Tuesday, June 2, 2009

A Race Never Run: The Story of Witches Trail

Cross-posting for the Cause;

This isn't a sales pitch or a marketing piece; nor will it be considered
"headline news" by a worldwide reporter; it's a real story of a real horse – in
our care and on our watch. It is the real story of a 3 year old thoroughbred
full of life, a life that he may lose and here is his story.

Witch's Trail was bred to race, but he never raced. He never made it to the
starter gate, heard the roar of the crowd or lingered in the "Winner's Circle,"
he's a thoroughbred born to race, but he was betrayed.

Pure Thoughts answered a call from a man identifying himself as the trainer for
this horse. Allegedly he didn't know what was wrong with the horse and was
unable or unwilling to spend the money to have him diagnosed but it was apparent
he would not race. The woman who was supposedly rehabbing him had lost her farm
and this man was having " a rough meet at Tampa Bay Downs" and asked if we would
take this horse. When the truck arrived, no one was there, apparently the people
had moved the week before, no one to care for him; just Witch's Trail standing
alone with no one to even bid him luck or say goodbye.

When Brad Gaver, co-founder of Pure Thoughts off loaded Witch's Trail at our
farm, there was little evidence that the horse had received any type of rehab,
the horse could barely walk up the driveway… mind you a 3 year old horse in
training to race. Physically Witch's Trail appeared to need some weight and
needed his feet done so Brad trimmed his feet, put on a set of shoes to add
support and initially Witch's Trail seemed more comfortable, but our eyes knew
there was much more medically happening to this beautiful creature.

A few days later our vet came out to the farm, and it was a horrible afternoon.
Witch's Trail was diagnosed with Wobbles/ cervical vertebra spinal cord
compressive disease. In addition, he was diagnosed with a left rear tarsal
valgus deformity with clinical bone spavin swelling. He was more than likely
born with the latter and most possibly living with wobbles for a while. The true
story of this report is the pain this horse was in – in training to race, left
in a pasture, no hoof care, lame on all four legs – but a true thoroughbred –
stoic and brave – still willing to run his heart out for the humans who betrayed

Witch's Trail very well could lose the most important race– the race for his
life. No matter what the outcome, he will be kept out of pain and treated to his
favorite foods, carrots, apples, treats, baths, grooming and have legions of
volunteers loving on him for as long as he chooses. He really needs a miracle,
and we have truly seen miracles happen here before, evidenced by the productive
lives thousands of our rescues now enjoy. He isn't ready to die – he whinnies to
the babies; he is excited to watch the horses walk by; he is curious and
affectionate; he is still full of life.

This is a plea to save the life of a horse not ready to die. We are looking to
you the compassionate veterinarians, racing industry experts, organizations and
horse lovers nationwide in the equine community to be willing to take a chance
on this boy name Witch's Trail. To read updates on this boy please visit

We pray for a miracle and hope that someone who is reading this can rally up
some possibility and suggestions for a young thoroughbred, born to race and now
deserving to live as a horse. We could not humanely euthanize him yesterday; he
is not ready to say goodbye nor are we. Can you help?

Cheryl Hanna
Jennifer Swanson
Pure Thoughts Inc.
Thoroughbred Rehabilitation and Placement
Pure Thoughts Inc.
Horse & Foal Rescue
19181 Capet Creek
Loxahatchee, FL 33470

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