When I lived in Cleveland, I used a (well known) vet with a lot of race horse experience for PPEs. I watched while he vetted a horse that ran until he was 10 and had absolutely clean legs. He was clean as a whistle. This vet commented that horses that can stay that sound on the track over that many starts (this horse had 70-plus), they were tough as nails and would likely stay sound for their next career, too.
There’s a horse like this for sale by a trainer on the CANTER New England site. Silver Scamp, age 10, is retiring sound after 139 starts. Someone really needs to buy this boy and give him a new job.
Here’s his description from the Trainer listings page: “Silver Scamp” is a horse that makes you stop in your tracks and take a good, long look: he is very attractive, and has loads of presence! Don’t let his age deter you – horses running at 10 tend to be fundamentally sound and proven athletes, and have a “been there, done that” attitude that makes adjusting to farm life a breeze. This boy has a heartwarming story: he was an orphaned foal, and as a result, is especially bonded to humans (he seems to think he IS one). Does have lots of energy – trainer says “he’ll go all day” – so best matched with an experienced rider. He’s been turned out on the farm and gets along great with everyone he meets. He’s showing signs that he’d much prefer a career change…come snap this looker up!
The “inside story” on this guy from a CANTER volunteer just makes hims sound better and better. “PLEASE, someone buy this boy! He is just THE coolest horse. He is spunky, full of personality…he’s a total ham, loves to play games, very smart and 10x more handsome than the picture shows. I must say, his legs also look great; his trainer, with great love but also great frustration, keeps reminding me that “that’s because HE NEVER RUNS FAST ENOUGH TO DO ANYTHING!”
“I have spent hours outside this horse’s stall yanking on his tongue (which he loves) and allowing him to examine all of my personal possessions (not that I had much of a choice; while I had my back to his stall, he was very busy removing items from my purse one by one to inspect them). He is going to be lots and lots of fun for someone, and with his brain, he’s going to really enjoy having an interesting job like eventing. Call and go see him…I promise…you’ll love him!”
That’s an endorsement that makes him well worth going to see. I know the folks at CANTER New England, and they are very good at evaluating retiring racehorses. In fact, I adopted a horse from them two and a half years ago!
Please keep in mind that CANTER makes no money from the sale of trainer-owned horses like Silver Scamp. It is a completely volunteer-run organization that helps trainers and owners find new homes and careers for retiring race horses. There are also no adoption contracts for trainer owned horses; CANTER simply helps connect sellers and buyers.
There are horses for adoption at CANTER New England: some trainers and owners donate their horses to CANTER to make sure they find a good home, and CANTER does buy horses that they believe to be at risk. These horses are generally fostered until they can be adopted. Check out their Adoption page for more information.
Even if you don’t have room in your barn for a Silver Scamp, consider making a donation to CANTER so that they can continue to offer this valuable service to the racing community. There are CANTER affiliates now in California, Michigan, Ohio, N. Illinois, Mid-Atlantic and New England. This is an organization well worth supporting.