Attention Horses! Turn Off The Radio!

No more tranquil music for horses

A woman who plays classical music to her horses to keep them calm has been told she must pay for a public performance license.

Rosemary Greenway has been playing passages of opera and orchestral symphonies on the radio to the animals at her stables for more than 20 years, convinced that it helps soothe them.

But at the Malthouse Equestrian Centre in Bushton, Wiltshire, England there will be no more music, and perhaps some very nervous horses now residing there.

Because her stables employ more than two people, she received a telephone call from the Performing Right Society which has been targeting stables as part of a drive to get commercial premises to pay for the music played around the barn.

In defense, a spokeswoman for the society said: “Of course, we don’t ask people to pay for music played to animals. “Mrs Greenway was only asked to pay for music played for staff, like any other workplace.”

The radio is now turned off except for Sunday when there are no staff at the stable yard.

It has long been thought that music helps to calm anxious animals.

Last year a study at Belfast Zoo found evidence that playing Elgar, Puccini and Beethoven to elephants helped reduce stress related behaviours such as swaying, pacing and tossing their trunks.

Perhaps the Malthouse Equestrian Centre might consider purchasing some soothing CDs to calm any horses that have become anxious over this “no radio” ruling.


Link: Have A Spooky Horse?  Try Tchaikovsky!


What’s To Happen To Peter Rabbit ?

Peter Rabbit


October 2008

An old horse who wants nothing more than to eat grass in the Nebraska city of Hickman is now something of a media celebrity.

Peter Rabbit, 32, has grazed his pasture since the day he was born, but the suburbs have encroached and the town fathers say it’s time for Peter Rabbit to go.

His owner says the quarter horse is too old to move.  Peter Rabbit and his owner are not budging.

Talk about your one horse town, Hickman, with 1,084 residents is just that despite a town bylaw saying horses are not welcome within its limits.

But some folks don’t want that distinction. They want an aging horse named Peter Rabbit gone for good.

With houses having sprung up around Peter Rabbit’s pasture, Mayor Jim Hrouda and five of the six City Council members are determined to enforce the livestock ban.

Shortly after a council meeting, the horse’s owner, 76-year-old Harley Scott, was served an eviction notice that orders the animal off the land, plus an infringement notice, which could cost him $100 every day if the authorities want to keep issuing them.

Other folks say the horse should stay, despite an ordinance that bans livestock inside city limits.

“I feel bad for the poor horse. He’s probably going to die soon anyway,” said Jamie Cox, who manages the town bar, Sadie’s Place.

“As long as he’s being taken care of, they should leave him alone.”

Scott said he has raised Peter Rabbit since the brown Morgan-quarter horse crossbreed was born in his pasture in the spring of 1976.

There have been horses on this land since Scott’s father bought 40 acres in 1935. Only about four acres remain in the family.

His land was annexed in 2006, but Scott said no one said anything to him at the time about having to give up the horse.

Scott said. “I would prefer to have him remain as stable as he is and be able to enjoy the remainder of his life.


It appears … this dispute is far from over.

What If Your Horse Is Stolen?


Debi Metcalfe reunited with
her stolen horse “Idaho”.


If your horse is stolen go directly to:
Stolen Horse International at


A Shelby, North Carolina  woman
has made it her mission to find stolen horses.

Debi Metcalfe and her husband, Harold, lost a family member. Their horse, Idaho, was horse-napped, in broad day light from their pasture.

A year later, they found Idaho in Tennessee.

This is how Stolen Horse International and was born and has now celebrated over 10 years of success.

The website has Idaho Alerts which are similar to AMBER Alerts for missing children where members are alerted when a horse, tack or even trailers are stolen.

An estimated 40,000 horses are stolen each year in the United States.

During the Metcalfes’ search, someone set up a Web space for the couple and after finding their horse, they decided to help out other people on the Web. That’s how her site was started.

“We got so much help, I thought I owed it back,” she said.

Since founding her organization, Debi has written a book and been part of television news stories, newspaper and magazine articles and her expertise was used on Fox’s “America’s Most Wanted” in August.

She appeared as the cover story on The Gaited Horse magazine in an edition that sold out and was most recently featured on “Weekend America,” a Public Broadcasting radio show.

