"North Americas' Best" Owner / Trainer
Jerry Hollendorfer Races Foundered Horse Near to Death -
Then Sends Her Off To Slaughter!
Heavenly Perfect, a descendent of War Admiral was just a number
to the racing industry - The heart of a racehorse can be their demise.
To the people of the rescue world Heavenly Perfect, known to those
who loved her as Melody, was a beautiful loving mare who lured you
into her stall with her low loving nickers and then when you went into
her stall she was there to wrap her head around you and give you a big
horsy hug. To other horses Melody was nice mare that was the peace-
keeper of her small herd. She got along with everyone and made sure
no one was picked on.
But, to the racing industry Melody was a number..
she was tattoo number G24671. Heavenly perfect was born in 2003 and
bred by Magali Ventures LLC. She was sold at Barretts Equine Limited
October 2004 Sale of Preferred Yearlings for $33,000. She had what they
wanted, a potential earner and the heart of a racehorse.
Life does not always end as it begins. For many racehorses there
is a cruel twist that changes their life and not for the better. Melody
was rescued from going to the slaughterhouse in Mexico on May 23,
2008. She had run her last physical race 10 days prior and this time
the only wagering going on was between the killbuyers and the rescuers.
It was a claiming race taking place at a cold dark kill auction in Sugarcreek,
Ohio and if Melody lost, the price would be her life. That day, Melody and
the other horses won their race. ... They were rescued.
Sometimes in rescue the most you can do is give the horses a last chapter that is filled with love and kindness and a dignified ending.
On June 7th Melody was brought into the hospital because of a bout with
colic, which she was able to get through. What was discovered at the
hospital was disgraceful. Melody not only had laminitis but it was evident
from the x-rays that this rotation began over 5 months ago, by the time she
came to us her coffin bone was nearly coming through her sole on both
front feet. Melody had 3 chips in her knees, one in the 4th Carpel bone and
2 in her joints, the x-rays also showed that she had at least 2 fractures,
one in her second carpel bone and one in her radial carpel bone. .
These injuries were not new. On a scale of 1 to 10, ten being the worst,
Melody´s arthritis was an 8.
One would think that months ago Melody would have quit racing, but no, her
trainers would get everything they could out of this mare. Her last race was
May 13th, 2008, where the only comment about her was " a steady fade."
What would you expect with her condition? Her trainer and owner was
Jerry Hollendorfer is not new to the racing industry nor was he
new to Heavenly Perfect. According to Equineline Database he and
his partner George Todaro obtained her in a claiming race in October
of 2006. Hollendorfer developed a reputation as a claiming trainer,
but in a career turning point, Hollendorfer turned $16,000 claimer
Novel Sprite into a $467,586 multiple stakes winner, to receive the
Horsemen's Benevolent and Protection Association's 1986 Claimer
of the Year award. Selected as California Thoroughbred Breeders
Association Trainer of the Year in 1995. With over 5,000 training
victories, his horses have earned more than $91 million. Hollendorfer
is touted these days as "One of North Americas Best" Owners & Trainers.
AS of May 13th, Holledorfer was still her owner and trainer of recordand on May 13th Hollendorfer raced Heavenly Perfect at River Downs
Racetrack in Ohio in the condition she was in, the only comment on her
chart said "steady fade." We called Hollendorfer´s facility to get a
comment but did not receive a return phone call. On May 23, 2008,
10 days after her last race, she was sent to the kill auction in Sugarcreek,
Ohio. On May 23, 2008 with the combined efforts of the Victoria McCullough
Founder of the Triumph Project through the Davis/McCullough Foundation
and Pure Thoughts, Heavenly Perfect was safe.
The Triumph Project was formed in November 2007 to assist in raising
awareness about horse slaughter and horse welfare. It is the hope of the
"Triumph Project" that enlightenment of the senseless cruelty that lurks
within the shadows be brought forward and the horses have an ally and
are given a voice.
On July 8th, Melody was laid to rest, no longer would she endure
the pain. Victoria McCullough promised this mare she would soon
be in greener pastures. The realization of the cruelty to the horses
was said eloquently by Victoria "For myself and the "Davis McCullough
Foundation we are learning everyday that it is not enough to save the
horses from needless slaughter, there is yet another abuse that rests
in silence, it is unspeakable that any horse endure this painful road to
a premature death thankfully given in dignity instead of at the hand of
an inhuman and callous worker with a knife to sever her spine as a reward
for her gallant heart."
This brave mare touched the heart of many in her short time with us,
Dr. Robert Smith somberly stated, "Melody was an exceptional horse,
I am very sorry that a mare with such a heart had to be put down." It
was not the slaughterhouse that killed Melody.... it was
her heart.... the heart of a racehorse. They give their heart and soul to
their passion... the race. They give their heart and soul to their
trainers/owners. These racehorses give their heart and soul to the
racing industry... who in turn.... chew it up, spit it out and send the horses
to a tortuous end. If only, 6 months ago, the people in charge of Heavenly
Perfect´s well being had given back to her what she had given to them,
she would be alive today. A change must be made.
Here is a vid of one of Heavenly Perfects last races, run on March 23, 2008, you can see that this gallant mare she gave it her,.. all leading all the way....remember she was suffering from laminitis and bone chips in her knees at the time, though probably heavily drugged as they do when running horses lame and in pain; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZl7gyB-cBY
Here is a vid of Heavenlys last race, run on May 13, 2008, where she simply was not up to the race. Her run was listed in the owners record books as "steady fade." She was sent to slaughterhouse / meat-market auction a mere ten days after this un-impressive run; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=thzyC6bqqas
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