressive victory on the Dubai World Cup card, but Timeform has ranked him the second-best horse in the world - with Dubai Duty Free winner Gladiatorus number one at a rating of 132 (in case you were wondering, the only other American-based horse apart from Well Armed to crack the top ten is Zenyatta). In retrospect, Gladiatorus deserved a lot more respect coming in - the KY-bred horse has only been out of the money once in his career. I'll have to do a belated Horses Americans Should Know feature on him in the near future; in the meantime, his next steps are rejoining the Godolphin A-team (he had been running for one of Sheikh Mohammed's sons, Sheikh Mansoor - but apparently dad wants him back now) and heading to Europe as a miler.

    In case you are curious about Timeform's other ratings for the Dubai World Cup card, Regal Ransom's win in the UAE Derby was rated a 116 - it seems the only track he hasn't taken to is Santa Anita. Desert Party was given a 115 for his runner-up effort, although I found more to like in Regal Ransom (and I must confess I wasn't overawed by the rest of the field). Whether both colts will indeed be pointed to our own Kentucky Derby remains to be seen, but it looks as though both will ship to the States. British challenger Mafaaz is already scheduled to give the Blue Grass a shot, although his guaranteed Derby slot certainly leaves supporters of Dunkirk in hand-wringing mode.

    I don't have a lot of sympathy for Dunkirk's predicament; yes, I thought he ran well in the Florida Derby, but he was no match for Quality Road who was thoroughly professional (even given the fact that he is also lightly-raced). Nevertheless, I did include him in my top ten for this week because he did show a lot of potential - but as I'm not a huge fan of the lightly-raced Derby trail trend, both Dunkirk and Imperial Council are keeping toward the bottom of my list. Should Imperial Council defeat I Want Revenge in the Wood, I'd certainly re-evaluate that position (and it sounds as though trainer Shug McGaughey is approaching that race in the same way). However, I see a lot of names on the graded earnings list that I would not expect to see in the starting gate come Derby day - we'll have to see how that plays out. Without further ado, here's this week's Superfecta Derby Top 10:

    1) The Pamplemousse
    2) Quality Road
    3) Friesan Fire
    4) I Want Revenge
    5) Pioneerof the Nile
    6) Regal Ransom
    7) Old Fashioned
    8) Dunkirk
    9) Chocolate Candy
    10) Imperial Council

    You'll notice I added Chocolate Candy back to the list - while I'm keeping The Pamplemousse (who finally has a hat, as well as a side career as an artist) number one and his faceoff with Pioneerof the Nile is going to be the weekend's big event for me, I expect Chocolate Candy to come out from under the radar to some extent (if I were actually at the track, I'd likely bet The Pamplemousse/Chocolate Candy as an exacta). It's true he hasn't beaten much so far, but I like his pedigree. We'll see!

    Check back later in the week for more on both the Santa Anita Derby and the Wood Memorial - we're almost in the home stretch (which means I should get around to figuring out my trip to Kentucky)...

    Update 4710: Phew! A busy morning this morning for Steve at Woodbine. I had nine sets. Four before the break and five after the break. They all galloped nicely. I also got a chance to see a few more familiar faces from last year. Everyone seems upbeat and in good form after the winter break here. The track siren went off a couple of times. I did not see the loose horses, but I think all was well.

    A fun morning's work!

    I am now planning to go to OLEX.

    Update 4709: E-mail 18 sent to the ABR Facebook Group: Journey, Fair Hill, Woodbine, Alysheba, Well Armed, Quality Road, Dunkirk, Nicanor, Bob Witham, Horse Slaughter.

    And my weekly column for Eclipse Magazine (UK): Letter from North America.

    Update 4708: IEAH completed their purchase of a 50% interest in I Want Revenge: IEAH Finally Gets Revenge

    Here is an excerpt: "This horse is the real deal, "Iavarone said. "We're thrilled to have such an enormous talent join our stable. He appears to be improving at the right time and I'm looking forward to a great working relationship with the preexisting connections. We're all appreciative of the hard work Nick put into making this deal come together."

    And please keep calling.


    Barb m in we need to bombard the Governor of Florida about these back yard horse slaughter....we can...

    pray for the safe return of Rayu...the missing mustange from 3 strikes ranch..

    have a bless day...

    call, fax, it for the horses and all animals....just do it...please.

    Posted by: joan roya at March 31, 2009 11:44 AM

    Happy Tuesday everyone!!

    A forever devoted to Kaiser FOB

    Posted by: janicefromflorida at March 31, 2009 12:49 PM

    hay yole: poor minnesotans with SNOW: that's really helping their flooding issues...

    everyone stay safe today/
    (((((((((((((((((SANDRA & CHIEF))))))))))))))))))))
    (((((((((((((((((((FAITH @ MHR)))))))))))))))))))

    As Lynne would say, must zoom today. Lots of calls to make later. We will end this obscenity in America.

    And last but not least: COULD SOMEONE NUKE THOSE DANG TROLLS?

    What a greeting for the day............yikes.

