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Apr 29, 2012 - NTRA
Bay gelding by Broken Vow out of Harmony and Peace by Half a Year
Born: May 13, 2004 in Kentucky
Race Record: 4 starts, 0 wins, 0 seconds, 0 thirds, $1,600
Joell Dunlap, of the Square Peg Foundation in Half Moon Bay, Ca.,, shares the story of the “simply fantastic” My Cheatin’Heart.
Handsome Hank. Talented Hank. Adorable “Hankie.” This gorgeous son of Broken Vow raced under the name “My Cheatin’ Heart.” With a name like that, how do you call him anything other than Hank?
Hank came to us racing sleek and fit. We were told at the track that he had raced a few times recently and each time, he would emerge from his stall the next day body sore and exhausted. The attending veterinarian did all the right things, he took x-rays, pulled blood and ran tests for infections or virus’.
Each race, Hank became more lackluster. We turned him out to rest for a couple of months and noticed that he slept all the time. Very soon his coat became rough and dull. We checked for lamness, we ordered chiropractic and body work sessions. We tried different shoes, we tried barefoot. And still Hank was listless and tired and had a hard time keeping weight.
One lovely day, we turned Hank into the arena to roll and play, which he did. A visitor came by and remarked about the “big horse in the arena.” None of us ever thought of Hank as big. He was a 15.2hh horse when we brought him home and we always hoped, because of his rather small size, that he’d be a nice polo prospect. A light went on in my head and we brought him into the barn and measured him. In just 90 days, Hank had grown almost 4 inches! No wonder he was tired all the time! No wonder he didn’t want to train or race!
Our ranch manager Greg Crosta knew what it was like to have a sudden growth spurt and it was clear to all that Greg and Hank had a very special bond. Within the year, Hank and Greg were playing polo together and soon after that, galloping the trails and exploring the local hills and beaches. Hank has matured into an extremely lovely mover with a unique willingness to please and to play. We expect great things from this beautiful animal.
Square Peg Foundation provides an safe and healing space, conducting adaptive horsemanship programs using donated and rescued horses. Teaching methods are adapted to fit the needs of a variety of students, both kids and adults, some with special needs.
Photos: © Peter Samuels www.animaleditions.com
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