Willow Put to Rest; At Least She Was Given a Few Months of Real Love

Shedrow Secrets

Willow, the Final Chapter (chapter 1 here; chapter 2 here)

by Joy Aten

Willow, a recently-raced mare when found starving in October of last year, was humanely euthanized on June 24 with Laura, her rescuer and forever home, at her side. Willow’s severely damaged ankle could no longer support her, nor would it respond to pain management. Although Laura knew Willow’s life would be cut short because of what racing did to her, she had longed for more time with this sweet mare who had learned to trust, and been so easy to love.

Laura’s goodbye: “It was the hardest, yet at the same time the kindest, thing I had to do for Willow. She went to sleep peacefully. Duke and Bart [Willow’s herd mates] came to say goodbye to her, so they knew what happened to their beloved Willow.”

Willow was eight years old; her “forever” with Laura was 230 days.

Time for Parading – “Willow” – found injured and starving nine months after her last race:

Willow shortly after arrival at Laura’s November 7:

Willow enjoying her limited time with one of her mates, Duke. Although Laura was able to bring the starved mare back to a healthy weight, her damaged ankle continued to deteriorate:

Promising Willow she will always be loved:

Willow, a casualty that this vile industry will neither acknowledge nor record. But we will here. Goodbye gentle soul…


    • This is so sad, I am hurting in my heart for Laura and those who took care of sweet Willow. She deserved more but at least knew love for the last part of her life. RIP Sweet Willow ❤️

      • Thank you Laura for your kindness and the love you give to your animals god bless you Willow.now we have to go shut down these race tracks where beautiful animals like willow die every day because some idiot wants to make some money.please show me how we can go about shutting down all these race tracks in America.!!!!

      • Im with you, Hector. The tracks need to be shut down. The factory farms where the horses are bred need to be shut down. And the money hungry dickwads that participate in this need a good kick in the pants.

  1. Rest in Peace, Beautiful ‘WILLOW’. Yes, she knew love and compassion with Laura, her mates, Duke and Bart. My condolences for your loss..

  2. What a profoundly sad story. Thank you, Laura, for your compassion and for giving Willow love and care to end her life with.

  3. Thank you for your kind giving and love to Willow and the others. There is a special place in heaven for animals and people like you. Willow is no longer in pain and is running with the ones that went before her.

  4. What you need to do is name Willow’s former owner/ ” caretaker” of the poor horse so others will know what great caretakers they were

    • Katrina, Kenneth H. Hutchens was Willow’s breeder AND racing owner for all of her 35 races. I spoke with Hutchens on November 26 about Willow (her JC name, Time for Parading) – he could not have cared less. Not only did he lie, saying she was claimed away from him, he never sent one penny to help with all of the expenses the mare’s care upon her rescue demanded. They don’t care – racehorses are mere tools of the trade to them…if the horses cannot make money, they just want them gone.

  5. So sad. Used and thrown away. So glad the last 230 days of her life were with love and care. I loath the horse racing world. I hope they all rot in hell for the torment and pain they have forced on these majestic horses. Rest In Peace sweet Willow.

  6. Thanks for giving her peace for the remaining of her life. Hard decision to let her go. Peace be with you.

  7. So sorry for your loss. That is devastating. Thank you for all you did for her.

  8. When will the pursuit of money and competition stop. If you want to win money, win a race, do it to yourself, not innocent animals that you throw away if they can’t make you money, due to injuries you are guilty of causing. They are sweet, loving animals, and majestic; one of the great symbols of America, and you are treating them callously. I know they didn’t want to do this, they are forced. Then they are hurt doing what they are made to do, and you just kill them…….so much disdain for all of you how do this and and support it with going to races and/or betting on each of those poor animals lives each and every race.

  9. Thank you for loving Willow and showing her kindness and care– this world is too cruel to it’s precious creatures. <3

  10. This just breaks my heart :-(((((( THANK YOU Laura for doing everything you did for Willow!!!!

  11. God bless you for giving this sweet girl love. And thank you for being with her as she left this earthly world. People like you help to re-instill my faith in human beings. And, that’s unfortunately not easy to do. So, thank you, Laura, for what you gave to Willow.

  12. How could anyone starve, neglect and abuse such a beautiful creature……It’s totally incomprehensible to me.
    What a wonderful end to her life you gave her Laura; the care and love she so deservied.
    I’m really sorry you didn’t have more time to spend with her. Thinking of you.