    Posted by: jonnagrey at March 31, 2009 1:08 PM

    Just got this in my email:


    March 2009
    Print Page
    Contact: Tom Gorey, 202-452-5137

    BLM Statement regarding Madeleine Pickens' Wild Horse Sanctuary Proposal
    The Bureau of Land Management is grateful to Madeleine Pickens for her interest in helping the BLM deal with the challenges of managing wild horses and burros, both on and off Western public rangelands. The BLM is committed to continuing its discussions with Mrs. Pickens to address these challenges, which include the effective management of wild horses and burros and the protection of taxpayer dollars expended through the BLM�s Wild Horse and Burro Program.
    Last November, Mrs. Pickens offered to take over the care of thousands of wild horses that the BLM holds in facilities across the United States by setting up a private foundation that would care for the animals at no cost to the government, potentially saving American taxpayers millions of dollars.

    Mrs. Pickens� more recent proposal seeks a BLM stipend of $500 per horse, per year for the life of each horse. Under this plan, Mrs. Pickens' foundation would first take about 10,000 wild horses currently in BLM short-term holding facilities (corrals), the costs of which are significantly greater to the BLM than those of keeping horses in long-term holding (pastures).
    To realize these potential savings to the BLM, however, Mrs. Pickens� sanctuary plan would need to meet certain requirements for wild horse management.

    First, Mrs. Pickens� plan to care for these animals at $500 per horse, per year is similar to the long-term holding contracts that the BLM currently has with private landowners in the Midwest, where about 22,000 unadopted or unsold animals are cared for at an annual cost of about $475 per horse. The animals graze on private pastures in Oklahoma, Kansas, and South Dakota, where forage and water are abundant. In contrast to these annual contracts, Mrs. Pickens has asked the BLM to commit to lifetime payments. Because Congress appropriates the agency�s funding on an annual basis, the BLM is not authorized to make such an unlimited commitment.
    Second, Mrs. Pickens� plan proposes to take the animals from private pastures and facilities and instead graze them on private and public lands on a large ranch in Nevada. However, current Federal law prohibits the BLM from using allotments associated with that ranch for grazing wild horses. The Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act restricts animals to the areas where they were found roaming when the Act was passed in 1971. Unfortunately, none of the BLM grazing allotments that Mrs. Pickens proposes for her sanctuary were areas where wild horses roamed in 1971.

    Congress would have to amend the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act to address this aspect of Mrs. Pickens' proposal.
    As an alternative, the BLM has offered to advertise a holding contract on private land and welcomes a bid from Mrs. Pickens� foundation. Open bidding on such a contract would ensure that taxpayers get the maximum benefit from their investment.

    The BLM is committed to working with Congress, stakeholders, and the public to ensure the welfare of wild horses and burros, both on and off public rangelands, while also protecting these Western lands from the destructive effects of herd overpopulation.

    Posted by: FG at March 31, 2009 2:54 PM

    Posted by: Debbie L.A. at March 31, 2009 2:58 PM

    Speaking as a former lawyer - I agree with Robyn Hoffmann's prognosis that the health/safety part of government may well be the best tool to squelch what's going in with HS in Florida. If you can't get somebody who needs getting, for one thing, find another . . . Remember, Al Capone went down for tax evasion!

    Posted by: CJaffe at March 31, 2009 3:43 PM

    Posted by: Debbie L.A. at March 31, 2009 3:44 PM

    crossposting from the DB - this message from Tamme, Arkansas State Leader

    HCR 1004 is FIRST on the Agenda to be heard Tuesday March 31st.

    Okay guys...if you only make one call use this number and ask the operator to give your message to ALL the members of the Sen Ag Commiittee before tomorrow.


    Just tell them you are requesting that the Committee vote NO to HCR 1004 (the pro slaughter resolution) . . . They will ask for your name & ph # and what Senator you want the message to go to. Just ask that it go to ALL the Sen Ag Committee members. Tell them that this is a NATIONAL issue because it effects all horses in ALL states. Thanks again guys. We (Arkansas) appreciate you!


    COME ON EVERYBODY! Make this ONE CALL before anything else, right now. Time is of the essence.

    Posted by: CJaffe at March 31, 2009 3:49 PM

    ####Thank you CJ for posting that again. I was hoping to be at the Committee meeting but couldn't due to work.

    Anxiously awaiting results of the vote on HCR 1004. Please folks keep calling! We need all the support we can get! Thank you!


    Posted by: Tamme at March 31, 2009 4:00 PM

    March 31 Cherokee Devotional (sharing email from Harriette Brillianthawk]

    Real power is often just knowing when to keep our mouths shut. We have so much we want to say and so many to say it to that it is almost impossible to stay silent.

    But silence teaches in a way that nothing else can. The mind makes deep adjustments in the quiet times. True laughter bubbles up from humor too precious for words--and brings with it a joy that dissolves disappointment.

    Real, mind changing power is of the spirit and can clear a path a mile wide through pain. The human spirit fights valiantly and when it is blended with power, it comes out like a tiger.

    My heart is big and glad that you have told us that you will not make war on Indians.

    Kicking Bird
    Kiowa, 1800s

    Posted by: CJaffe at March 31, 2009 4:06 PM

    ##### Tamme - Lucille sent your message out via email to ALL her voluminous contacts as well. If we lose it will not be for lack of trying!

