Ex-Racehorse’s Artwork Raises Funds to Save Lives—
Including His Own
by Crystal Piaskowski - November 2015
He’s tall, dark, and handsome…and his paintings have been the best-selling artwork in Gettysburg, PA’s Gallery 30 since he started to showcase his talent. His name is Metro Meteor, and he’s an off-the-track Thoroughbred.
When Ron Krajewski adopted then six-year-old “Metro” from Penn National Race Course in 2009, Krajewski had no idea what he was getting into. “I was in a racing partnership where you could own three percent of four or five racehorses, and one of those horses was Metro. My wife Wendy and I were actually looking into adopting a different horse, but we were kind of talked into giving Metro a home,” said Krajewski. “He probably wasn’t the best horse for us at the time, but now we consider him a blessing.”
Bone Chips & Navicular
A talented sprinter with a big attitude, Metro had enjoyed the limelight of the tracks at Saratoga and Belmont, earning just shy of $300,000 during his career. Born with problematic knees, Metro endured two surgeries to remove bone chips and each time returned to the track to race again in triumph. However, Metro’s quickness began to falter when signs of bone growth appeared in his knees in 2009. He was finished as a racehorse.
Hollywood Comes to New Holland
by Suzanne Bush - November 2015
A star is born into a prominent, incredibly wealthy family. Through a murky series of tragic events, the star—now a mere shadow of his former self—winds up sick, friendless and facing certain death. And then, fate intervenes, literally in the nick of time. A heroine steps in to save the day. It is the kind of riches to rags to redemption story that Hollywood screenwriters practically turn out in their sleep. Except this story is true.
The star is a horse named Duke, with a distinctive blaze pattern that makes his story even more incredible. Duke had lived a privileged life, born into the famous Budweiser Clydesdale stable. Life was good. He was part of the team of Clydesdales working at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, VA. And then, global forces turned his world upside down.
“We were contacted on a Monday morning that a Clydesdale had been dropped off at the New Holland Auction,” Dr. Stacey Golub explains. Golub, a Cornell graduate with a soft spot in her heart for draft horses, is the founder and President of Connecticut Draft Horse Rescue (CDHR). A woman from Charming Acres Rescue in Gap, PA had called Golub’s organization. “She called me to see if we were able to take him,” Golub says. “We try not to bid against private buyers,” she explains, but in this case the other bidder was planning to take the horse to slaughter.
Equine Herpes Virus Strikes a Three-Year-Old at Parx
by Suzanne Bush - November 2015
In early October a three-year-old filly named Top of the Stretch was shipped from Presque Isle to Parx. Her trainer, Blane Servis, said that she ran in an allowance race and didn’t perform as expected. “She got tired and stuff and didn’t run her race. She came out of the race fine,” he explained. But then there were alarming developments. “The next morning we were going to have the vet come and look at her. The groom said she was peeing all over. She was kind of hunched up behind and couldn’t control herself.”
Servis said he thought it was EPM, also known as possum fever, which is caused by a protozoa found in areas where horses and opossums share streams, ponds and fields. Horses can contract EPM by eating hay contaminated with opossum feces. EPM is a debilitating neurological disease, and outcomes are not always positive. He said the veterinarian “didn’t like the fact that she was urinating on herself. That made him think it could possibly be herpes.” Because of the speed of the progression of symptoms, the veterinarian recommended taking the horse to Mid-Atlantic Equine Medical Center for the safety of Top of the Stretch and other horses at the racetrack.
Former Train Wreck Southwind Frank
Now Is Winning Them All
by Kimberly French - November 2015
Talk about getting off on the wrong hoof. It is absolutely mind blowing Ron Burke felt Southwind Frank, his latest world champion and a $100,000 yearling purchase, was never going to make a quality racehorse.
“Until he got down to 2:30 in his training we thought he was a total throw out,” said North America’s leading conditioner of harness horses. “We thought we had no choice but to sell him and to get rid of him right away. He was just a disaster. But when he hit that time it was like something changed. He just continued to get better and better.”
Purchased by Burke, Weaver Bruscemi, Our Horse Cents Stables and J&T Silva Stables at the 2014 Lexington Select Sale, Southwind Frank is a son of Muscle Hill and the Cantab Hall mare Flawless Lindy, a half-sister to Classical Annie (Andover Hall) who just captured the Old Oaken Buckette at the Delaware County Fairgrounds on September 23, and earned just under $100,000 during her career. He is her first foal.
Leslie Howard Wins Her First Grand Prix de Penn National
Riding Gentille Van Spieveld, Olympic veteran and World Cup winner Leslie Howard won her first $85,000 Grand Prix De Penn National to close the 70th Pennsylvania National Horse Show, held October 8-17 at the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, PA.
Only four riders managed to get around Designer Michel Vaillancourt's 1.60 meter course. Going seventh, Peter Lutz, Goldens Bridge, NY, and Robin Du Ponthual, owned by Katherine Gallagher and Michael Meller was the first clear round, followed by the next in the order, Laura Chapot, Neshanic Station, NJ, with Quointreau Un Prince, jointly owned by the rider and McLain Ward. It took five more rides before Canadian rider Jordan MacPherson with Aldine, owned by SVED Stables, posted another fault free round. Howard, the 14th rider on course, guided the nine year old bay gelding, owned by GJ Stable, to a faultless performance, making four to return to jump off against the clock.
Lutz, riding first in the second round, had two rails down for eight faults in a time of 43.92. Chapot, always a speed threat, was next, but her time of 40.79 came with four faults. MacPherson turned in a clear round in a time of 44.31. This left the door open for Howard, who broke the timers in 43.71 seconds to win the class.