I’ve mentioned a few details about Eve’s life over the past 4 years I’ve shown her on Instagram, but I never really went in depth about any of it. She’s a Thoroughbred. She’s an ex-racehorse. She’s a rescue. It seems like the story of every other Thoroughbred in the world.
Unfortunately, her story is kind of sad, kind of hopeful, kind of depressing, kind of happy.
It’s a lot to lay out since she is pushing 30, so I broke it down into a few blog posts I’ll post over the next few days.
I’ll start from the beginning April 25, 1991.
Chapter 1: The Racehorse that Wasn’t
Eve was born in Fairfield, Florida in spring 1991. Her parents are pretty unremarkable in the racing industry (earning a combined $100), but I guess their genes were good because she’s still kicking. She was sold to a guy in West Virginia to race in 1994. The first one was October 1994 where she finished middle of the pack. The second race was a week later in November, where she miraculously did even worse the second time finishing third to last.
That was her last race, so I guess it’s safe to say her owners/trainers figured out she wasn’t going to be a racehorse after her impressive 2-week racing career. She finished with a whopping earning of $0. Fun fact – she was the only one in her entire family (parents, siblings and half siblings) to make no money at all. She was born a winner.
In December 1994, she was auctioned off at Fasig-Tipton and sold for $1,500 to a breeder/hunter jumper barn in Virginia that still is in business to this day. She was bred to some hunky Canadian stallion in 1996 and had a filly which was sold for $1,000 in 1997.
Chapter 2: The Infamous Scar Leg
I’m not quite sure what happens to Eve after this. I assume this is the place she learned to jump because she knew it all when she got to the rescue.
There’s a 3-4 year gap where I have no idea what happens to her. What I do know is that she was definitely sold between 1997-1999 and left out in a field to rot, and in 2000 she ended up at a rescue.
When she arrived at the rescue she was pregnant, so her previous owner must have bred her and then left her out in a field to rot. The daddy is unknown. Her body condition score was 4.5 which is pretty not surprising seeing as how she got fat off air up until she hit year 23. She also came into the rescue with an unholy festering mess of a leg which is now her scar. People always ask me – how did she get that scar? Well, let me just transport myself back to the year 1999 when I was 5 years old living in another state and find this horse I wouldn’t have known and witness how she injured herself. How do any horses do the things that they do? We don’t know. It just happens, especially to this horse.
She gave birth to a colt at the rescue who was later adopted out. And the rescue really did a great job of rehabilitating her leg. She had a skin graft on it to help it heal and had hair transplants put into it. It did really well. It didn’t look pretty, but it was a functioning leg, better than the alternative of getting put down for sure.
The leg was mostly scar tissue and was totally compromised. The rescue at the time had pretty large herds and deep mud in the fields. Her leg got infected probably once or twice a year while she was there – which to be honest isn’t the worst track record for her. But still, this horse was a problem horse both behaviorally and physically (mostly physically). Which brings us to chapter 3….
Chapter 3: The Horse Literally Nobody Wanted
Eve was at this rescue for 8 years. She was adopted and returned 3 times over those 8 years. And every time the owners returned her, they gave a BS excuse. So when we go back to last year where I had a mental breakdown because Eve had problem after problem and people told me to calm down – you’ll know that at least 3 other people had to deal with her shit and opted to give her back because they couldn’t handle it. This horse is by no means an easy horse to take care of.
“But why?” You may ask. “She seems so lovely from your Instagram.” Well, kind stranger, I will tell you exactly why.
Exhibit A: Her sometimes horrible behavioral issues.
Eve is a complicated horse in that she can be an easy going, child friendly, bombproof, beginner horse one day where my 4 year old disabled brother could hand walk her….and the next day she could be a violent, dangerous, kicking, rearing firebomb that could kill you any second. She’s one of those horses that you need to ask her to do something, not tell her to do something. And you had to ask the right way because if you didn’t, she’d raise hell.
Exhibit B: She’s a magnet for serious life-threatening injuries.
Besides her scar leg which flares up constantly with infection that requires weeks of antibiotics, wrapping and stall rest, she is prone (as you’ve witnessed secondhand in my stories) to puncture wounds that always go deep and always get infected. This horse’s net worth in vet bills alone is over a million dollars. Not to mention all the other random ass injuries only she has ever incurred.
Besides all of her vices, at this point in her life, she’s very athletic, a gorgeous mover, a sweet disposition when she gets her way, and she’s young-ish. So the third time she was adopted, she was supposed to be their dressage horse. When she came back, she looked pretty bad. She was pretty skinny, no muscle, and she just looked sad.
Like here’s this horse who despite her vices, doesn’t want to be back at what is essentially a foster home for horses. She’s been moved from Florida to West Virginia to New York to Virginia to Maryland, and she didn’t really get a say in any of it. So when she’s adopted and returned for the third time, she had a look of defeat on her face. It was pretty heart-breaking. She had no spark in her eye, and just had that look like she didn’t care what happened next.
It was October/November 2007 when she was returned for the final time. My previous foster horse had passed away about a month prior to her arrival, and I hadn’t fostered anyone else. One of the barn staff told me that I should consider fostering Eve because she needed love since she was adopted/returned so many times. I agreed.
And that is where our story actually begins in chapter 4 to be continued.