    Posted by: CJaffe at March 31, 2009 4:08 PM

    Interesting. Just got this from one of the yahoo groups:

    Great news everyone!! Yesterday we confirmed with the Town of Wolseley , SK that Natural Meat Company (formerly Natural Valley Farms) has closed business and is no longer slaughtering horses. They had gone into receivership late last year, and stopped slaughtering horses around mid-February. It's making more sense now that businesses like Cavel are pushing more urgently to get horse slaughter going once again in the US .

    (Alex, I can't link. You have to be a member. I can tell you that it is the Canadian anti-slaughter yahoo group. ANYBODY can join, if you go to the yahoo groups.)

    Posted by: Barb AZ, Chunky and Punky, AND 153, AND Petunia! at March 31, 2009 4:29 PM

    FYI: ARKANSAS number busy, busy, busy....let's hope it's US and not THEM.

    Tuesday, March 31st...

    Poor Jodi. Winds blew down the sign to her ranch.

    Poor Julia. Winds destroyed a brand new horse shelter in her pasture.

    Poor Nikki. She lost a tree.

    Poor Joe & Cathy. Winds took our barbecue all the way out to the south field. The grill part is still lost. Tiny balls of horse poop pushed up against the side of our house. Passing motorists stare. Neighbors quickly put out their For Sale signs.

    We should be declared a disaster area. Lights flicker on and off, so I put disco on the cd player. Nothing says Tuesday like Donna Summer. Electrical surges, and this computer keeps shutting down. Too bad, because I wanted to show you a photo of Miley Cyrus kissing Pony Boy.

    Only joking. Internet horse board chat rooms, and there are rumors saying Miley Cyrus likes to visit Tbfriends. Dozens of e-mails from Miley fans wanting me to show pictures. Also Joe Shelton was seriously injured when he was thrown from a horse. Letters saying hope you feel better soon Joe. Silly chat rooms.

    In case I am ever seriously hurt, thanks in advance.

    I do not ride horses. But I sure love the way they smell.

    Our number one helper Jenny Hartman phones from Texas, where she is attending a horse clinic. They had a 55 mile an hour dust storm, and Jenny was covered in gunk. Jenny is sleeping in a bunk house, and there is no television. Shoot. No TV for an entire week. I would sob.

    Horses up and down our weed infested driveway, and later today we greet a filly from the feed lot in Wilton. Already we have named her April.

    No new ranch foreclosures in the last month, which is good news, but there is a family in foreclosure and they own two thoroughbred geldings. Both horses must find new homes by April 13th, and they are located in the south Sacramento area. The geldings are 21 and 24, and cannot be ridden. I met both, and if they could fit in your lap they would.

    Yet another misunderstanding from the internet. Horses from foreclosures and private homes are always free. Horses from feed lots are priced by the pound. The average price for a feed lot horse, depending on weight, is $400.00.

    Shipping from foreclosures and private homes is free, but we are grateful if you provide gas money to our haulers.

    There is a shipping charge for feed lot horses. The way of the world. We must use private haulers, and they only accept cash.

    By now you have clicked off and wondered why you even came here? Later could be 71 degrees. Hot coffee is from Peets. Toast has grape jelly. On sale at Raleys delicious orange juice from Simply Orange. The sun has arrived, and hungry horses are making noise. Enjoy your American Idol Tuesday, and be sure to hug your horses. More strong winds for later this week...


    Posted by: jonnagrey at March 31, 2009 5:24 PM

    finally got through: new operator who was not aware the whole committee could be hit at once. Nice people. Hope we get it done, girl.

    And FOBS: ONE LEETLE CALL> 501 682-6107:
    ask the arkansas senate ag committee to vote NO on horse slaughter initiative.

    You may have to try to get in several times before you can...keep on marching!


    Posted by: jonnagrey at March 31, 2009 5:31 PM

    GRRRRRRRRRRRR: Ark. bill number is HCR 1004!!

    Posted by: jonnagrey at March 31, 2009 5:31 PM

    ## Call to Arkansas made.


    Posted by: sherry at March 31, 2009 6:00 PM


    Shelley A's Horse Bright Nickel was claimed after his race today, Shelley will be so heartbroke!!

    This SUCKS!!!!!

    Posted by: Kate at March 31, 2009 7:08 PM

    Kate, oh, no.

    Posted by: Barb AZ, Chunky and Punky, AND 153, AND Petunia! at March 31, 2009 7:14 PM

    Posted by: Debbie L.A. at March 31, 2009 7:54 PM

    Thanks, Debbie. Aren't they amazing? Such a big foal. Hugs to "Babynor."

    Posted by: Barb AZ, Chunky and Punky, AND 153, AND Petunia! at March 31, 2009 8:01 PM

    I know Barb, I was so upset seeing that he was claimed, he ran a pretty decent race today. He was claimed for $10,000!

    Wonder if there is anyway to get him back for her? that is almost like havin your child taken away!

    Does anyone know the owner/trainer who claimed him?

    Shelley, So SO sorry this happened to you, dang claiming races! You take the risk and hope it doesn't happen and this happens to our Shelley A!!

    Anyone know if she is okay???

    Posted by: Kate at March 31, 2009 8:13 PM

    What? he had a few cracked ribs, which is not unusual considering his size. Lentenor was 6 LB bigger than this baby.

    Sorry to hear about Shelley A horse, it happens more than you think!

    Posted by: Debbie L.A. at March 31, 2009 8:22 PM

    Yes, Kate, I have been in contact with Debra. Let's see what she and Shelley have to say. I think we need to give Shelley some "breathing room" right now. I'm sure somebody will post something when we know more.

