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Horses of Unbridled: Saving Love


By Susan Kayne

For Capital Region Independent Media

Love struggled to survive despite being literally marked for death, and was able to be rescued by Unbridled Thoroughbred Foundation. Contributed photo

Exhausted from the struggle of trying to survive, Love faced a losing battle. Too weak to fight for food, she stood alone on a feedlot amid a sea of strange horses. Far from the dull sunburnt coat draped over her protruding skeleton and overgrown hooves, remnants of better days replayed in her mind. Where else could she go?

The bright green tag glued to the top of her tail had marked her for death. Tagged and sorted for slaughter, she was in a dire state. Pregnant, severely malnourished, and desperately trying to keep her unborn foal alive, indifference had trapped Love in the horse breeding industry’s underbelly.

Love is a registered Thoroughbred, her official name is Generation Of Love. She was born on a bed of golden straw on March 31, 2008. At the time of her birth, Love was owned by John and Betty Mabee. In her youth, she frolicked beside her mother on the rolling hills in the bluegrass of Kentucky. When it came time to race, the Mabees’ shipped Love to their home base on the west coast. She raced in the couple’s iconic Golden Eagle Farm silks at Santa Anita in California. In just two starts, one at age three, and the other at age four, she won and placed, and earned $40,320.

At age five, the Mabees’ sent Love back to Kentucky to be mated with Hard Spun, a 2nd place finisher in the Kentucky Derby, and winner of over $2,600,000. Seven months into her first pregnancy, she sold in the November Breeding Stock Sale at Keeneland for $50,000.

Love’s new owner, Shortleaf Stable, moved her to Arkansas. Shortleaf is the Thoroughbred operation of John Ed Anthony, the Chairman of Anthony Timberlands and the famed Loblolly Stable.

Year after year, Love produced foals for Shortleaf. In 2019, she sold to Freddy & Linda Anderson. In 2020 and 2021, she gave birth to a healthy filly each year for her new owners. The Jockey Club, the North American Registrar for all Thoroughbreds, verified that the Andersons’ had bred Love back to their stallion Mo For The Money in May. This meant she would give birth in April 2022.

After Love had done all that had been asked of her, Anderson Farms culled her, and somehow she ended up trapped in the slaughter pipeline in Bastrop, Louisiana. 

On December 7, 2021, Unbridled purchased Love. Battered, bruised and pregnant for the ninth time, exhaustion plagued Love. Weary legged and staggeringly sick, the suffering Love endured left her defeated and dispirited. She was in such terrible condition that Unbridled shipped her straight to a veterinary clinic to stabilize her health, but it was too late to save her unborn foal.

When Love arrived at Unbridled on December 31, 2021, she needed to gain about 300-lbs. Despite the pain and difficulty of losing her foal, abuse, neglect, and hunger, she expressed curiosity and kindness. With the nodding of her head, and a gentle pawing of her front hoof, she beckoned visitors to her stall front and invited their attention and grooming.

Love enjoys time outdoors. Contributed photo

With deworming, dental care, and nutrition, Love achieved her optimum weight, and reclaimed her dignity. Love’s ability to recover from the physical and emotional trauma she suffered is truly remarkable and serves as a testament to the resilience of the Thoroughbred.

Love’s story poignantly reminds us of how the horseracing industry uses and then throws away thousands of beautiful Thoroughbreds, leading to their violent deaths in slaughter plants.

In the Stable, Love lives next to her buddy IC, another rescue from the slaughter pipeline. The two mares met at Unbridled and formed a fast friendship. They enjoy grazing, playing, and resting together. The daily care team of volunteers at Unbridled acknowledges their connection and prioritizes their preferences with empathy and kindness.

Horses are incredibly sensitive animals; they can sense the slightest shifts in human emotions and intentions. When people show understanding and treat horses with respect, the horses are more likely to relax, trust, and interact with them, which can lead to a deeper bond and a more fulfilling horse-human partnership.

Susan Kayne operates the horse rescue organization Unbridled Thoroughbred Foundation, on the border of Albany County and Greenville.

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