We do a lot more than stolen horses,” Debi said. “That’s how we were started, but we do so much more now.”

Her priority is working with people whose horses are missing first. That comes ahead of fundraising and other functions.

“We try to stress that even if the horse is not found alive and well, it’s better to know than have questions,” she said.

Inspiration … Debi has empathy for the people she helps.

On the NetPosse site is a list of stolen or missing horses across the United States. Also included are photos, dates and current status.

Below are just two of the many horses that have been stolen. 
For complete listings:  Click here:


Stolen:  LPS Mr. Jalapeno
Bay Morgan Gelding Missing in California suspected to be in Arizona – Feb. 6, 2007


Fleabitten Grey Arabian Gelding Stolen after dark from Therapy Progam in Newton County, Georgia – Feb. 3, 2008


If you have a horse that has been stolen or strangely disappeared, do not hesitate.  Contact immediately.

If you recognize the horses pictured above, click on the name of the horse for more information.

It takes everyone working together to keep our horses safe and in their own homes.


What? Paris Hilton Not An Original?


This news comes as rather shocking considering Paris Hilton is associated with custom anything and everything.

However, is seems her most recent headline grabbing antics and the possibility that she just may have a not so custom suite in the LA Jail House Hilton Hotel … has, shockingly,  all been done decades before.   


The Los Angeles Times has had their fun reporting the court room details, as well as Hollywood’s “been there, done that” stories.

But columnist Patrick Mott tells it best in the Orange County Metro.  The story goes like this:

Bebe Daniels set the stage – OC had its own Paris Hilton-goes-to-jail’ moment back in the early ’20s.

“As horribly as it makes my fingers cramp to type the words Palfisg Hlighet … Pwelgsil Hbugleq…Paris Hilton (thank God for muscle relaxants), and as much as making reference to the heiress’ recent legal adventures may seem like going brook trout fishing with hand grenades, I’m going to do it anyway.

Why? Because it’s fun.Actually, there’s another reason: whatshername’s approaching 45-day jail sentence gives me – and all of us who live in Orange County – yet another chance to one-up those jurisprudential sissies in L.A. who think they’ve just unleashed the biggest dog-and-pony show since O.J. They have obviously never heard of Bebe Daniels.


Bebe Daniels was a popular silent film actress who had starred opposite Harold Lloyd, and later been further promoted by Cecil B. DeMille. She was young, talented, charming and loved to drive her Marmon automobile as fast as possible.


She was doing just that in the spring of 1921, flogging the Marmon past 55 mph on a lonely road through south Santa Ana. In the car were her mother and Jack Dempsey, the heavyweight-boxing champion whom Daniels was dating. They were headed for San Diego.


She was pulled over by a pair of motorcycle policemen and cited. At the behest of her lawyers, she requested a trial by jury, believing her star power would win her a favorable verdict. 

Her lawyers pleaded for mercy for “this poor little girl who has been subjected to so much.” Instead, Judge John Belshazzar Cox, a genuine eccentric and a lover of the spotlight, who was apparently delighted with a courtroom packed with press and Hollywood hangers-on, sentenced her with a flourish to 10 days in the Orange County Jail.


Sheriff Theo “Budge” Lacy Jr. and movie star Bebe Daniels at the time of her 1921 arrest for speeding in Santa Ana.

Daniels was nonplused. “I suppose if you live in a small town you get like that,” she reportedly said after the sentencing. “I bet 56 miles per hour sounds awfully fast if you’ve never driven anything faster than a plow.”

What followed became early Orange County legend.

Almost immediately after Daniels checked in (there’s no other term for it) to her jail cell, movers from a local furniture store arrived to furnish it with rich carpeting, chintz curtains and a bedroom suite with bedding to match the curtains.  

Local florists sent vases of fresh-cut flowers daily.

The best Santa Ana restaurants and hotels competed with each other to deliver specially prepared meals directly to her cell, where she constantly received friends and visitors from Hollywood, including Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle.

Her mother was also allowed to stay with her in the cell.   And at night Abe Lyman and his Coconut Grove Orchestra set up beneath her barred window and serenaded her with the “Rose Room Tango,” a specialty number she had once danced with Rudolph Valentino.