    Debbie, I know. That's what you call a "difficult birth" if these were humans! LOL

    Posted by: Barb AZ, Chunky and Punky, AND 153, AND Petunia! at March 31, 2009 8:29 PM

    OH NO...OH NO!! Shelley A's horse, Bright Nickel -

    I watched his race on TVG, saw he finished 4th, then had to take my dog Watson to the vet. So, I only found out a few minutes ago that he'd been claimed!! I saw on the chart that a trainer named Patricia Farro was the person who claimed him. I can only imagine how completely devastated Shelley must be right now. I wish there was some way we could help her get him back!! GOTTA be a way!

    Posted by: Maureen at March 31, 2009 8:55 PM

    ## I have a question. I do not want to put my question out here and get slammed. My question is just that ............ I do not understand:
    If a horse is elibible to get "claimed" and you absolutely do not want your horse taken away from your ownership (claimed) ..... why put it out there in the position of being claimed ????
    Seems, simplistically like me putting something into a garage sale that I do not, absolutely, do not want anyone to buy ...... and then someone comes along to buy it. For me ..... IF I didn't want to sell it and take the chance that it could be bought ....... I shouldn't put it out with a tag on it. YUP - horses and stuff are not the same ..... YUP ..... I own two and they do not resemble a dresser at a garage sale ...... but ..... I think you get my "jist ??" I am simply looking for some information since I see, as I am doing a quick check-in here - quite a bit reaction to Shelly's horse being claimed.


    Posted by: sherry at March 31, 2009 9:11 PM


    I'm with Sherry on this claiming race thing. I have never understood it. It just seems that if you don't want your horse claimed, you don't put them in a claiming race?

    There has to be another category/race/level/under which to enter a horse and make your investments back.

    I know Shelley loves her horses--which is why my confusion is all the more intensified.

    So, can someone explain? Thanks: j

    Posted by: jonnagrey at March 31, 2009 9:36 PM

    A big thank you to so many of you who called Arkansas today...CJ, Jonna, Sherry and anyone else I missed. Unfortunately HCR 1004 (pro resolution" got a 'do pass' out of the Sen Ag Committee. A sad day for horses in Arkansas and all over. However HCR 1004 still has to go before a vote before the entire AR Senate so maybe there's still hope. Thanks again everyone...we appreciate all the calls/emails.


    Posted by: Tamme at March 31, 2009 9:37 PM

    Well that SUCKS vis a vis Arkansas: we camn still call the Gov of Montana's office and ask him to just not pick up that pen--don't sign the bill HB418--into law, just veto that danged thing

    You can still call there: Frighteningly, I just realized I had that number memorized when I dialed it: oy

    406 444-3111

    Nice folks in Montana. It's so obvious they have NO idea what they are inviting into their homes...
    Like the vampire, you have to invite him in. He can't come in on his own accord....

    Posted by: jonnagrey at March 31, 2009 9:46 PM

    AMEN, Sherry ~ I never could understand the concept of a "claiming race" unless the owner absolutely wanted to "get rid of" a horse...and even then there's no certainty that said horse will be claimed.

    If one doesn't to "get rid of" a horse, then why enter it into a claiming race? Seems like the ultimate gamble to me...

    Posted by: Nancy Naughty Nutmegger at March 31, 2009 9:47 PM

    ###I have to ask the same question....why, if you didnt want to take a chance on your horse being claimed, would you enter him in a claiming race???

    I think I know the answser, as that may be the only type of race available at this time. But, if it is going to cause a lot of pain, why do it???
    Again, not trying to be a smart alec about this, but I dont understand it either.
    Ellie az

    Posted by: ellie at March 31, 2009 9:55 PM

    Let us pray for the very best for Bright Nickel....this is very, very sad....

    Please call, fax, email.

    please read the db...alot going on...if all possible...please help.

    just matter what....each of you are so important, so special, and so loved...thank you for all you do...FOBS!!!

    Posted by: joan roya at March 31, 2009 10:08 PM

    Hi Everybody,
    I don't know if you saw this we got it at the rescue. Tough reading...But it is what we fight for, our horses.

    From Race Horse to Main Course

    Horses are being poached and slaughtered for their meat on the black market


    Updated 9:36 AM EDT, Wed, Mar 18, 2009

    Related Topics: Miami

    283 Comments Post a Comment Print Email Share
    ShareDel.icio.usBuzz up!MySpaceDigg FarkFacebook

    NBC6 .These lucky horses were saved in a raid of a slaughterhouse in Miami.

    The story sounds like the summary of a bad horror flick.

    The Last Ride
    View SlideshowWARNING: Slideshow contains some graphic images of horses that may be offensive to some.
    Slaughter horse
    Watch VideoHorse owner outraged after finding her horse butchered in a nearby field.
    Dozens of horses disappearing in the dead of night only to be found stripped of skin and meat on a roadside. Other horses are discovered butchered in their stables by mortified owners.

    But the culprit isn't some half-wolf, half-man abomination that preys on thoroughbreds during the full moon.

