Last October, I posted this story about 11-year-old Fighting City Hall and his 97 “career” races. Although he would go under the whip six more times – yes, that makes 103, dating all the way back to the Bush administration – I do have some good news to report. Thanks to the wonderful efforts of renowned equine advocate (and regular contributor to our “Shedrow Secrets”) Joy Aten, City (below) is finally free.
That story, in Joy’s words:
Fighting City Hall. Patrick’s post about him on October 1, 2014 brought his plight to my attention. Although no horse deserves the life they’re forced to endure in the racing industry and all are worthy to be rescued from it, there is something additionally disturbing about horses like “City.”
In my very first phone call back in October, placed in an effort to acquire City, I was told he was with “good people.” I thought, that’s nice, but I wasn’t betting on it. And as it turned out, they are the typical “good folks” of racing – when it comes right down to it, it’s all about the money (another story and another racehorse will explain that at a later time).
City’s last owner of record knows nothing about horses. How can an owner advocate for their racehorses’ welfare when they are clueless about them? I was informed that City was not eligible to run as a 12-year-old at Portland Meadows, but he did indeed run two more times in 2015. I was also told that if I couldn’t get City moved by the end of April from where his owner had put him, he would be taken to Emerald Downs to continue racing. But City was so lame (in both fronts) from abscesses shortly after coming off the track the vet wouldn’t even allow him to travel until just recently. He couldn’t be vanned due to his condition, and the owner knew that I was aware…makes it a little tough to run a lame horse and still look like a “good guy.”
Around the time of City’s 100th start there was a “nice” little article about City’s owner and the tough, nearly-black gelding in some insignificant racing rag. In it, the owner stated there were multiple offers to retire City and give him a home. Funny how the offers I presented him with were the only two he was fixated on when we communicated.
Fighting City Hall, a 2003 dark bay Smart Strike gelding, Multiple Stakes Placed and winner of nearly 270K from 103 starts. City last raced on January 27 at Portland Meadows in a 2K claiming race where he was “hustled away from the gate” then “gave way,” finishing 4th and making $360 for his people. After countless phone calls and seven long months, he is safe at last…he arrived at Old Friends in Georgetown, Kentucky just this morning.
Enjoy your life, dear City. It is finally your own.