|His noble self|
"Oh you rescued him," the lady said.
"No. I bought him."
"Yes, but he came off the track. I have another friend and she rescues horses off the track too."
Because I generally aim not to be a jackass (high achiever, what can I say), I didn't light into the lady and force her to see my point of view. If I had it to do over again though, I think I'd be a little more clear with her.
"Rescue" situations involve malnourished or abused animals being seized by the state or surrendered by the owners due to a lack of ability to properly care for the animal, whatever the reason.
Courage was most certainly not a rescue. Cuna wasn't. My OTTB mare in highschool wasn't either. All three of them were really classy horses. All three have excelled in their second careers. All three were clean, in good weight, well cared for and ready for a new career. (We'll talk another day about my thing for war horses. Not even kidding.)
I was just lucky enough that I got to be that good place for him.
Just as you'd be personally insulted if someone bought a horse from you and claimed to "rescue" it, race trainers are insulted when people do it to them.
So it kind of annoys me when people automatically assume that all OTTBs were somehow "rescued". Some are, sure. So are quarter horses. Arabs. Warmbloods. You name, people abuse it. That's not a good thing, but it is a thing we have to deal with since we are all Grown Adults.
Let's call it like it is. Courage was in a great program and in possibly the best shape of his life. When it wasn't what he wanted to do anymore, his trainer found him a new life that would suit him better.
|EBR Absolute Courage|
It's all the rage in event world to credit the breeders or trainers of some pretty great horses. Courage didn't come through the Fernhill system, but I wanted to memorialize the incredible work that Eugene Burns Racing put into making Absolute Courage the horse he is today.
I didn't rescue him. I also don't see the time he spent on the track as something bad or to be ashamed of. I'm proud of Courage, proud of his heritage, and happy to show it off.
Oh, and I should totally tell you some racetrack stories one of these days. He wasn't all goodness and sweetness...