The Abuse of Fox Rox to Continue

As most of you know, I have been keeping tabs on the now-11-year-old Fox Rox (below), as his abusive “connections” – Mark Hoffman and Dennis Ward – remain hellbent on squeezing every last dime out of his poor body. Last month, Fox was scratched by the vet prior to what would have been his 117th race. Undaunted, Hoffman and Ward had Fox slated at Belterra yesterday, but once again he was scratched – this time for the race being moved off turf. As I’m sure they will not stop, I will apprise of his next entry ahead of time so that pressure can be exerted.

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  1. 11 years of this. Can someone who knows more about horse psychology tell me if he is irreparably damaged or are horses in general more psychologically resilient.
    What can I do to help this horse?

    • FOX ROX needs a place to go and people that have the money to pay for the various things that horses need. He would need to be examined by a Veterinarian that does not profit from the abusive exploitation of horses for racing. He most likely has physical issues that require painkilling medications. He most likely has ulcers. If his physical issues could be identified and treated, that would be something! Of course, any horse needs a suitable place to go. The expenses all add up fast.

    • Great question, Lisa. In my opinion, it depends on the horse – like humans in this way (their psychological resilience), particular horses may take things in stride and move forward in a positive, healthy manner while others may not.

      Over the years of sharing life with discarded TB racehorses, I’ve had at least two who struggled significantly with the psychological baggage of the cruel racetrack existence. Of course, everything about how racehorses are made to live is the near exact opposite of an enriched equine life (I always think of how undomesticated horses live and try to mimic that as best I can for my horses).

      Greenwish was raced 85 times to the age of 10. Hog Heaven was raced to 12 years old, 102 starts. Neither fully recovered from the psychological damage they endured.

      • Sad to hear but good to know someone made their lives better. I envy you being in a position to actually help these poor creatures in a “hands on”, tangible way. What if Fox Rox was the horse of the week for a letter writing campaign? If there is a horse like Fox Rox near St Louis, like Fairmount Park in Illinois, that I could personally help in any way, I’d be a willing volunteer.

        • Lisa, it is truly a blessing and an honor to have the means to take these discarded racehorses in and share their lives…even if only for a brief time in a foster situation until they go to their forever homes. “To whom much is given, much is expected”. Those of us who do have farms to help are not anything special – if we have the means, then in my opinion, we should help. There’s nothing heroic about it although sometimes we hear that.

          The folks I really admire and praise are those who struggle financially every single day YET they send money to help the multi-billion dollar racing industry’s crippled and unwanted horses – their $10 or $20 is a great sacrifice for them especially in comparison to those who are wealthy in land & bank accounts.

          Thank you so much for your offer to help however you can…here’s hoping that opportunity will come for Fox Rox in time.

  2. FOX ROX has earned $561,343 in 116 races so far. He has definitely more than earned a decent retirement!!!!!

  3. This is sickening. Why are we letting these people abuse this poor animal to death? If he was out starving in a pasture, people would report it and the authorities would step in. If someone was killing a dog or cat through abuse, hopefully someone would report it. Not only that but his abusers are PROUD of his abuse!
    Still winning races at age 10: 4 wins in 2021!
    Like winning is all that matters. He’s running in claimers – if I had $10k I’d arrange to claim him. Hopefully someone will step in and save him before it’s too late – if it isn’t already too late, Where are Dennis Petrisak & Deborah Petrisak – they bred him, they should do something! Shame on them and everyone connected with this poor horse.

    • Jeanette, thank you for your candor !!! I have looooooong championed the poor lovable claimers. They don’t need anymore HELL in their lives.

    • The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority refers to horses as “inventory” and any changes in the toe caulks or heel caulks on horseshoes is to reduce the rate of and the degree of INJURIES caused by the toe caulks and the heel caulks. It is less about protecting the horses and more about protecting their “inventory” of gambling chips/ tools. It is very sickening that it’s all about protecting the sadistic use of horses for wagering revenue and government subsidies and government-directed benefits to the so-called horsemen. The horses will continue to be abused because it is not possible to have horse racing without abusing the horses. Horseracing is definitely a morally depraved gambling racket that literally kills horses.
      On “Undercover Boss” the COO of Churchill Downs goes undercover at his own racetracks where he must face his fear of horses…

      • I should have said toe grabs and heel caulks. The horses exploited for racing and wagering revenue and government subsidies and government-directed benefits will still be sent out to die, some sooner, some later. This is horseracing.

    • Sickening, isn’t it Jeanette? A while back when I was still on FB, I saw a post by a racing individual asking for “cheap horses to race” for his “clients”. Wanna bet those clients who are wanting cheap horses are NOT going to provide them with their forever homes (and the probable surgery/procedures needed to address their bowed tendons, chip fractures, etc) when they’re done using them?

      • Joy, anyone who is looking for “cheap” horses to race and willing to pay a third-party individual or agent/agency to do the “work” of finding said cheap horses, it’s a no-brainer, in my opinion, that they are planning to kill them by racing them to their fatal INJURIES requiring euthanasia or just let them be found dead in their stalls. Anyone who is okay with locking horses up in stalls for 23 hours a day should be put in a prison cell for 23 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year for the rest of their lives. That’s only part of it. Everything about racing is deliberate ANIMAL CRUELTY.

  4. In terms of chronological age Fox Rox is in his prime; his biological age is most likely very old because of wear and tear and untreated chronic issues; his sociological/ psychological age is like that of a foal because he has spent his life in solitude, never as a herd member with a place in the hierarchy and relating to his kind…
    He desperately needs to be away from these people. Nobody in the business will step up for him. His breeders and those who pocketed his earnings have turned their backs on him because that is what they do. And this is what that group, We Support Racing, lends their obnoxious support to. They certainly don’t support the horses by any stretch.
    I would be willing to step up for him in terms of claiming or purchase. I can’t provide a home at this time. He needs a place to finally belong for the first time in his life.

    • Thank you, Rose, for your excellent explanation of the different “ages” – perfectly said and I agree 1000%.

      Most racing owners know nothing about equines and what enriches their lives. Most racing trainers are only about getting the horses to make money – if they do know horses, then they’re even more evil than those who don’t because they are aware of the distress they are causing their racing slaves.

      I saw a recent photo of Rich Strike on Twitter and it would’ve been laughable if not truly sad. He was stalled (of course), eating from the hay bag hung at the level of his eyes, and the excited tweet was something about his new stall guard. Enough said, I would bet.

    • Bless you, Rose Smith! I have a barn, 20 fenced acres and lots of love to give. I just don’t have $10,000. I hate to say this but perhaps they’ll drop him in next time for less? (God how I hate to say that.)

      • Bless you all for having the willingness and the capability to take action to rescue this horse from his servitude. 🦋👍

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