As most of you know, my friend Jess and I have been on almost a month-long mission to find her an OTTB. We have made the trek to Suffolk Downs three times. She fell in love with one sweet mare and arranged a vet check for her, only to be told the day before the vet was scheduled to go out that the owner didn't want to sell the mare anymore because she had been training really well.
Last weekend when we returned to the track to try for round two of shopping, we met a very sweet gelding called Montana Country. He has *the* classic thoroughbred look. He is incredibly intelligent, has a great build, but most of all he exudes kindness and has a distinct feeling of calmness about him. He is very gentle and polite, which was important to Jess because she has a 5yo son at home, and she'd like for her son and the horse to be able to interact without her having to worry.
Montana Country fit the bill perfectly, so once again she arranged a vet check. The vet came out yesterday and we were there to watch how the exam went. I am always happy to take a vacation day from work to do horsey things! Montana Country was a perfect gentleman for the vet and he stood stock still while they took x-rays of his knees. He trotted up and down the shedrow as pigeons exploded out of the rafters overhead and the other horses went ballistic in their stalls, rearing and spinning around. He didn't put a hoof out of place. What a nice, nice horse.
He had chipped both knees as a 2yo in training so we were mainly concerned about any damage from those chips. Luckily the owner and trainer were good enough horsemen to allow the horse to rest for his entire 2yo year before returning him to training. He came back completely sound and raced his 3yo, 4yo, and 5yo year without any soundness issues or soreness. He was being retired now to prevent any injuries to him since he is 5 now, and not all that competitive against his peers anymore. His knees looked and felt great, and he flexed sound on all four legs. Even the x-rays didn't look too bad at all. He will be perfectly capable to do what Jess wants with him, which is mostly pleasure riding, a few hunter paces here and there, and some very low-level jumping. His only issue was that he was a little bit foot sore, but he had just been shod a few days beforehand and Suffolk Downs is not known as a track that is kind to horses' legs, so that issue will be resolved easily once he is no longer training and racing on a hard track.
|Montana Country being flexed by a vet from South Shore Equine to test his|
|Montana Country was then trotted up and down the shedrow. If he had any|
joint soreness or unsoundness, it would have been immediately apparent after
flexing (i.e. putting a lot of stress) on the joint. He passed with flying colours!
|Montana Country inspects the x-rays on the computer monitor alongside|
the vet. How cute!!
We have a few people to thank for making this story a success: Jessica Paquette at Suffolk Downs, who clued me in that Montana Country was looking for home and that he was super fancy and super sweet; South Shore Equine for coming out and doing a pretty fantastic vet check on short notice (seriously, they are awesome); and Montana Country's trainer and owner for holding him for Jess, because they had THREE people show up with trailers this week wanting to take him home right then and there, and they apologized and said they had a vet check scheduled with a potential buyer already. That was really, really decent of them!
Three cheers to Jess and Montana Country! I am so glad they found each other.
|After the vet was finished, we spent some time snuggling with Jess's new horse.|
Jess was saying "You're my pony!" as I was taking this photo. Awww :)