Channel of Love and Apex Make 16 Dead at Aqueduct

Dead horses numbers 15 and 16 have been recorded at Aqueduct’s Fall/Winter Meet:

2-year-old filly Channel of Love – last raced on New Year’s Eve (finished last) – broke a leg while galloping in morning practice yesterday and was euthanized. She was trained and owned by Randi Persaud.

Later in the day, 4-year-old Apex went down in the card’s 2nd race. He was trained and owned by Steve Klesaris. By the way, it appears that the official NYRA replay was edited – blacked-out, really – right about the time Apex broke down; not surprisingly, the catastrophically injured horse was never mentioned by the announcer. (Another horse, Italian Rules, was vanned off – “bad step” – in that same race; the rest of the day’s races were canceled due to blowing snow and frigid temps.)

The Aqueduct 16:
5-year-old Summer Sunset, Oct 31, race 2 (fractured leg)
4-year-old Jesses Giant Dunk, Oct 31, race 3 (ruptured ligament)
4-year-old Knockher Off, Nov 12, race 5 (neck trauma)
9-year-old Cherokee Artist, Nov 28, race 6 (fractured leg)
4-year-old Princes On Thelake, Dec 3, race 5 (fractured cannon)
3-year-old Warrior’s Hero, Dec 4, race 3 (fractured carpus)
5-year-old Half Nelson, Dec 5, race 8 (fractured shoulder)
7-year-old Quick Money, Dec 5, race 8 (neck trauma)
5-year-old Sage Valley, Dec 10, race 8 (apparent cardiac arrest)
5-year-old Ludo Bagman, Dec 11, race 1 (fractured sesamoids)
4-year-old Celebrate We Will, Dec 26, race 1 (fractured leg)
5-year-old Wicked Irish, Dec 27, race 2 (undisclosed leg trauma)
2-year-old Golden Bay, Jan 2, race 6 (fractured leg)
5-year-old Shewreckstheplace, Jan 4, race 5 (fractured sesamoids)
2-year-old Channel of Love, Jan 9, training (fractured leg)
4-year-old Apex, Jan 9, race 2 (fractured leg or ankle)

Winter Racing At Aqueduct Racecourse

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  1. NYRA is a disgrace. This is a repeat of what happened in 2012 when the “Task Force” reviewed the situation and made recommendations; some of which were enacted and then quietly dropped ! If the “Task Force” had any integrity the recommendation would have been : No WINTER RACING AT AQUEDUCT. What is what is wrong with these people ??? The bottom line is the carnage at the track is due to greed and a total disregard for the horse. There is too much money to be made and money is all racing is concerned with. It is totally disgusting and there is no way these people can spin it. SHUT THE TRACK DOWN !!!!

    PS I saw where there was “no ambulance available” and the filly, Channel of Love, had to “lay on the track for over an hour before she was euthanized”. What a sorry human could stand there and watch that pathetic sight. Was it you Mr. Persaud ? Poor filly.

