It’s Been a Long Time Comin’ – Shamrock Road Finally Liberated

Shedrow Secrets

It’s Been a Long Time Comin’ – The Liberation of Shamrock Road

by Mary Johnson

The story of Shamrock Road began four and a half years ago when Patrick brought the then three-year-old gelding to the attention of HW readers – here, here, and here. At that time, Shamrock had been raced 12 times in 18 weeks and was owned by The IRA and trained by the notorious Edward Sexton. By year’s end – his very first in racing – Shamrock had been put to the whip an unconscionable 24 times.

A group of advocates began to track Shamrock’s circuitous racing career. In February ’16, he “won” for the last time – and in the process, was “claimed” (sold) yet again. In less than five years, Shamrock was raced 61 times, “earning” a relatively paltry $42,000 – the definition of a low-level claimer. And there are thousands more just like him.

There were several attempts (offers) to retire Shamrock from racing, all ultimately failing. Our options were limited. We either had to patiently wait for an opportunity to present itself, or we had to claim him (Shamrock was “For Sale” prior to all of his final 15 races). Through a contact, I let the owner know that we would welcome an opportunity to purchase him and within a couple months, that opportunity came. Two days ago, Shamrock Road was delivered to a barn where Rose Smith and I have boarded other horses, and he has settled in well. Shamrock’s servitude and suffering are finally at an end. Here’s to many years of love and security for this beautiful boy!


29 Comments

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  1. Way to go Mary Johnson and Rose Smith, you both are angels. As Gandhi stated ” The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated”. Thanks for the story Patrick.

  2. Thanks a million, Mary and Rose, and all the other anti-racing heroes who’ve REALLY stepped up to do what’s right for this hideous anti-sport’s castoffs. If only there were more of you than there are angry, greedy, hyper-defensive racing creeps looking to throw away horses like Shamrock Road as if they’re so much garbage. Glad the very folks who dumped him are being held up (down) as the soulless monsters they’ve proven themselves to be.

  3. Many thanks to you both for rescuing this gorgeous horse. If only more were as lucky as this sweet horse to find a forever home – you are both angels for all of us that care so much about these beautiful horses that do not belong on any race truck. May good luck shine on all of you for many years to come.

      • They are standing there in their stalls waiting for help, that sadly might never come. Thank you mary and rose for once again, time and time again, reaching out to save one in desperate need. Shamrock wasnt a racehorse, hes just a thoroughbred being used as one, like so many others. Its quite amazing to see how a horse such as shamrock goes from being beaten down by racing, acts when they know they are free, and have a fair real life.

  4. Thank you for not giving up on him! I’m so glad the rest of his story will be wonderful. You are making such a difference for these individual horses as well as bringing awareness about this horrid industry.

  5. A huge shout out to Mary and Rose.
    This is the best news and I’m so happy that he made it out alive.
    Before I posted this I reviewed his PP’s and they paint a clear picture of horrific animal abuse.
    Anyways, to see him standing there is a testament to his strong determination to overcome the cruelty perpetrated on him as I watched, replay after replay, Shamrock Road getting beaten to perform sometimes barely making it through a race.
    This intentional misery perpetrated on him by people who claim to “care” and love them “like family.”
    Go take your empty words and jump in a pile of manure because people can see right through that.
    What a gorgeous chestnut gelding – I love the chestnuts with that beautiful white blaze.
    And where are all the apologists, the supporters of horse racing who continually claim to “love” their racehorses and “treat them like family?”
    Well nowhere to be found of course.
    Thanks again.

  6. With the constant death toll coming from the racing industry, its wonderful to read the story of a survivor who now has a chance at a life with true love and compassion. Here’s to you, Shamrock Road – your real life begins now, and I hope you enjoy it for many years to come.

  7. I would like to thank the owner for doing what was right for Shamrock Road. There is a lot more to this story that I can’t share publicly but I do believe that the owner cared about SR and had difficulty parting with him. Circumstances sometimes change and our journey takes us in a direction that we least expect. This change in circumstances was fortuitous for SR and the owner, ultimately, did the right thing.

  8. Thank you Mary for never giving up on Shamrock even though at times it seemed hopeless. You never gave up and your perseverance paid off.
    You are a prime example of someone who has never made a dime in this multi billion dollar business, yet you dig into your pocket to help so many of the horses that this business turns its back on.
    Where oh where are the racing people who profess their “love” for the horses!!!

    • Exactly Rose…yet often we are told by those who benefit from horse racing (financially or because it “entertains” them), when they are angered by the truths we share, that we don’t care about racehorses. I’ve actually had apologists tell me that I hate animals and I hate horses…and that Patrick “wants to kill your horses”.