    They are poachers from Miami's black market who sell the horses' meat, which is a popular delicacy among new arrivals from other countries to the area. The horse meat can go for as much as $20 per pound and based on the number of bloody horse remains and meat-stripped carcasses found on the side of dirt roads and in stables across Miami-Dade, harvesting horses for meat is a lucrative business.

    The sale of horse meat for human consumption is illegal in the U.S., but that hasn't stopped the meat from being in high demand by natives of the Caribbean, Cuba and other European countries who crave horse cuisine.

    Some U.S. cattle ranchers have worked around the law by exporting horses to Mexico or Canada, where killing horses for dinner is legal.

    Fostering some of the boom in slaughterhouses has been the horse-racing industry and some owners of race horses. Some discard a horse after it's out-lived its racing life or is injured. They are usually sold to the first person who offers a few bucks for the animal, as was the case for Freedom's Flight, a horse rescued during a raid at a Miami area slaughterhouse.

    "Freedom's Flight would have definitely ended up on someone's plate. Absolutely. And we've seen it too many times," said Richard Cuoto, who volunteers for the South Florida Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

    Freedom's Flight's blood line includes Secretariat and Seattle Slew, two of the greatest thoroughbreds of all-time. But his wealthy owner, Herman Heinlein, gave the horse to a handler after it broke a leg in a race at Gulfstream Park. The handler, Marian Brill, sold Freedom's Flight for $500, but refuses to say to whom. Police believe Freedom's Flight eventually ended up at a pony ride show before he wound up at the slaughterhouse.

    "I've already told you, I can't and I won't," she said in an interview with NBC6.

    Related Stories
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    Freedom's Flight's saga and salvation is the exception to the rule, animal rights advocates said. Other race horses have had a less than ceremonial retirement.

    The real horror may be that no arrests have been made in the deaths. Authorities claim it would be hard to charge someone with a crime because it's difficult to tell if a horse found butchered on the side of the road was killed by a poacher or an owner.

    Posted by: Renee Antaya at March 31, 2009 11:30 PM

    Oh no - Bright Nickel claimed????

    I met him when Shelley first got him. Ro & I visited the barn with Shelley shortly after Bright Nickel arrived. I'm not even sure that he was named at that point. He is a VERY handsome boy. How upsetting.

    My prayers for Shelley and of course for Bright Nickel.

    A forever devoted to Kaiser FOB

    Posted by: janfromflorida at March 31, 2009 11:34 PM

    Hay, FOB's!

    Yes, Shelley is heartbroken about Bright Nickel. Yes, I ask the same questions (I remember when Real Lace was claimed. People were afraid of what I would say to Tim the first time I went to the barn. And yes, it still hurts my heart to this day to know she is not with Tim anymore. Still hurts.) about claiming races.

    But what is done is done.

    Maybe we need to look at innovative structures that will keep the horses competitive without owners having to go thru what Shelley is going thru. Maybe we need to brainstorm about how racing is structured and see if we can come up with changes to that very structure.

    Shelley needs prayers right now to help ease her heart...

    We all need prayers right now.

    All Love
    Padme A'Tea (Lyn Gilbert)

    Posted by: Padme A'Tea (Lyn Gilbert) at April 1, 2009 12:07 AM

    I still don't get what you mean, Padme: What does this mean:

    "Maybe we need to look at innovative structures that will keep the horses competitive without owners having to go thru what Shelley is going thru."

    Isn't it true that the owner puts their animals at risk when they enter them in a claiming race? How does that improve their competitive spirit?

    Back in the day, Alex had a great kind of glossary/encyclopedia of racing terms, etc. I gotta go and see if there's any info there. If I find anything useful, I'll share.

    Otherwise, for me, this falls into that category of horse/dog racing where many people in the industry just shrug their shoulders and say, "Hey, that's just racing..."

    Go back and read Joe's blog from Monday, and wonder why that little black weanling wound up in a kill buyer's lot. What great law of racing did he break to deserve such a terrifying fate.

    For most, it's all about the money. I don't believe this of Shelley, and she has led us into some tough battles and has exerted her influence for the good of the horses that race in this country. So please don't suggest that this is personal.

    Uch. It just makes me sick, pretty much all of it at this point.

    Posted by: jonnagrey at April 1, 2009 12:55 AM

    Jane Smiley, author of Horse Heaven and horsewoman, was asked about claiming races because she often writes about horses that go through the process:
    Q: You write a lot about claiming races. How exactly does a claiming race work?

    A: Claiming races are for what you might call working class horses who haven't made it into the big time or the bigger time. When the trainer enters his horse in a claiming race, he is saying that the horse is for sale. If another owner or trainer wants the horse, he puts down the required amount of money (set by the value of the race and some other factors) any time up to fifteen minutes before the start of the race. As soon as the horses leave the gate, the horse belongs to the one who claimed it, whether it wins or loses, lives or dies. After the horses head back to the receiving barn, a track official comes out and hangs a red tag on the horse's bridle, and the horse goes to the barn of its new owner. Needless to say, you can run a horse over and over in claiming races, hoping that it will get claimed, and it won't, or you can risk it once, hoping that it won't get claimed, and it will. One reason to put it in a claiming race even though you don't want it to get claimed is that you think it has a good chance of winning the pot and a small chance of getting taken because it has obscure breeding or something like that. There's also an element of daring and gambling in claiming races that track people like.
    From this source:

    Posted by: jonnagrey at April 1, 2009 1:02 AM

    Jonna, I'm not implying its a personal issue and I apologize if that is how my words are perceived...I'm just saying that maybe there should be some sort of re-tooling of claiming races...some way of keeping the horses competitive without having owners go thru what Shelley is going thru right now. I know others with a lot more racing experience have wrestled with this issue - maybe they can come here and openly discuss this issue. That is all I want - open dialogue leading to a possible solution.