  2. I grew up in this business. I was an Owner/Trainer for 15 years. I’ve seen it all from the inside. I can tell you it’s not a pretty picture. Anybody that has a heart or any sense of compassion for a living, breathing, sentiment being will leave this business, and take their horse(s) with them. Pro-racing people who consistently attack me on social media, actually believe that they are good to horses. Most horse racing people are stuck in a delusional bubble either intentionally or not, but there isn’t anything delusional about a racehorse falling in the dirt from either a shattered leg or a multitude of catastrophic injuries which as become the norm these days. Contrary to popular belief, 10% of Owners are the rich ones while the other 90% struggle to survive, and that’s bad news for horses because when there is financial pressure the horse’s welfare is way down on the totem pole. These people would look at me everyday, and tell me how their horse was one step away from slaughter, and the CEO’s with their 6–figure salaries sit in their luxurious offices doing little or nothing. All they care about is filling races, and allegedly FIXING races while running horses they own under somebody’s name. Here is the other issue. There is LACK OF TRANSPARENCY when it comes to the collection, care, custody, and control of post-race blood/urine tests. I ALLEGE that there is MAJOR race fixing going on via this flawed system. Don’t forget that the horse racing industry is self-regulatory so by the time these tests get into the hands of the Racing Commissions (who themselves are rarely neutral) they could be changed. There is no doubt in my mind that this is happening, and this spells grave danger for both equine, and human athlete. If true, these horses could potentially be running with powerful, and lethal drugs in their system that is a major contribution to career-ending, and catastrophic breakdowns. Moreover, any racehorse running against a horse under the influence of powerful drug-enhancers put their life in jeopardy as well. Let’s just assume that my allegations are incorrect, then you have the underground element. That’s the element that uses drugs that they don’t even know about yet. Keep in mind that Drug Testing MUST test for SPECIFIC DRUGS. So if they don’t know WHAT drug is being used then they can’t possibly test for it. A prime example of this is EPO. When I was training I just knew that something was being used by the top trainers in Ontario. These horses ran and won for a few races, and then went completely berserk either physically, mentally, or both. It took much underground investigation to finally find out what the substance was. You couldn’t win against them. Then the next wave of horses running through legs getting snapped-off was a strong indication that they had found something new. It was eventually revealed that it was Dermorphin. There were hundreds of racehorses that lost their lives during these episodes of illegal drugs because a racehorse needs to feel its pain in order to slow down and protect itself. What does a tired, and sore racehorse get when it slows down? It gets beaten with a whip. There is unequivocally no doubt in my mind that the beating of racehorses, via the whip. is the cause of many breakdowns, and deaths. It’s a miracle that more jockeys have not been maimed or killed. Enter the racino age. Since the casinos, and horse racing have teamed up it has been a disaster for the horse because the racetrack is now seen as an adjunct to the casino which is really the money maker. Consequently, old, probably unsafe, track surfaces are not being addressed. After all, it’s just a racehorse. Horse Racing is an antiquated business model full of underground, undesirable activities with the poor racehorse being a victim of this underbelly. The horse racing industry would not exist if it wasn’t for the exploitation of the racehorse. In the end, what does the racehorse get? Most don’t get the beautiful lush paddock that they deserve. Rather, a captive bolt to the head is usually the method of death, and where is the multimillion dollar horse racing industry that makes the money off their blood and sweat? They are NOWHERE to be found because their donations to OTTB Rescue Groups are a pittance of what they have made and will make in the future. The only reason why this industry has recently begun giving to registered OTTB Rescue Groups is NOT for altruistic reasons, but for public appearance. Their dirty little secret is out. This is a horrific business that exploits equines, and humans from start to finish. The industry chews you up, and spits you out whether you are a racehorse or person. This is horse racing.

    • What’s in it for the racehorse? The answer is a life of misery and if it doesn’t die during its career it eventually ends up in the slaughterhouse to be abhorrently and inhumanely killed. Thank you for sharing Gina, giving your insight, experience, knowledge and opinion of the racing industry. It is an incredible piece that you have written – describing the racing industry as it truly is and displaying your dedication to these noble horses who have no voice and therefore are completely defenceless and so very vulnerable to abuse (just like very young children) and at the mercy of despicable human beings

  3. Gina,

    I agree with everything you have said. We need people like you to become journalists and drown out people like Ray Paulick.

    One of his bloggers addresses the problem with unsafe racetracks below.

    In this article Paulick Report states that ” Violette: Horsemen ‘Deeply Concerned’ About Aqueduct Breakdowns”

    “Apex broke down at the three-eighths pole in the day’s second race. Apex’s is the eleventh racing-related death in the track’s 20 days of racing this season.”

    “The remainder of Friday’s card was cancelled due to high winds and blowing snow. The Daily Racing Form’s David Grening later reported that NYRA officials could be open to reducing dates as a way to combat the problem.”

    The horseman that say they are “deeply concerned” should shut down all the racetracks.
    Then I would believe they are “Deeply concerned”

    If they really cared, they would Shut down the racetracks entirely. Shut them all down. Stop the abuse. Stop the killing.

    This abuse to all the magnificent horses is so horrific.

    Here is a comment from one of Paulick’s bloggers. These race tracks surfaces sound terrible. I have never been to a racetrack and would never go except to protest.