It wasn’t until her cell door was finally shut at the end of each day that she realized (as she later wrote) “how awful it was to be locked in a cell.”

Bebe Daniels was granted a day off for good behavior, and when she emerged from jail, glamorously dressed, she was met by none other than Judge Cox, who presented her with a bouquet of flowers.

She solemnly announced that she had learned her lesson, and immediately left for Hollywood, where she went straight to work on a new film, which was released that fall.

It was called The Speed Girl. ”  


It’s going to be interesting to see how Paris follows this act.  Knowing Hollywood … they’ll come up with something.

Wild Horses Roped Into Border Patrol Duty

Descendants of the same horses that carried soldiers, prospectors, Plains Indians and Spanish conquistadors will be deployed next month by the federal government to help patrol the most rugged reaches of the northern border.


Billed as operation “Noble Mustang,” the U.S. Border Patrol believes this new team of wild horses will not only tighten security but also save taxpayer dollars.

Wild horses are uniquely suited for the backcountry mission, said Danielle Suarez, public information officer for the agency’s Spokane sector. After generations of living in the mountains of the West, the horses have developed unrivaled sure-footedness, musculature and the ability to endure harsh conditions.

“These legends will help us to defend our borders,” Suarez said. “We need horses physically capable of getting into remote and isolated areas.

The mustangs are protected by an act of Congress as “living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West.” But with their population unchecked, the herds have faced starvation after overgrazing rangeland and wildlife habitat, especially during droughts.

The same mustangs that will be used to hunt drug runners, human traffickers and potential terrorists were trained by convicted criminals. Since 1986, inmates at the Skyline Correctional Center in Canon City, Colo., have broken and trained the captured horses.

Working with the horses is a special privilege at the state prison, Suarez said. The training requires extreme patience and trust, he said. “The horses actually help tame the prisoners.”

Most are between 3 and 4 years old and were rounded up in Wyoming late last year. Two are from Nevada, and another is from California. “They’re extremely, extremely tamed,” said Suarez, the agency spokeswoman.

Along with the training, the mustangs were given names by students. In early June, Sisko, Hidalgo, Spurs,
Okanogan, Kootenai, Ike, Chase and Slash will again find themselves roaming a rugged Western landscape.

Only this time, the mustangs will wear saddles, feed on oats and work for the Department of Homeland Security.

The Spokesman-Review, By James Hagengruber, May 17th, 2007

Jackass Justice – Donkey In Court

 Donkey Has His Day In Court


The star witness paced outside the courthouse Wednesday, breathing hard, his head down, an American flag bandanna around his neck.

 He said nothing to the media swarming around him. He just twitched his huge ears and swatted flies with his tail.

People had accused him of all sorts of things: He was loud.

He was aggressive. 

He smelled bad, too.

He was there to show the men and woman of the jury that he was none of those things.

“Call your first witness,” Judge Steven Seider said.

“Your honor, we call Buddy,” attorney Jeff Sandberg replied. “The donkey.”

With that, Buddy the donkey came clip-clopping down the black-and-white tile hallway of the North Dallas Government Center, where two neighbors were fighting about his presence in a back yard just west of Preston Hollow.

“Bringing a jackass into the courtroom? Don’t y’all see enough of them?” an onlooker asked.

Buddy was led down a hallway at the

North Dallas Government Center for his court appearance.

As he got to the courtroom, the 3-year-old, 300-pound donkey paused. But with a quick shove from his owner and a tug on his red rope, Buddy walked slowly to the bench. He stared at the jury.

For several minutes, Buddy held his own. He remained calm. He was polite. He didn’t crack under cross-examination and confess. If he had to go, he held it in.

And when defense attorneys challenged whether he was in fact the real donkey in question, he didn’t blink an eye.

“Your honor, I have no questions,” Mr. Sandberg said.

“Nothing from me, your honor,” said defense attorney Quinn Chandler.

“The witness is excused,” Judge Seider said.

 Buddy went outside. The proceedings continued.