    And yes, I read Joe every day. I have to steel myself every day to read him. I have worked on horses who have been traumatized to help heal their hearts and bodies. That is my contribution to this whole know that Windy had barbed wire as his halter is horrifying to me. To know that horses suffer - to know that sometimes I hear their screams in my head as they are slaughtered is sometimes more than I can bear. I do what I can as does everybody here.

    I wish I could do more. Believe me, I wish I could do more.

    Any other communications between you and me, please take this offline.

    All Love
    Padme A'Tea

    Posted by: Padme A'Tea (Lyn Gilbert) at April 1, 2009 1:04 AM

    Dear Friends,

    Shelley is devastated by Nickel being claimed today.

    Please understand that horse racing can be complex to the lay person.

    Nickel was not put into this claiming race to be claimed. Although there is always that chance, Nickel was entered in todays race to be competitive in his field. There are just so many condition races written for horses like Nickel. He wasnt competitive enough for an allowance race and many owners have no choice than to enter their horse in a claiming race if they want to keep that horse racing.

    Believe me; I've experienced this same situation with the exception of my horse not being claimed. Its very disheartening but if you want to race your horse, sometimes you have no choice. Competing in the claiming ranks allows horse owners, and the horses, the chance to win against horses of the same caliber.

    You can be sure that Shelley did everything to assure Nickels safety. She spoke to the new trainer and made sure they knew Nickel had a sticker on his papers to be returned to her if he can't race anymore. Also, Shelley understands that Nickel was claimed by people who are good horse people and who take care of their horses. They've already extended an invitation to Shelley to visit Nickel anytime.

    In closing, please send your good wishes to Shelley she could really use your support.

    Losing a horse happens to many great horse owners. Remember this story?

    Most Sincerely,

    Debra, WI

    Posted by: Debra,WI at April 1, 2009 1:07 AM

    Shelly sending you love and hugs my fren.


    Posted by: Renee Antaya at April 1, 2009 1:13 AM

    Debra, thank you for your insights...we need to be calm and support Shelley and all others who make this choice for their horses.

    All Love
    Padme A'Tea (Lyn Gilbert)

    Posted by: Padme A'Tea (Lyn Gilbert) at April 1, 2009 1:15 AM



    Posted by: CHERYL G. JUST SAY NO TO HORSE SLAUGHTER at April 1, 2009 1:20 AM


    no need to go offline: I did not mean YOU. I did not make that clear.

    I meant, please don't anyone else on the ABR bother to flame me, because I have lived through so much flaming on racing Greyhound sites from pro-GH racing and The Industry over the last hmmmm--18 years---that I am flame-proof.

    It's all good. As I said, Shelley
    has stood for much of the best of ABR, and her Boxcar adventures taught me many things about racing and ownership.

    All I can do is call and call and call. And help us get slaughter out of all our lives. We all do what we can.


    Posted by: jonnagrey at April 1, 2009 1:25 AM

    Shelley A Am so very sorry. I hope you'll be able to maintain contact with your lovely boy. What a heartbreak. Will hope he is cared for as well and loved as much as you have cared for and loved him.

    Posted by: Cheryl Jones, one of the Americans Against Horse Slaughter at April 1, 2009 1:32 AM


    Posted by: mj at April 1, 2009 1:32 AM


    My heart breaks with yours. I have met Bright Nickle and I wish I could get him back for you.


    Ro & Brady

    Posted by: Rosemarie at April 1, 2009 1:38 AM

    Lyn, maybe you should have just not have said that today, this is VERY VERY hard on Shelley and you could have been more supportive and "there" for her instead of bringing up the why.

    Sometimes claiming races are the only ones available to race in, it is part of the "game" in racing, you take chances, and I am sure Shelley did NOT put him that race thinking he would be claimed, the opposite in fact!! I was very shocked to see him claimed today

    It is what it is, Shelley is heartbroked over this and support is what she needs, not the whys and all that. This other stuff has no place in todays heartbreaking news.

    Posted by: Kate at April 1, 2009 1:42 AM


    I have already communicated with Shelley and there is more going on behind the scenes than is revealed here. There were a few FOB's who questioned the events of today before I posted and it was never my intention to start a firestorm or to seem judgmental. I am not judging anybody - only offering what small support I can for a friend as we all are doing - each in our own small way.

    There were other FOB's who questioned Bright Nickel's being placed in that race. I fully support Shelley because she is going thru hell right now. She knows prayers from all the FOB's are with her right now. She knows the support is there. Let's leave it at that. Anything else can be taken offline.

    All Love
    Padme A'Tea

    Posted by: Padme A'Tea (Lyn Gilbert) at April 1, 2009 1:54 AM

    Kate, with all due respect, I don't think it's fair to single out Padme. Let's all just focus on being supportive of Shelley, go back and read Debra's post discussing the new trainer and the proviso that Bright Nickel will come back to Shelley when he can no longer race, and pray for his safety and well-being in the meantime. This is a heartbreaking turn of events. Come on, guys. Reach out with love and support like you do any other time. As it is said, unless you've walked a mile in someone else's shoes......