    ” The texture of any winter surface must be more coarse in order to facilitate rapid water drainage. When a horse is running, the feet land heel first then rotate in stride with the toe pushing downward before coming off the ground again. This is referred to as breaking over. Coarse winter surfaces with a stone screening like texture do not dissipate as well as finer textured summer tracks like those on Belmont and Aqueduct’s main tracks. The result is that the surface snow plows under a horses toe just before breakover and puts more severe strain on the legs than a lighter surface that disipates and does not compact as easily. Summer surfaces are unsuitable for winter racing because they retain moisture and clump when freezing. This creates a dilemma for track mamagement. The same surface on Aqueducts inner track is used on Belmonts training track (I believe but am not certain). Just before either of the two scheduled harrow breaks you will find it tricky pulling a horse up at the seven eighths pole where most people do. It is very cut up and you need to carefully navigate and keep your weight off your horses front end or they will stumble. The footprints are more like holes of a sort because the surface doesnt yield as well. “

  4. Thank you Kathleen, Rose, Carolyn for your supporting words. There are fences around every stable area on racetracks. These fences are erected to keep racehorses inside the enclosure because they often get loose and try to run away. Anytime I’ve witnessed this it was interesting how most racehorses headed strait for the Exit Gate where they were trailered in. They could have run anywhere, but they run for the exit. You can interpret this any way you want, but I truly believe that the racehorse is blatantly aware of its plight on a racetrack, and wants to get out like any slave being beaten to perform for their slavemasters profit. I just finished reading SAVING BABY by Jo Anne Normile, and you should all read it. Not only do I agree with the Author I experienced everything she did except for a catastrophic breakdown, thankfully, because I was a hands on Trainer unlike Jo Anne. Being an Owner she had to rely on the expertise of her Trainer although it seems evident that the unsafe Track Surface was the predominant precursor for Baby breaking down. Jo Anne does an incredible job of relaying to an outsider the awful life that racehorses endure on the track. For those of you who haive never been on a track the horses are kept in a 10′ by 12′ stall (some are 12′ by 10′), but nevertheless they amount to prison time. A horse needs to be constantly moving for good health. They are physically, mentally, and emotionally designed that way. So we take this 1200 pound Goliath and force them to live in a box 23 hours per day. The only time they get out is for their morning exercise. When in their stalls they can be easily restrained while needles are plunged into their jugular veins, and joints on a regular basis as seen on the PETA undercover video of Leading Trainer Steve Asmussen. If you have not watched this video I urge you to watch it. It can be found on PETA Website or YouTube. Sadly, it’s common practice. Horse Racing is basically Factory Farming sugar-coated with glitz, and glamour.

    • Gina,

      Thank you so much for your response.

      I have seen the PETA video and i was horrified. I had no idea this was going on at the racetrack as I had never been to a racetrack. I also read the stories of these famous racehorses that made millions for their owners and then they were led to the slaughter house. It is heartbreaking what I have learned in the past year.

      It was after I watched a Canadian television show aprox 8 months ago called “Heartland” that had several one hours shows focused on drug abuse at the race track and claiming races and slaughtering horses that I started to do research and found the PETA video. Heartland is all about horses and people who love horses and has now been on for 8 years and is the longest running drama in Canadian history. it is a really well done show and focuses on people who take care of their horses in a loving way and rescue abused horses.

      Can you tell me more about your experience.

      What caused you to get into racing and then what caused you to get out of racing ?

  5. 16 horses dead at Aqueduct…..14 of which are still “babies” (87%). Two, three, four, and five year olds…dead before they are totally grown. No, racing supporters, I don’t want to hear about all the “good” people in racing. The “good” people, if there are any, should be outraged by these numbers….yes, outraged. End of story!