According to the defendant, oilman John Cantrell, his neighbor – high-profile attorney Gregory Shamoun – started a shoving match with him in March 2006 after he complained to the city about a storage shed Mr. Shamoun was building.

To retaliate, Mr. Shamoun brought Buddy from his ranch in Midlothian to the back yard of his 5,300-square-foot stone-veneer home, he said.

“They’re noisy,” Mr. Cantrell testified. “They bray a lot any time day or night. You never know when they’re going to cut loose.”

There was also the manure.

“It appeared that it was scraped up and piled on the fence line between his property and mine,” he said.

Mr. Shamoun denied that.

“One of my heifers had twins,” he testified. “When a heifer has twins, when that happens, the second calf will usually die because the mama doesn’t have enough milk.”

So he had to bottle-feed the calf named Lucy – four times a day.

Buddy – who is used on the ranch to scare off coyotes – came along to serve as a surrogate mother so that Lucy wouldn’t have issues when she was old enough to return to the herd. The land is large enough that the city allows certain animals not allowed elsewhere.

“As far as the poop, yeah, they’re going to poop,” Mr. Shamoun said, adding that his ranch hand cleaned it up three times a week. “It wasn’t stacked up next to my fence line.”

Mr. Shamoun sued Mr. Cantrell for assault. Mr. Cantrell countersued him for being a nuisance.

The trial lasted three hours. But as the jury went to deliberate, the neighbors settled their dispute.

Mr. Shamoun agreed to buy part of Mr. Cantrell’s property. And Mr. Cantrell agreed to withdraw his complaint with the city.

As for the donkey, he can come any time he wants.

“The donkey has visiting privileges,” Mr. Cantrell said. “I love animals.”

Buddy left the courtroom with his head held high.

“Well, you’ve had your day in court,” said his handler, Etienne Grimmett. “Let’s go get some coyotes.”

The Dallas Morning News – Michael Grabell,  April 2007 – Photo: Rick Gershon

Miss America Gets Her Gun

 She shoots out tires, captures intruder


 WAYNESBURG, Ky. – Miss America 1944 has a talent that likely has never appeared on a beauty pageant stage: She fired a handgun to shoot out a vehicle’s tires and stop an intruder.

Venus Ramey, 82, confronted a man on her farm in south-central Kentucky last week after she saw her dog run into a storage building where thieves had previously made off with old farm equipment.

Ramey said the man told her he would leave.“I said, ‘Oh, no you won’t,’ and I shot their tires so they couldn’t leave,” Ramey said.

She had to balance on her walker as she pulled out a snub-nosed .38-caliber handgun.“I didn’t even think twice. I just went and did it,” she said.

“If they’d even dared come close to me, they’d be 6 feet under by now.”

Ramey then flagged down a passing motorist, who called 911.Curtis Parrish of Ohio was charged with misdemeanor trespassing, Deputy Dan Gilliam said.

The man’s hometown wasn’t immediately available. Three other people were questioned but were not arrested.

After winning the pageant with her singing, dancing and comedic talents, Ramey sold war bonds and her picture was adorned on a B-17 that flew missions over Germany in World War II, according to the Miss America Web site.

Ramey lived in Cincinnati for several years and was instrumental in helping rejuvenate Over-the-Rhine historic buildings.

She returned to Kentucky in 1990 to live on her farm.“I’m trying to live a quiet, peaceful life and stay out of trouble, and all it is is one thing after another,” she said.

Associated Press – April 21, 2007 – Getty Images 

What to do about Edith Ann

Edith Ann is a fixture at Golden Gate National Park.
But some say she needs to be put down.

MILL VALLEY, CALIF. — Edith Ann pokes her head shyly from inside a horse stall on a hilly tract of national parkland here. Volunteer Susana Ives rattles a bag of snacks and the petite 28-year-old mare nods hungrily.“She can still hear a raisin bag at 50 yards,” said Ives, stroking the docile brown quarter horse, who would be about 84 in human years. “Does this look like a horse at death’s door? Not to me.”

For decades, Edith Ann has been a loyal beast of burden at Golden GateNational Park, traversing steep Marin County trails without complaint. She’s adored both by park visitors and the volunteers who ride horseback on the park’s security patrol.

