We have lost the big million dollar races at Warwick Farm this afternoon, but we have NOT lost high stakes horse racing, drama, action and suspense.
As you wake this morning, news is spreading across the globe of a handsome, brave racehorse being scratched from a low key race at Naas in Ireland.
The reason: because the owner thought he was dead.
And all this story is going to do is get PETA and any other bloody tree-hugging, animal rights zealot, all fired up calling for racing to be banned.
The story is simply this.
The race horse, named THE TARTAN SPARTAN (The Carbon Unit-The Real Thing), a stakes winner during his 18 start career, broke down one day at the end of a torrid run about a year back. The 8YO was vetted and it was deemed, sadly, that his racing career was over.
So Thistle Bloodstock, the owner and trainer of the horse decided it was in the horse’s best interest to put him down.
An arrangement was made and off he was transported to be euthanised. Only Jim Derwin, the man who was given the job of ending his life, looked him over at length and thought that he should live.
Months of rehab took place and after a while, a la Seabiscuit in his day, love and affection and time seemed to heal all wounds.
The Tartan Spartan recovered and was put back into work 9 weeks ago. And he stood up to the grind.
He thrived so much so that he was ready to race today at Naas with Phillip Fenton his new trainer.
Only problem was, Thistle Bloodstock had not signed the ownership papers over to Derwin. They assumed until they saw his name in the field at Naas, that he was long retired to horse heaven.
Andrew Hughes, his old trainer and partner in Thistle Bloodstock, immediately asked the Irish Horse Racing Board to stop the horse from racing. They could not do that without an actual court order, which Hughes obtained just hours before today’s race.
The ‘deceased’ horse was scratched. And further court action about who should own the horse now, is pending.
This case of course opens Pandora’s Box.
Wastage is a massive issue within the horse racing world and PETA has been on to that bandwagon for some time now. Owners not wanting to pay any more bills for retired or broken down horses occasionally do sell them off to the doggers or abattoirs are worse.
The trusty stead, and in this case a stakes winner no less, is nearly always put down when targeted like that.
This horse, the appropriately named, The Tartan Spartan, has come back to haunt the global racing game in a big, big way.