  6. My journey into Horse Racing was not so much a choice, initially, because my family had dedicated their lives to the business. Thoroughbreds were like one of my siblings. I grew up with them learning everything about them both mentally, and physically. I spent many hours on the farm taking care of them while folks were at Woodbine. I was about 9 years old. Then I learned on the track. I concluded at a young age that I loved the racehorse much more than the business side of it. I pursued my education, and other careers always being actively involved with the racehorse in some capacity. Then I returned. I got my Trainers License in 1998, and my real journey begun. I was going to change things for the betterment of the horses, and surely the business had changed for the better since the 1970’s right? Boy was I naive and wrong. I can truly say that I saw this business through rose-coloured glasses when I was a child growing up, but don’t we all see things through the innocent eyes of a child as good? There wasn’t anything good about horse racing as I experienced directly as an Owner/Trainer. I was on the track 7 days per week, 12 hours per day, no vacations, no social life, while I worked my butt-off to be successful. My accomplishments were good considering what I was up against. I attribute my success on the track to 2 things: my unrequited love and passion for the racehorse. 2) my extensive knowledge of the anatomy and physiology of the racehorse. I think that lack of this knowledge is also a huge contributing factor to breakdowns because the Trainer is the protector of the racehorse or should be. Then throw into the equation drugs, both legal and illegal, stall denial, Track Executives virtually controlling a Trainers career, corruption, lack of transparency for blood/urine tests,, track surfaces, clerk of scales weighing down horses, jockeys potential use of electrical devices, inability to have a race written., possible hidden ownership from members of the racing commission or racetrack executives. etc etc. Have you ever heard the saying “you can’t fight city hall?” The racehorse becomes a victim of all of these factors I mentioned, and as a Trainer, I fought hard to protect them. I knew I struck a cord when the harassment, and intimidation was relentless. They had a problem with me. One, I was a good Trainer who knew her stuff. Two, I had a very good horse called GET DOWN WOLFIE. Together we made it out of the insanity The system set up now is a system run by a bunch of Track CEO’s whose priority is collecting their fat salaries, and filling races. These people virtually control everything on a racetrack. If any Trainer is not part of their agenda then they are seen as a liability that must be squashed. The more I spoke out about it the more I was hassled. I should mention that they labeled me as a crazy women of course. The poor racehorse bears the burden of it all. I wasn’t going to let my horse grease the pockets of these CEO’s or any racetrack especially when I’m footing the bill. My horses would run sound both physically, and mentally. Period. Well if that’s the case then we will make her life a living hell, and that’s exactly what they did. Their power wasn’t only confined to the racetrack. I have no evidence to prove who was doing it, but common sense and coincidence told me otherwise. I will give you one of many examples: Wolfie was entered to race at Woidbine. The morning of the race I took his temperature as I always did for any horse racing that day. The bad bugs going around racetracks would have no signs or symptoms of trouble just an elevated temperature. If it wasn’t caught early it turned into a serious infection that a race would exacerbate. His temp was 101.9. I immediately called the Vet, and then the Race Office to Scratch him. I followed the Rules & Regulatiins of racing. Since I was denied stalls at Woidbine I had to train and ship in. I was 2 hours away. Despite the fact that the Racing Commision, Race Office at Woodbine, Vets, the HBPA all had current contact information for me including home number, cell number, email and follow-ups they never called me back. My priority was Wolfie so I continued tending to him.. A guy who used to gallop for me called me on my cell phone that afternoon,: ” Do you have any clue as to what went on here this morning?” I said “No, I’ve been tending to Wolfie.” “Gina did you notify the race office that you were scratching Wolfie?” “of course I did, why? All morning long, all over the loud speakers “Gina Powell to the Stewards office repeatedly.” For those of you who have never been on the backside of a racetrack the announcement, over the P.A System, for a Trainer to the Stewards Office is always a disciplinary measure, and everybody knows that. In short, I wasxmade a sacrificial lamb that morning intentionally – no doubt. Woodbine and the Stewards, knew full well that I was not given stalls there, that I was OFF the grounds, and couldn’t possibly hear the message, It was protocol for the race office and/or Stewards to contact Trainers via the Cell Phone who was not physically present on the track. This was a viscous deliberate sanitize, but it got worse. I couldn’t get through to the Stewards. They wouldn’t take my return calls. Then the bombshell. I entered Wolfie about 3 weeks later after making sure