The Electric Chair ?!

Technically she is a horse thief.

In the olden days, a horse thief knew they had a one way trip to the nearest sizable hanging tree.  No discussion, no debate, no pleading with the judge.  The horse thief was a no good, dirty rotten scoundrel.

However, in the recent Los Angeles Times it states that Gail Ruffu was a trainer at the Hollywood Park race track.  She was the furthest thing from a horse thief and certainly not a scoundrel.

And thus begins the drama.  It is true that there is one race horse named Urgent Envoy that disappeared from the race track stable on Christmas Eve two years ago.

It’s true Gail Ruffu was responsible.  She is also the only one who knows the whereabouts of Urgent Envoy.  She is not telling, she is not returning him and she insists she is not a horse thief.

Gail states, “You can threaten me with the electric chair, but I’m not giving him back as long as he is in danger.”

It seems that the horse fractured a leg and the veterinarians advised that the horse not race for a least six months.  As part owner and trainer of Urgent Envoy, Gail sent the horse to the country for medical care and recovery.

Now enter the other half-owner.

In short time, someone brought the horse back to the race track. Some thought the plan was to administer pain-masking drugs and race him in spite of the injury.  And, thus, the disappearance of Urgent Envoy.

Law suits were followed by court hearings.  The judge was bewildered by the case, thinking it was about car theft. After all, how often do alleged horse thieves appear in the court room?  Gail Ruffu was acquitted by the jury of being a horse thief.

But the story is far from over.  The hunt is on for Urgent Envoy.  Investigators are searching pastures, stables and backyards.  The likelihood of this horse ever running a race, much less winning is pure fantasy.

The world of horse racing is filled with stories of healthy horses mysteriously dying during the night, and unhealthy horses being forced to race until they collapse.

There is no heart in horse racing.  It is all about money.

 Gail Ruffu has given up everything for Urgent Envoy. She has been banned from ever training at any race track in the United States.  She lives in a cold tack room of an old stable.

But she has a cause and a purpose.   Finally, here is someone who cares about these animals. 

I hope they never find Urgent Envoy!  And, by the way, Gail … we have an extra stall in our barn.  They’d never find him.

Published in: on January 24, 2007 at 5:05 pm  Comments (9)  

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9 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Thanks whoever you are!

  2. Shades of “The Electric Horseman”, one of my all-time fav movies! A MUST SEE if you haven’t already
    Hang in there…never give up!

  3. Gail,
    I read about you in the LA Times article. I would expect nothing less from you! Do you remember me from Weisbaden? And Crabbet Park? Best of Luck in your rescue effort!

  4. Robin, I do remember you very well! How nice to hear from you. Are you still riding? Thank you for you comment.

  5. Yes, I have a Dutch mare who packs me around the 3′ Hunters – Lows & Pre-greens. I start beginners for my trainer. You got me started and I’m still doing it!

  6. Roomie!!
    Just on a chance that I could find you I googled your name and there you are!!! I am still in Kennewick, same address and would love to hear from you. Am still training, teaching mostly amateur pleasure dressage rider and still involved in my church.
    Let me know how you are.

  7. You are being misled. The writer fails to mention that Ruffu went through a civil proceeding and was ordered to give the horse back to the owners because “there was no evidence of any mistreatment”. She has been banned from every racetrack in America, yet is still appealling that ruling — showing she desperately wants to get back to the activity she condemns. She has been ordered by a Superior Court Judge in another case to return a second horse she stole from a different owner. I am informed by virtually everyone she has dealt with that she also steals hay and other supplies from the law abiding owners and real trainers at the various stables she has been at. One neighbor filed multiple complaints for Ruffu maintaining horses in a small area with a “mountain of manure” which caused flies and unhealthful conditions for the poor animals she was exploiting. The situation with Urgent Envoy was not a “rescue”, but a outright theft occurring at midnight when Ruffu snuck into another trainers stable like the thief she is and stole the animal from the real owners, an animal which she paid nothing for the purchase price, and keep it as a “pet”, rather than to ever let it run as it was bred to do. Do not be duped by this woman, and do not give her any money. She is a grifter posing as a horse person.
    Hello Paul,
    This was an article taken from the Los Angles Times. Perhaps you might want to further your information on to them.

  8. Yes, I have heard of this Ruffu woman. She pretends to part of the animal rights movement, but is really just trying to figure out a way to make money off innocent people who are interested in horses, but unfamiliar with the horse industry. One Court has already adjudged her to have improperly taken the horse. I also heard that the true owners (the people who paid for the horse), offered to let ANY trainer train the horse if she would bring the horse out of hiding. She refused, but she continues to petition to be let back into the industry she claims to be inhumane. Let’s not get all excited about an activist who is trying to pull the wool over everyone’s eyes so she can make a buck.

    Fred Raper

  9. This Ruffu woman, I have heard of her. My suggestion is don’t give her any money. Do you remember the scene in the “The African Queen”, where Bogart was pulling the black leeches of his body. Ruffu is the black leech. She talks a good game, but has no backround, talent or qualifications that would justify anyone doing anything other than ignore her. She is truly the oppoisite of an animal activaste, she is an animal opportunists. Do not encourage her immmoral and illegal tactics.


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