  13. Thank you Laura for all that you did for Willow & all the other animals you help by giving them love & hope & so much more.

  14. How sad , after you got her back to a good weight again too & looking so well! Just tragic !

  15. My heart goes out to you in a huge way. For your immeasurable kindness, compassion, and selfless intentions, many thanks. You are an inspiration to us all. God Bless you.

  16. My eyes are filled with tears….as I say thank you for giving her at least a little bit of time to know love

  17. You couldn’t have done more for ‘Willow’ . . . . You did your best, your conscience will be clear . . . . tears in my eyes here .

  18. We need more people like Laura. Get rid of the evil humans who use animals for their own profit & don’t care what happens to them. R.I.P. Willow.

  19. I am heartbroken. I wondered what happened to Willow and hoped she would run free with her buddies for a very long time. A young, beautiful horse abused and dumped by excrements in this horrific industry,
    Laura, you are an angel! Thank you for all your love and compassion. Willow will always be with you. RIP sweet soul! We will not forget you 🐴🐴💕

  20. Thank you for loving her and bring her back to a healthy weight where she could enjoy her albeit short life and to feel loved.

  21. That ankle is so painful to look at. My heart breaks for this sweet mare and all the others like her. Crippled by racing and forgotten.

  22. god bless you laura. willow found love and peace for a short while. anyone who goes to a race needs to see this.bastards all of them

  23. The people responsible for the starving of this horse must be punished. They are heartless and should be made accountable for such abuse.

  24. How upsetting and disheartening. For humans to abuse animals and not give them proper care is beyond believable. KARMA is a powerful force and will come full circle. RIP sweet Willow, my heart breaks for you and others who suffer at the hands of inhumane humans.

  25. The horse race Industry is just that.
    Industry should have no place in the same sentence with horse. It must be ended, and until that day, closely regulated by independent monitors.

  26. What a beautiful life. People who cannot respect other lives should leave the society and die alone. The society does not need you.

  27. I have an unwanted racehorse, he is my 2nd. Cash lived for twenty seven years, over twenty with me he was a gentle giant. Finn is a majestic beauty, not making money, unsound, disguarded. He has years of love and riding to give, he just needed time and not to be forced to jump.
    I hate racing, it is a money makers game, if there was a retired racehorse tax on all the betting and profit, that had to reflect the true cost of a long happy life, they would not breed them in the first place.
    So sorry it must have been heartbreaking to make that awful decision, at least she was loved by you, and she would have loved you back way more than we ever know

  28. Thank God willow had some time being loved and well cared for. Our nations horses are most abused this needs to stop.

  29. God bless you, Laura, for doing everything that could be done to care for Willow in a proper and humane way. She is a beautiful horse that did not deserve to be used, abused or neglected. May Willow rest in peace now and feel no pain. Thank you for sharing her story. There are so many horses callously used and abused by racing. For every horse like Willow that we hear about, there are so many horses that we don’t hear about specifically and I cringe at the thought of what happens to them.

  30. The greediness of man for money will lead him to hell. Thank you Laura and all for giving Willow 230 days of love. May she rest in peace.

  31. Rest in peace Willow and my heart goes out to your forever owner. For those in the horse racing business I wish they would shut it down. I know there are some wonderful owners out there but there are some evil ones too.

  32. Rest well, sweetheart. I’m sorry for what was done to you, but thankful you were loved in your final days.

  33. To Willow & Laura:
    The Horses Prayer (Author Unknown)
    Edited by me.
    Feed me, water and care for me, and when the days work is done, provide me with shelter, a clean dry bed and a stall wide enough for me to lie down in comfort.
    Always be kind to me. Talk to me. Never whip me.
    Pet me sometimes, that I may serve you the more gladly and learn to love you.
    I cannot tell you when I am thirsty so give me clean, cool water often.
    I cannot tell you in words when I am sick, so watch me, that by signs you may know my condition.
    And finally when my useful strength is gone, do not turn me out to starve or freeze, or sell me to some cruel owner to be slowly tortured or starved to death; but take my life in the kindest way.

    Laura did everything that the vile people who bred and exploited Willow never did.
    I detest horse racing and the parasites in it.
    It’s stories like these, and I’ve seen too many of them, that give me the strength to keep fighting against this powerful business that will be shut down.

  34. I love animals and my heart is braking right now. I hope the people responsible will be punished and
    go to jail for a very long time. Laura , thank you for caring, God Bless You !
    RIP sweet Willow

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