he was okay. He was after a round of potent antibiotics, but had I not took his temperature, and ran him that day he would have become very ill with pneumonia. I caught it early, and nipped it in the butt. So when I went to enter Wolfie, I was informed that I was banned from entering any horse until my FINE was paid! I said “what FINE??!!! It was then that I was informed that the Ontario Racing Commission, via Woodbine Racetrack, had decided to FINE me $1000 for scratching Wolfie!!!! The FINE was now outstanding, and had to be paid before an Entry would be accepted. For those of you not privy to the Rules & Regukations of racing – THIS IS UNPRECEDENTED!! A Trainer almost NEVER gets FINED for scratching a SICK HORSE! This was deliberate, and downright vicious! I was denied complete DUE PROCESS OF LAW because I was never informed of the FINE so how in thd hell coukd I pay a FINE that I wasn’t made aware of?? The ORC said, “but we have returned Mail here.”I said that’s impossible since you have all my current information there. Sure enough they had an envelope containing my farm address from years before despite the fact that they had current mailing information it was mysteriously overlooked, and phone falls to my fell were never made!! Moreover, come to find out, that the rumour of the day was that Gina Powell was heavily FINED for being an outspoken Trainer, and not keeping her mouth shut! Let this be a lesson to all you Trainers out there! If there was ever a time I needed to leave horse racing it was now because I even think that Wolfie was deliberately sabotaged although I have no proof. You have to enter a race 3 days before the actual race is run. He was training incredibly well as Wolfie always did. He always performed and showed up for the party. Somebody saw some strange people around his stall the night before he got sick. Given the entire picture I don’t put it past these creeps to deliberately make a horse sick if it will screw up their bets. As long as the track CEO’s have control everything is fine, as long as you fill races for them. My horses were never a pawn in this gambling game, and they didn’t like the fact that they couldn’t manipulate me so they made my life a living hell! Let me remind you that this is one example of many! I can tell you this the MAJORITY of top trainers are compromising the health of their racehorse on a daily basis to acquiesce the racetrack CEO’s, and their gambling habits. Unfortunately, many racing commissions are not neural. Rather, they have become law enforcement and a management arm of these racetrack CEO’s. At the time that my troubles were at an all time high Frank Stronach was in charge of the Ontario Jocjey Ckub as was most members if either his family or buddies. They were in bed with the racetrack CEO’s, and the HBPA. They majority of Stake Races at Woodbine were being win by them while monopolizing entire blocks of stalls, and kicking out small outfits. The bulldozing had begun. They would just deny Trainers stalls literally cutting them off from making a living. If you were dumb enough to fight it then they would give you a couple of stalls, then make your days there unbearable. We were small time Trainers, struggling to make a living, unwilling to compromise the health and welfare of our racehorses justly infill their gambling needs. We couldn’t afford attorneys, and they knew it. To this day, most top Trainers at Woodbine are Stronach’s best buddies. That should tell you something. The racehorse is a total victim of this horrific industry that not only exploits them, but the Trainers as well. They have set-up a system of failure for the majority of outfits. It doesn’t matter how good you are to your horses or how you are honest upholding the rules and regulations. What matters is how you turn your head to jeopardize your horses’s well-being to fill races for the fat salaried racetrack CEO’s., drug them, inject them, cheat, exploit them, keep your mouth shut while you watch these idiots ruin your career, and make racehorses pay the price every step of the way – literally. Well there not going to make me compromise my personal goal of placing the racehorse first. They never will. They can sabotage me (like they did), but I wasn’t going to let them manipulate me in any way. If that meant walking away from the business that once made me a decent living then that’s what I was prepared to do. All their talk about fixing things is just that – TALK. It’s window dressing because they know DAMM well that the business demands offilling gambling needs can never coincide with the well-being of the racehorse. They must be dumped, and die at an unprecedented rate in order to have a profitable business. More importantly, the CEO’s need Trainers that they can manipulate and control in order for their profitable business plan to be successful in turn increasing their fat salaries. Well myself, Wolfie, and my other horses were not going to be a pawn in their heartless game. Anybody who really cares about a horse will leave this game because it’s one of exploitation of both equine, and people. The horse racing industry can change all they want, but the changes are too late, and there are no changes that can preclude the fact that this entire industry is based on the exploitation of a living and breathing sentimental animal.