But now Edith Ann has developed ringbone, a painful arthritis in her left foreleg that often makes her limp and favor her other legs. She also has laminitis, the same debilitating hoof inflammation suffered by the Kentucky Derby-winning racehorse Barbaro.

On a veterinarian’s advice, the park decided this month to put the beloved horse down. That’s when a handful of volunteers began pressuring officials to consider alternatives such as treatment and relocation to a private stable.

Hours before the scheduled euthanasia, Supt. Brian O’Neill — who manages a swath of Bay Area national parkland, including the Presidio — opted for a regimen of steroids he hopes will ease Edith Ann’s pain and make her more mobile.Ives and others have called the move a “stay of execution.

The case has generated emotional debate over how to gauge an animal’s pain and know when to put it to sleep, as well as whether it is right to prolong a creature’s life in order to postpone the heartbreak of saying goodbye.

Ives says park officials need a retirement program — to care for scores of aging horses under their management — like one run by San Francisco police.“These horses have been in service their whole lives. But as soon as they’re no longer useful, their options are limited,” she said. “They should be cared for as long as they live, not just as long as they work. Not just put down like an old pickup truck.”

Frustrated park officials could still be forced to euthanize Edith Ann in a few months if her pain persists. But O’Neill said it’s important volunteers know that everything possible is being done.“Sometimes, you assign human traits and feelings to animals,” he said. “You think a horse intellectualizes things the same way you do, and that’s simply not the case.

But getting people with an emotional attachment to accept that is difficult.Volunteers say they’re not against euthanasia when appropriate. “We felt the plan to put Edith Ann down was moving along too quickly,” said Kim Bullock. “We were looking for a new home for Edith Ann when they announced they were going to euthanize her the very next day.”

The campaign to save the horse has caused tension among volunteers at the park’s TennesseeValley stable, where four patrol horses are housed.Joel Kimmel, who donated Edith Ann to the park, believes she has suffered enough. “I’m in favor of letting her pass on,” he said, his voice breaking. “Keeping her going doesn’t give her the dignity she deserves. We should let her go free.”

Though nobody knows for sure, most people assume Edith Ann was named after Lily Tomlin’s character from “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In” — the little girl in the oversized rocker who was famous for saying: “And that’s the truth.”

Kimmel said the horse was still a feisty filly when she was given to his two daughters decades ago. As a park horse, Edith Ann was used to introduce inner-city children to animals, he said. Kimmel donated her when he lost his lease at the adjacent stable where she was kept.

Edith Ann’s health woes began a year ago. “I was riding her up a hill and suddenly she just stopped, as though she was saying, ‘I don’t think I can do this anymore,’ ” Ives said.

Her limp worsened. “You know when a horse is uncomfortable and, yeah, this horse is uncomfortable,” said volunteer Harvey Smith. “Problem is, we can’t talk to the patient.”Carrie Schlachter, the veterinarian treating Edith Ann, said horses instinctively do not show pain. “The eons have bred into them not to show pain or weakness or a predator would pick them out of a herd,” she said.

Moving the horse to a new stable could cause other problems, she said. “This poor old girl worked for them for how long? And now they’re going to uproot her? Some horses become traumatized by that.”

The steroids have between a 30% and 50% chance of success, said Schlachter. “It’s tough. If they put Edith Ann down, people will say they didn’t do enough. If they don’t, they’ll complain she’s in too much pain.”The park service keeps 70 horses and plans to expand riding and education programs. Officials say they also want to develop an animal retirement program. “We don’t have a policy on the treatment of these animals,” O’Neill said. “We could have handled Edith Ann better.”Confined to her stall during treatment, Edith Ann gets many visits from volunteers, who say they plan to bring her a radio for company. They also want to line the stall with get-well cards from area students.A photo of Edith Ann, taken at her birthday party a few years back, hangs in a nearby office. Her coal-black mane is laced with blue and pink ribbons. Volunteers baked her a carrot cake.

Her stall has a small window that looks into the adjoining one housing Steel, a gelding who notes Edith Ann’s every move.

“Steel is obsessed with her,” said Ives, who runs a local communications firm. “She’s such a flirt. She likes to be outside where all the boys can see her.”

