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  • Writer's pictureChristie O'Brien

The Flame That Warms Our Hearts

Haco (name is of Celtic origin meaning “flame, fire.”) was sold for $23,000 in the 2014 Midlantic Fall Yearlings Sale; he was trained by eminent trainers and ridden by notable jockeys. His first professional race was in 2015. He ran on many tracks, including the ones where legends are made – Saratoga, Aqueduct, and Belmont Park. He was put in the Ocala Breeders Sale with a $60k reserve and earned every penny of that during his racing career.

Haco’s last race was in October 2019. He won by five lengths on a sloppy track and took home $4,000 as the 1st place winner. Just nine days later, Haco was put up for sale. He was privately sold and disappeared from the professional racetrack.

Less than a year later, in July 2020, Haco appeared at auction. This time, he was only recognizable by his thoroughbred lip tattoo. If only his wounds and scars could tell us what happened to him. His beautiful long legs were oozing blood and infection. Someone had tried to hide his injuries by wrapping his legs in green ace bandages. Haco ended up in the horse slaughter pipeline. A concerned rescuer immediately called Risen from the Ashes Horse Rescue and explained Haco’s life threatening situation. Without hesitation, the Rescue arrived and rushed the beaten, critically injured Haco to their veterinary team.

The experienced veterinary team had never before seen anything like these raw injuries. Haco stood silently in extreme pain as they worked on him, cleaning his wounds, taking x-rays, and wrapping his legs with the proper medical wraps. His face and body had scars that had not been there the previous year. Physically he was acutely wounded, yet the flame within him burned with the desire to live. His quest for life warmed our hearts. For months, the Rescue carefully cleaned his legs in a cold rinse for 30 minutes 2-3 times daily with a saline spray, nonstick dressing, and donated standing wraps. The loving care worked. Slowly, this once noble racehorse regained his health.

There is now a $60,000 seven year old retired thoroughbred in our Rescue’s pasture. Haco’s scars will last forever but he is sound of body and mind. Haco has a kind nature and is gentle with children. He has made friends with the Amish drafts and Standardbreds who were worked to near-death, the senior broodmares who could no longer produce foals for their owners, and the other rescues who were abused or neglected and dumped into the slaughter pipeline.

Haco can still be ridden, but due to his past leg injuries, weight needs to be restricted to 100 pounds or less. He enjoys teaching families about the kind nature of horses as his handlers tell the story of his glorious past and his indomitable spirit to overcome his gruesome injuries. Please open your kind hearts and give this incredible Thoroughbred a chance for a forever home. We thank you for your kindness and gracious consideration.

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