      What they prove again and again is that the message Patrick/HW provides CAN NOT BE ARGUED. The dead racehorses he reports are still going to be dead if it’s Patrick that reports them or someone else that does. The tens of thousands of racehorses who were butchered in slaughterhouses will not be resurrected if Patrick chooses to not write about it. They are all DEAD. So just keep attacking the messenger, apologists and fans and insiders – because that’s all you’ve got…and you know it.

      • Hi, Joy. Haven’t the attacks from racing folks gotten increasingly defensive and hostile? That’s how I know they’re losing: they are blaming those who HELP HORSES for the self-imposed demise of their cruel industry. Gosh, I didn’t realize that I — right along with Sen. Dianne Feinstein, apparently — was such a lunatic, fringe-extremist, bot-nutcase because I don’t support their token, desperate, and ineffective, “reforms”;)
        I can only imagine the hostility you, Patrick, and others have taken on with the years you’ve spent in this battle. Stay strong; as Gina said, “We got this.”

      • Hey Kelly – they absolutely have become more hostile and defensive – vicious, in fact. And you’re correct…it is evidence of their increasing level of desperation.

        We’re not going anywhere – ALL of us are in this for the long (or not so long!) haul…and we know we are on the right side of history.

  9. You know guys,I wish I had never even known about racing,let alone saw it on tv. Stupid racing has led me down a rabbit hole of hatred at the sheer torture and brutality,the asshole “people” in this sin, and the mistrust of what they might be doing to these innocent animals. The more Atrocities I kept uncovering,the more it led to my emotional pain,which detracted from my happiness. I cannot begin to tell you the suspicions it has given me of these sub-human scumbags. It makes me feel like now I’m in too deep,and I just want to save them all and I’m helpless…because there’s too many to be saved. FUCK this “sport of kings” I will be brutally honest with you all when I saw Mongolian Groom breakdown and I could tell instantly it was FATAL,and then seeing the unbelievable celebration of vino rosso connections,well it was just too fucking much…at least for someone sensitive like me to see. Wish I hadn’t seen it.Wish I didn’t even know these “people” existed.

    • Don’t watch, Bonnie – you KNOW horse racing is animal exploitation…you don’t need to be convinced.

      Yes, it’s really difficult (that’s putting it mildly) to see racehorse after racehorse in kill pens – with individuals BEGGING for their lives – it’s every single day we see it. It never ends. Then every so often, a former connection is reached (mind you, that former connection wasn’t out looking for the horse they just “LOVED SO MUCH” several years back) and they send a donation – and the naive fall to the ground and kiss their feet. Are we thankful for every horse that doesn’t load into the trailer headed to a slaughterhouse? – absolutely or why would we spend our time and money to help as many as is humanly possible? – but let’s not forget the racing industry opened that door to the wide and well-traveled road to slaughter when the horse’s “time was up” – when the horse could no longer meet expectations or was injured or just simply worn out, and became what every racehorse WILL become – unwanted by their racing connections. Racing’s debt owed their horses is great – and a few receive crumbs.

  10. A huge hug and thank you Mary!!!!!! I would cringe every time I got a notice that Shamrock Road was racing again and again. I prayed every day that he would make it out alive. Thank you thank you!!!!!! You are an angel!! I wish I had the room to save these beautiful horses.

  11. Thank you Rose and Mary! Shamrock Road looks rough and tired…brings tears to my eyes to look at the photos…please remind him as often as you can that he is safe. Thank you…

    • There’s such a heartbreaking deadness of soul and spirit in his eyes right now, but I would love to see a picture of him in a couple of months – he’ll look like a completely different boy. Horses have an amazing capacity for forgiveness of the human race, and they truly do know when they’ve been rescued.

  12. So many lives lost,so many lives ruined,so many lives destroyed,so many lives living in constant,excruciating pain. For a 2$ bet. Always remember…only humans could be this cruel.

  13. This post made me happy – an exception for what those of us following this site typically read. What a relief to see a true “win” in a “race.” The race to save one horse – and like so many others said, there are still countless numbers of them waiting in the wings. I don’t know these individuals who saved this horse – in that I’ve never heard of them, read about them, but I thank them for their big hearts and their perseverance to a cause.

    I hope when racing ends (notice I say when, not if) there are protections set in place for horses that would be deemed useless. I hope when horse racing ends the horses don’t end up in a slaughterhouse. How cruel would that be? They were saved from having to race only to lose their lives anyway. My thoughts might show my ignorance to the depths of what this fight by Horseracing Wrongs is setting in place, but I have wondered – what will happen to them then?

    For today, this post was like a balm to an ever widening wound – which is knowledge of the suffering going on.

  14. Shamrock Road has finally found his forever home. After all that has happened to him, he deserves the love and care he has always deserved. Thank you for the great gift you have given this handsome fellow!

  15. Think you got that wrong, Laura. No one hear verbalized support for racing. And the racehorses, yes, we support and watch out for them, as really, not too many in racing bother to. It’s up to us to clean up after racing spits them out, it’s up to us to try to find homes for their “children” and their “loved ones”.

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