  7. Gina, i am so sorry to hear about your terrible ordeal and Wolfie’s suffering. Thank you for telling your story.
    I hope those despicable people rot in hell. I just wish there could be some justice for you – lawyers cost too much money, if only there was some avenue where your experience could be exposed more publicly.

  8. Carolyn,

    Social media is a great way to expose things so this is getting exposed.
    Also, mainstream media such as The New York Times, Horse Illustrated, and Department of Agricultural are all exposing this industry.
    I’ve been approached by a few lawyers to pursue people legally for a contingency. Still deciding.
    I harbour no hatred or angry, but comforted every time somebody exposes this industry. That’s why I enjoy contributing to Horse Racing Wrongs. Thanks for your encouraging words.

    • Gina,

      I hope you pursue it legally. That will help expose what is going on to more in the public and more trainers may then have the courage to speak out as well.

      If you see any good articles that you really like please let me know. I have a journalist friend who used to be a news anchor at a CBS affiliate for twenty years that is horrified at what is happening at the race track (once I told her) i am sending her articles for a story I would like her to get on 60 minutes.

  9. Gina,

    I would have loved to grow up with horses all around. We had a horse but kept him at a stable so i did not have the amazing experience that you did.

    Thank you so much for your story. You are an excellent writer and communicate very clearly your love for horses as well as your difficult but inspiring story.

    It is so important to have someone speak out such as your self and others on this list that have actually owned and trained race horses because you really do understand what is going on there.

    I believe that there are really good people in the horse racing industry that really do love their horses and try to do right by their horses and take care of them and then either walk away when they realize the truth or get overwhelmed and consumed by all the corruption around them and slowly but surely they block their hearts and minds as to what is really going with the majority of the horses around them because so many of those that do not do well end up dead by the tens of thousands each year. .

    I really hope that you will consider writing a book about your experience combined with what is going on in the racing industry. that would help to enlighten a lot of people,.

    I would love to see a story written by someone like You, an owner trainer who would tell their own true story and bring in some of the actual statistics of what is going on in the racing world for most Americans have no idea what is going on at the race track or what has been going on with tens of thousands of race horses being brutally murdered each year in America until 2007 and currently in Canada and Mexico and Russia and China, etc. Those horrific slaughter videos from Canada and Mexico are terrible to wach as well as the feedlots in Alberta where they breed horses for food..

    When you have time, please read the book “Last Chain On Billie” about an incredible Elephant that was at a Zoo for nine years and then sold into slavery at a circus for the next thirty years and then finally rescued. Billie is highly intelligent and they taught her terrible, complex abusive “tricks” that were very hard on her body and they beat her and abused her repeatedly into performing so they could make money. Ringling makes 100 million a year abusing these elephants year round even though they are injured and in constant pain.. Billie was finally rescued and sent to The Elephant Sanctuary where you can see her on YOU Tube with all of her new friends (also beaten and abused in circuses) and also rescued. What the author does in this story is tell the journey of Billie (the people who owned Billie for years did a great deal of blogging about her so there was a lot of data on where she went over the years) and interwoven throughout Billie’s horrible ideal and final freedom was interwoven the story of the history of the capture and abuse of Elephants going back to the 1800’s and different stories of horrific abuse. The book had a chapter on the lawsuit brought against Ringling Bros for their rampant abuses against Elephants but it was thrown out because the trainer that spoke out with the truth against what he had done (which was beaten and abused elephants for many years) as one of their head trainers and he had photos of baby elephants being abused (there are videos as well of their abuse) the trainer passed on from cancer and the corrupt judge and legal system threw out all the other testimony…The USDA had been told to look the other way when it came to Ringling Bros. there is corruption there as well.

    I also read the story of “The Lady and Her Tiger” by Pat Derby who rescued, owned and trained animals for TV and Motion Pictures and she told the story of they are being badly abused as well. She had incredible courage and took care and rescued Bears, tigers, cougars, and Elephants. She divorced her husband because he would not stop hurting the animals he worked with. Her way was total love and courage. Never fear and Never abuse. She created the center called PAWS and rescued more abused elephants and other animals just passed on last year. I read her book in about three days.

    Do you still live IN Canada ?

    A Canadian show called “Heartland” is where I found out about what was happening to horses about 8 months or so ago. they have story lines that deal with horse abuse, horse slaughter, drugging horses at the race track, shocking horses at race track, Tennessee walker abuse, etc. I was horrified. I rode horses growing up and had no idea the abuse was going on. there is also rampant abuse at the rodeo.

    i had no idea they were slaughtering horses for food before i watched the show. Had never been to a race track and had no idea what was going on there either. Sadly, I thought horses ran on hay and oats and vitamins and I thought they loved to run like in the movie “the Black Stallion”. I believed the lie that the media spun until this year. So do millions of other Americans. this is the only blog website i have found that has a creator (Patrick) who has the courage to tell the truth.