For now, Ives hopes for the best for her Edith Ann.

“On paper, this looks clean-cut, but I know this animal and it isn’t,” she said. “She hasn’t told me she’s done.”

She softly brushed Edith Ann’s legs. “What a sweet girl,” she whispered. “You’re a beautiful girl, aren’t you?”

Los Angeles Times, By John M. Glionna, Times Staff Writer, Feb. 2007

My opinion: 
I’d like to see Edith Ann comfortably live out her life in her familiar shelter surrounded by her friends.  That is what my gelding did and he lived five years longer than expected. He said his good-bye at the age of 30 … at home with me by his side.  I’d like the same for Edith Ann.

What is your opinion?

Tall tales at the bar

A friend of mine, Patrick Mott, who writes for a local newspaper finds the juciest stories going on about town. Following is a recent article he wrote regarding a favorite local hang-out.


If you think the art of storytelling is dead in 21st century
America, just drop into a good lively bar. Because bars, at their core, are not about drinking – they are about stories. Great stories. Stupid stories. Tall stories. Sob stories. Appalling stories. Hilarious stories. True stories that are all lies and impossible, stories that are all true. And all good bars have a pantheon of stories that mutate over time into genuine legends.

I don’t know what category the Eccentric Evangelist story is going to fall into 10 or 20 years from now at the Village Inn on Balboa Island, but bet on this: Whatever the actual truth of the story, it’ll get inflated, edited, redacted, chopped, channeled, raked, lifted and tuck-and-rolled into the hairiest shaggy dog tale since Adam and Eve.

Here’s the nut of it: Anne Lemen, a 58-year-old nurse and self-styled Christian evangelist who used to live in a cottage on Balboa Island across the alley from the Village Inn, apparently decided some time ago that the inn and its owner and patrons were up to no good. So, according to court documents, she decided to tell anyone who would listen all about it.  

The inn crowd, she said publicly on several occasions, makes porn videos, engages in child pornography, distributes illegal drugs, encourages lesbian activity, operates a brothel and sells tainted food. Court documents also said that Lemen videotaped Village Inn customers going to their cars, called them “whores” and “Satan” and shot flash photos through the restaurant’s windows.

The inn’s owner, Aric Toll, said that on one occasion Lemen parked her car in front of the restaurant and blew the horn nonstop for 30 minutes. On another occasion, she approached people reading the inn’s window menu and told them the food was poisonous and the inn was filled with rats. The would-be patrons beat a retreat.

She also helped organize a campaign to persuade the city to deny the inn an expanded entertainment permit. The campaign failed.

She also claims “the bar” – she routinely reduces the inn, its owner and patrons to a single entity – has tried to kill her. The police will do nothing, she says, because the cops are in league with “the bar.”

The cottage nearly adjacent to the inn that Lemen owns and rents out has a replica of the Statue of Liberty in the front garden. The statue holds a Bible. A large stone Bible with scripture verses also is in the garden, along with a little lighthouse emblazoned with the words, “The Lord Is Our Light.” Free booklets about Christianity also are available.

Toll sues. Case goes to court. Judge finds that Lemen’s statements about the inn are untrue, rules that Lemen must clam up, even though she denies making many of the statements.

If it ended there, it would be a great story. A classic. Good for decades of yuks over another round of cold ones.

But wait. There’s more. Maybe a LOT more.

Appeals court hears the case. Strikes down most of the original order. The problem: that pesky First Amendment. Judge says muzzling Lemen constitutes prior restraint—prohibiting speech before it has actually occurred.

Case goes to the California Supreme Court late last month. Justices are split. Three of them say they think the case justifies prior restraint. The other four aren’t so sure. Heavy hitter shows up: Duke University constitutional law professor Erwin Chemerinsky. Pays his own way, works for free, in order to tell the court that if they tell Lemen to shut it they’re violating the U.S. Constitution.

The California Supreme Court is scheduled to rule on the case sometime before May 1. If the justices say the order is constitutional, the case likely will go to the United States Supreme Court.

Tricky, this free speech business.

But if you tell that story with panache 20 years from now at the Village Inn, somebody should buy you one. They really should.

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)