    Posted by: Cheryl Jones, one of the Americans Against Horse Slaughter at April 1, 2009 1:56 AM

    Hiya, FsOB! My thanks to Debbie LA for providing the blue-link with an update about Lentenor and Babynor/Bobbeynor. I am without any trained knowledge of equine anatomy and physiology, so I am always grateful for updates from those who do have that expertise. I was relieved to read that the young foal's fractured ribs are not an uncommon occurrence. I wish that I could be there to help care for his infected umbilicus, as an ex-baby nurse!

    My thoughts are with Shelley. I hope that she and Bright Nickel can maintain contact.

    I am reposting my comments from early this AM re. the situation in Miami, in the hopes that it might be helpful to Barb M. and the FLA call group. I know that Renee is also very disturbed by the cold-blooded killing of horses, right in residential areas of Miami. It may be worth consulting the local Health Department or the State of FLA's Health Dept. because there must be all sorts of pollution that ensues (not to mention the ethical violations of killing these poor horses). Any ally you can get on board who can put a stop to this in FLA or at the very least cause civil charges to posed would be great.... And the sanitarians could be your best bet at this point.

    Wishing everyone here ACN. And may the new day bring a veto to the Montana legislation! Peace, RMH

    #### To Tamme in Arkansas: I am very sorry that the bill was voted out of committee today. I trust that you'll keep us informed of its status. Again, I am so sorry that this has been a disturbing day for horse lovers in Arkansas. ####

    Posted by: Robyn Hoffmann at April 1, 2009 2:09 AM


    Hello Shelley,

    I just logged on and read of Nickel. I am so sorry...

    I have had the honor and pleasure to meet you in person and look into your eyes as you talked about your kids.

    Your expressions and excitement as you shared their adventures drew me in to their careers, quirks and personalities like an action packed love story...between a loving "Mommy" and her babies.

    Your babies have careers. (Except Batman, that I know of!) You have expressed the joys, concerns and blessings in having 'career kids' in your life.

    And, I saw...your eyes on the verge of tearing up both of pride and fear, during our talks about your kids. I KNOW you stood tall, toe to toe, still protecting Nickel and relating the information necessary for his care to the new trainers, etc.

    You ALWAYS have THEIR best at heart. Nickel knows that.

    People have told me that Barbaro could tell, could hear, our posts of love and support to/for him. And he was miles away...

    Even if Nickel was inside the barn and you were outside and out of reach, he knew. He heard. He knew his Mama was speaking for him...just like you do ALL of the nation's horses.

    I am very happy to hear that you have been extended an invitation to visit. I know that probably doesn't help to hear that right now...

    But in time, I hope that it offers some comfort to you in the fact that the people have no concerns in "what you'll see", "what offenses" you may encounter while visiting.

    I wish you comfort to arrive soon. Shelley, again, he knows. And he knows he IS loved...

    Much love friend...xxoo...x

    Posted by: Laurie H. in MN at April 1, 2009 2:15 AM

    Always a treat to see our Laurie H. here on board! May your words bring comfort to Shelley.

    Posted by: Robyn Hoffmann at April 1, 2009 2:24 AM

    DEBRA - thanks for your clear, concise explanation of claiming races for those of us who don't have a clue about why they exist and why anyone would enter their horse in one. This horse-racing stuff is obviously complex from a business sense, and your explanation makes things much clearer!

    Posted by: Nancy Naughty Nutmegger at April 1, 2009 2:28 AM

    DEBRA - thanks for your clear, concise explanation of claiming races for those of us who don't have a clue about why they exist and why anyone would enter their horse in one. This horse-racing stuff is obviously complex from a business sense, and your explanation makes things much clearer!

    Posted by: Nancy Naughty Nutmegger at April 1, 2009 2:28 AM

    DEBRA - thanks for your clear, concise explanation of claiming races for those of us who don't have a clue about why they exist and why anyone would enter their horse in one. This horse-racing stuff is obviously complex from a business sense, and your explanation makes things much clearer!

    Posted by: Nancy Naughty Nutmegger at April 1, 2009 2:30 AM

    Thanks to those of you who have offered support through this board and through private emails.

    And to avoid any misunderstanding, Lyn was one of the first to contact me with love and support. I agree with her idea of structuring races differently so that people have choices. Right now, there are no choices if you don't have an allowance caliber horse.

    While today's events were devastating, Nickel is safe and in good hands. I wasted no time in personally speaking with his new trainer immediately. I have an open invitation to visit him anytime and I will always be here for him.
    He is a very special boy and we have a very special bond.
    For those of you who think I made a choice to "give my horse away"....quite honestly I don't have the energy left to deal with that. You obviously don't know me at all. Those who know me, know better.

    Posted by: ShelleyA at April 1, 2009 2:31 AM

    Sorry for the triple post to Debra...don't have a clue why/how that happened.

    Posted by: Nancy Naughty Nutmegger at April 1, 2009 2:34 AM

    Thank you, Laurie. That was a very beautiful message and means a lot to me.