    The Heartland show (with highly trained horses in the cast-the best part) has been on the air for 8 years in Alberta and the producers and writers love horses and are against horse slaughter ( which is rampant in Alberta, Canada) it is the longest running drama in Canadian history. the girl that stars in the show is an excellent rider, loves horses and at 14 wanted to be a vet. it is a family friendly show that the whole family can watch. i love the show because the horses are shown as intelligent, sensitive and wonderful friends.

    I also learned out more background from this group that you may also know about in Canada they are trying to stop the horse slaughter once and for all and have been working with govt. officials to do so.

    Once again, I hope you will consider writing a book on your personal experience.

  10. Kathleen,

    I have written a book, but I need to Edit all the writings I have accumulated. I need to organize, and finalize it for review. I know it will be a very popular book. When published I will donate a percentage of sales to OTTB Rescue because my motivation has always been altruistic.
    Second, yes I live in Canada.
    Third, I heard about the series Heartland, but have never watched it. Now that you have told me about how it exposes horse racing it’s on my watch list. I think they have it on DVD so I will look into it.
    Any child that grows up with animals is fortunate because animals teach kindness, compassion, responsibility, and love. It adds an entire dimension into the human sphere of existence. I’m so happy that I grew up with beautiful Thiroughbreds AKA Racehorses. My childhood was very difficult, but the horse was my solace.
    Thanks for your encouraging words.

    • Gina,

      I wrote a long response earlier today but i think I forgot to hit “post Comment”

      So I may be repeating myself so this will be short until I see if the other one is posted online later.

      Heartland can be watched on Netflix, on DVD and on the website CBC has. It features highly trained horses
      including “Liberty” Trained horses that belong to Nicki Flundra, a Canadian trick rider. One of the best I am told.
      She loans her horses and she does stunt doubling for main star Amy when Amy (also a blonde) needs to fall off a horse, etc.

      Liberty Horses respond to voice commands and leg commands and are Incredible to watch.
      The rider rides bareback, with no saddle. The horses follow her around like children and do the most amazing dance. they are featured in some of the episodes and are breathtaking to watch how they respond to voice commands and to Love.

      The horses on this show are treated with real respect and love.You can see Liberty Horses and NIcki and her horses perform their amazing dance on YOU Tube. She features them at rodeos. Tragically, Another place they abuse horses. Nicki does highly dangerous stunt riding and trick riding so she is very courageous and fearless.

      The Show is based on the Heartland Books written by a woman who is married to a Vet and a psychologist. Author is into alternative healing as well for horses. it is very well done. Great cinematography and good music and the background is Alberta so it is breathtakingly beautiful. Good scripts about abused horses and how the family and especially “Amy” helps to heal them with what ever they need. Amy, the main character has a special gift with horses and treats them all with love and respect starting with first episode where horse is badly abused and she and her Mother rescues that horse. Amy (Amber Marshall) started riding when she was four. She rides English, western, bareback and show jumps. She is quite a good rider.

      IT is a black quarter horse (aprox 10 year old) and that horse is the other star for all 8 seasons along with his highly trained LIberty doubles that belong to NIcki. John Scott owns aprox 150 horses nearby and they are the ones that are predominantly used for the different stories.

      there is one episode where people steal her father’s horses from the racetrack to drug them and force them to run in private races and then leave them to die. Amy rescues four of them. Others do die.

      Heartland stories rescue horses from slaughter houses, being drugged and shocked at the race track, rescued from claiming races ( i did not even know what that word meant until I watched Heartland) the main character clearly loves horses. IN real life, Amber Marshall (main character) has her own ranch and her own horses and her life runs along the same path as the show does. She also has her own magazine and that magazine features the different horses. The show features local Canadian soft mellow country music types (Bob Dylan type) artists in the shows and the overall music is cinema quality. it is clear the producers and writers love horses and want to gently educate the public about abuse issues. At least one of the writers has had horses all their lives. it really is a great show that is my favorite on television as the message is all about rescuing horses and loving horses.

      Please let us know as soon as your book is available.

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