Clean Hands? “Pony Horse” Who Died at Saratoga Had Been Raced 122 Times

When I reported the death of 29-year-old Trucking Baron from “chronic laminitis” at Saratoga June 29, I was immediately upbraided by the apologists out there. Unfair, they cried, to include an old “pony horse” as an industry casualty. (I wasn’t the only one: The Gaming Commission initially reported TB on its database, indeed it’s where I got the info, but removed him a few days later – probably owing to industry pushback.) So, I’ll let you decide whether it was fair or not.

TB was made by Farnsworth Farms on February 6, 1992. He was first put to the whip – at a track that no longer exists, Calder – in the first Clinton Administration, on July 4, 1994. Another race that year followed. From then on, he was raced continuously (for, of course, multiple owners and trainers), the numbers simply staggering:

15 races in 1995
6 races in 1996
23 races in 1997
16 races in 1998
13 races in 1999
13 races in 2000
16 races in 2001
12 races in 2002
6 races in 2003

Allow me to do the math: That’s over nine years of incessant pounding – an ungodly 122 races in all (not to mention the hundreds of training sessions). While I can’t say for sure when his second industry “career” began, it’s probable he went immediately from racing to pony. Which would mean this poor animal was in a state of constant servitude to horseracing for 29 years. So I ask, is it even a question whether he was a casualty, a victim of this loathsome business? Please.

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  2. 29 years old??? We have a 25 year old mare of Seattle Slew pedigree. She has been retired for many years! She just`s eats & rolls in the dirt & lives like a horse. Not having to work doing anything. At 29 years old Trucking Baron would have been the = of a 100 year old person still working at hard labor! This is so WRONG.

  3. These people have no shame. Their entire industry revolves around taking everything they can from a horse – and some horses are unlucky enough to survive the constant abuse of racing and be forced into additional slavery for years past their prime. Horse racing is simply a cesspool of misery and exploitation.

  4. Unquestionably, Patrick.
    These people are clutching at straws that don’t even exist.
    Trucking Baron was a abused by this industry from Florida to New York .
    And he died at 29 yrs old never having known what a pasture looked like let alone ever experiencing an hour of grazing. And god knows how long he suffered from the constant pain of laminitis before he died.
    He made it through some of the worst this business has to offer, the abominable claiming game, 122 starts with no less than 23 in one year !!
    He was a “casualty” of racing defined as:
    “A person or thing BADLY AFFECTED by an event or SITUATION”

  5. Come on- the horse died 18 years after his last race! Don’t tell me the “incessant pounding” – on a cushioned track – did this horse in. And the ponies love jogging around in the morning, it is a wonderful time of day. I hope you can see the care that the horses receive- whether they are a pony or active athlete. Let’s get you in touch with a trainer and take you for a morning tour.

    • Francis G., Let’s get you in touch with a cellblock where you are not free to come and go as you please and you have a keeper/trainer that keeps you in touch with the WHIP to “light you up” and after your ass is covered in welts that hurt like hell, you will be walked around in a circle until you get your breath back and you’re not sweating anymore, then back to your 160 square foot cell.

    • LOL, are you Francis the Great from Twitter?
      I’ve always known you and your type (horse-killing apologists) frequent this site more often than we HW supporters do. But it’s weird that you chose this story to jump in feet first and leave an (anonymous) comment. Must have been soooooo hard for you to stay silent all these years;)

      • What Francis G. “said” wasn’t really much, showed no real perceptive intuition, and therefore was almost the equivalent to staying silent. It was silence as far as showing any brilliance of any kind.

    • Lol, don’t need a tour. I’ll take you on a tour of the auction kill pens if you like.

      • We could take you on a tour of our 1/2 mile bull rings that have inadequate shade or shelter from heat or winds where horses are bedded in shavings & if were lucky we will see the trainer who we have galloped for administering SWT to a horse in his stable just before they race in the PM !

    • You apologist must think that everyone who frequents this site is as morally bankrupt and ignorant as you are. The majority of us are all too familiar with the reality of the track and own and care for horses ourselves. And since you brought up the “cushioned track”, how is it so many horses snap their legs off on it? You think any horse deserves an additional 18 years of servitude after the constant confinement, stud chains, whips, and other forms of “love” race horses endure? Maybe we should thank the owners of this poor horse for not simply dumping him in a kill pen after his racing days were over. Nobody here is interested in a tour of these cesspools of equine misery that you and the other apologists are so proud of.

  6. “Made” by Farnsworth Farms: Exactly. These animals aren’t born and bred, raced and retired. They’re MANUFACTURED to live out less than a fourth of their natural(?) lives, then destroyed like broken machinery when they can’t even make it that long.
    Of course, every now and then, ONE of them is actually spared an early death. Then it’s time to cue the ever-accurate, ever-responsible racing press to fall all over themselves and pretend this type of retirement result is typical for their whole sickening industry:
    “Look, everyone! We saved one! Sure, he’s infirm and cranky and costly. But WE DID RIGHT BY THIS HORSE in the hopes the animal-loving public won’t notice how horrifically we continue to WRONG 99-plus percent of his brethren. Aren’t we great?!”

  7. A TOUR? – Saratoga’s backside? CANTER founder and Saving Baby author Jo Anne Normile and I spent an entire morning there, given a “personal tour” by a jockey agent – do you know what we saw? – the SAME thing we saw at GLD, Arlington, Hawthorne, Churchill, Keeneland…horses standing confined and isolated from other horses…hay bags at the level of their eyes…many tied, as well, their front legs in ice boots or in buckets of ice. We saw the same exploitation at Saratoga as we did at the “cheap tracks” – horses merely existing, their lives void of everything that enriches an equine’s life.

    Trucking Baron absolutely endured the “concussion”, the “pounding” and the “physically hard experience” that racing does and is (Barry Irwin’s words he used to describe the “tough” life of a racehorse).

    Trucking Baron was “lucky” to have lived to 29 – how terribly sad he couldn’t have lived all those years NOT being a slave to a “job” he didn’t choose but instead, as a member of a herd – something all equines crave for safety and security.

    • Again, the hilarious “Tour” offer. They all try it at one time or another, don’t they? If anyone still takes ’em up on it, it’s much easier for the abusers to control the message. Just don’t let ’em look behind the curtain, racing creeps!

      • Yea, we get that a lot, don’t we Kelly! Those TOURS will only work on the ignorant, those who know nothing about horses. The “tour guide” will point out a clean stall (a heads-up makes certain the urine-soaked straw has been replaced), a hay bag (look how well they’re fed, they’ll exclaim! – but don’t mention how detrimental it is for a horse to eat with their head up), and the occasional Jolly Ball. These “pampered” horses. Baths. Stalls. Ice boots. Poultice. Jolly Balls. And peppermints from the visitors who leave thinking these racehorses are just as lucky as the orcas in SeaWorld’s swimming pools.

        Not anymore. 😏

    • From what we have seen of Saratoga their barns look to be in disrepair & not as well maintained as our own barn that is 20+ years old made of materials recycled of 50+ years of age.

  8. Thanks but no thanks! Have been around enough trainers, Francis G.
    And I can only imagine how much Trucking Baron enjoyed jogging in the mornings with his chronic laminitis!

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