    Posted by: ShelleyA at April 1, 2009 2:36 AM



    I just checked in on the board and was stunned to see that Bright Nickel was claimed! But I am glad that you have a way to stay in touch and not be totally separated from any knowledge of his welfare. I KNOW how deeply you care about him, and you are both in my thoughts tonight.

    A few months ago, I had to send a photo of myself to several fellow employees whom I've never met in person. I chose to send a photo of me and Bright Nickel that you took when I was at Philadelphia Park last year. That photo will continue to remind me of how precious he is, and also of your love for him, as well as your other horses, and all the horses you are still working so hard to save through anti-slaughter efforts.

    Rest assured that we know that any horse your life touches is fortunate and is the better for it. So are we.

    Posted by: Gloria in IL at April 1, 2009 3:14 AM

    My heart beats for your heart, Barbaro, always and forever! Run with the angels honey!
    And all love to the entire Heavenly Herd . . . as you know you take me to where angels walk!
    As our Angel Dee says, "It is AFFIRMED!"

    Special thanks to you, DEBBIE LA, for that update about LENTENOR and LA VILLE's new Baby Jackson, most appreciated!!

    SHERRY & AMIGO - Big big hugs to you both!! And also a big hug to dear ANGEL CHICO up there in Heaven! XXXX
    Are you still babysitting the little canine fellow for your friend, was it T.W.??

    I wanted to post again last night but after I read Joe's Journal yesterday I just couldn't even find the words . . . . had to go off to a quiet place for awhile . . . .

    Holding hands, hooves, and paws with the entire Barbaro Nation.

    Peace this night . . . .
    Lou Ann
    Are you still babysitting the little fellow

    Posted by: Lou Ann R., PA, FOB forever at April 1, 2009 3:21 AM

    ## Special greetings and many hugs to you, Lou Ann from AMIGO and his MOM ...... thank you for thinking of us ....... and for your special remembrance of CHICO! YES - still little-doggie sitting for a 10 pound, 13 year old lhaso apso named "Tiger Woods !!" He has been such fun to care for (sooo easy !) and he and 65 pound AMIGO are quite the pair ! TW's Dad picks him up Thursday - BUT - I think he'll come back, again, the following week !!!!

    Take really great care of your very special self !

    AMIGO and his MOM

    Posted by: sherry at April 1, 2009 4:15 AM

    Well, I'm guessing most everybody has gone to bed, except for maybe the West Wing.

    Sad day on our street. Recently our neighbors lost a horse to colic. They called this afternoon for us to come down to help get their yearling up. We got her up and walked her a while, but she went down again. They called the vet. Got some fluids in her, some Banamine.

    They lost her.

    These precious souls are just SO fragile.

    Unbelievable. Sad day here.

    Posted by: Barb AZ, Chunky and Punky, AND 153, AND Petunia! at April 1, 2009 4:16 AM

    ## Oh gosh, Barb - I am sooooo sad to read your post. Do you know why this yearling was lost ? Was this also colic ?????????????
    Big, big sigh ............ sending you a hug and sending them one too ...............


    Posted by: sherry at April 1, 2009 4:24 AM

    Ah, the west wing IS up.

    Yeah, it was colic. I swear, it's as bad as laminitis, isn't it?

    Just a sweet little yearling. Doesn't seem fair.

    Posted by: Barb AZ, Chunky and Punky, AND 153, AND Petunia! at April 1, 2009 4:26 AM

    Barb, I'm so sorry about the yearling- just a baby really. Too young to go, just too young.

    Posted by: Bobbie B. at April 1, 2009 4:30 AM

    We lost a yearling once. It's the hardest thing. It's one thing to lose an older horse, but the babies just get to you. You never forget. What could have been.

    Posted by: Barb AZ, Chunky and Punky, AND 153, AND Petunia! at April 1, 2009 4:33 AM

    Barb, I'm so sorry to hear of the loss of the little yearling. Damn colic. You're right that it's especially hard to lose the little ones. Am praying someday there will be a failproof prevention for colic. Someday soon. Very, very soon.

    Posted by: Cheryl Jones, one of the Americans Against Horse Slaughter at April 1, 2009 4:46 AM

    Trying to find the silver lining. The little girl was loved. Till the end. More than you can say for those we are trying to save every day by ending slaughter.

    Posted by: Barb AZ, Chunky and Punky, AND 153, AND Petunia! at April 1, 2009 4:51 AM

    I'm going to turn it. Rough day. The cat broke my toe last night. Tripped over him. Heard the bone snap. It's the size of a small lemon tonight. I'm going to curl up with a book, and get the foot elevated a little. The VERY same cat will jump and curl up in my lap like nothing happened! LOL

    Posted by: Barb AZ, Chunky and Punky, AND 153, AND Petunia! at April 1, 2009 4:57 AM

    LATEST from IL and a link to watch the voting.

    IL slaughter bill (HB 583) was on the calendar for Tuesday 3/31 but apparently not called; likely will be called for a vote Wednesday 4/1.

    This link lets us watch the voting from the House floor in Springfield IL.

    Please keep the contacts coming in to the IL Reps - especially those we've been advised to target - until the vote is over.

    Simple message - Vote NO on HB 583.

    RETAIN THE STATUS QUO in IL - and the status quo is a slaughter ban that went into effect in 2007.

    Posted by: CJaffe at April 1, 2009 6:25 AM

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