Friday News & Notes from SmartPak

Thoroughbreds running loose at Saint Luis Rey Downs. Photo courtesy of Ashlie Campbell.

I’ve included a video below that I just watched, and it’s shaken me to the core. It is of Saint Luis Rey Training Center, and the grooms trying desperately to get the horses out of the burning barns. The fires in California reached the training center yesterday, however horse trailers were not allowed to travel there until it was basically too late. The grooms were turning all the horses loose in order for them to have a better chance of survival outside of the burning barns. I can’t even imagine what that must be like, and I just don’t have words. I’m not a “thoughts and prayers” type of person because I believe action speaks louder than a Facebook comment, so I’ll be spending my time searching for ways to give to relief funds related to this natural disaster.

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News From Around the Globe:

Seventy-five percent of Saint Luis Rey Training Center burned down yesterday, with the majority of the horses set loose on the property to escape the burning barns and palm trees surrounding the buildings. It is unclear at this time how many equine and human casualties. Some trainers had vans ready for horses to evacuate, but were halted by sherifs due to fires on the roads. [Saint Luis Rey Training Center Burns Down]

For some good news regarding Thoroughbreds, we go to COTH blogger Chanda Boyle, who recently rediscovered why Thoroughbreds are so amazing and wonderful. Historically a show hunter rider, Chanda has spent the past two decades working with warmbloods and warmblood crosses, but recently switched back to the breed she dreamed of when she was a child: the Thoroughbred. [I Had Forgotten About The Thoroughbred]

Scumbag of the week goes to Penn National trainer Mario Rafael Rodriguez, who just received a measly $500 fine and a 45-day suspension for failing to treat one of his horses for a shattered sesamoid. Silent Ruler was listed on CANTER after being “injured” in a race on August 26th, but with no diagnostic details. When an interested horse person went to look at him, she found him clearly in distress and non weight bearing on a right front ankle, and immediately reported it to the track vet. [Penn National Trainer Gets Measly Suspension For Animal Cruelty]

Courtney Cooper is hosting her second annual holiday auction online, and you can find some pretty neat stuff. She’s got tack from Success Equestrian, Voltaire, Dy’on and VTO Saddlery, entries and cross country waivers for multiple competition venues, lessons with a variety of top trainers around the country, and even $500 worth of vet services from the famous Kevin Keene! [C Square Farm Fundraiser Auction]

Posted by Leo Tapia on Thursday, December 7, 2017