Success Story In the Making: It Takes A Village - An Update on Malcolm

  Jan 24, 2016   admin


On a bitter cold Saturday in November 2014, two good Samaritans were at the Strawtown livestock auction in Noblesville IN. There, they identified a TB who was consigned to the auction that was thin and still wearing race plates. After inquiring with the auction office, these 2 ladies learned that the TB was abandoned at the auction that morning. They posted initial information about the horse to facebook and we stepped up to help. November 15th officially became this frightened and unstable young thoroughbreds “gotcha day.”

We identified the gelding as a 2011 gelding from his tattoo, and the good Samaritans who found him named him Malcolm. We have not released Malcolm's JC name because we wanted the focus to be on Malcolm; not where he came from, who his connections were, or who was responsible for dumping him at auction. (Rest assured, those responsible for Malcolm's condition were held accountable for their actions and his connections subsequently pledged a percentage of their earnings to the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance).

Malcolm's intake exam has confirmed that he had a right fractured pelvic wing that was an old injury and his body condition score was a 2-2.5 with significant muscle atrophy from his injury. From Malcolm's race record, we suspect that his pelvis was broken when he stumbled out of the gate in December 2013. Malcolm was then was given some time off and he raced again in August 2014 and October 2014. Forty-five days later Malcolm was abandoned at the Strawtown auction, still wearing his race plates and having received little to no care or food since his last race in October. That evening, the winning bid for Hip Tag 074 against the killers was $110.00.

The decision at his intake exam was to give Malcolm six months and then reassess his situation. In order to give Malcolm the best shot possible, he was fostered by Dr. Angela Blackwell at Horse and Hound Veterinary Clinic, where he received electro-magnetic stimulation therapy to re-build the muscle to support his compromised hip. Through the winter, Malcolm grew stronger and stronger. He became a clinic favorite, hollering for all the clients and their humans to come visit him in his paddock. Malcolm received care packages, peppermints and donations from his followers and fans from around the country.

Five months into his rehab, Malcolm reached a milestone and was ready for full pasture turnout. He left the care of Dr. Blackwell and moved to a private foster home where he spent his days pestering his pasture-mate, building strength, and sorting out his limitations. Malcolm delighted us all summer long with videos provided by his foster home of him running at liberty, with unbridled joy. We began to be hopeful for Malcolm's future and we are grateful to have received support from the Brennan Equine Welfare Fund, who supported his basic care costs during this phase of his rehab.

It is now time to see what Malcolm can do: to test his strength, to see how his hip will impact his ability to be comfortably ridden, to see if he can carry weight, how much weight he can comfortable carry, and most importantly, to see what Malcolm wants to do. With his retraining supported by the ASCPA Rescuing Racers Initiative, Malcolm recently moved from his foster home in Indiana to the Friends of Ferdinand retraining facility in Ohio, where he has started under saddle. We are starting him slowly, just walking and trotting for now. Lori Miller, the Friends of Ferdinand head trainer, reports that Malcolm has made friends in his turnout group, that he is a quick learner, a nice mover and a sensitive ride. Malcolm is a success story in the making, a testament to the breed, and a joy to live with and work around. Malcolm is a gleefully happy horse, and everyone who has cared for him has offered a foster stall for him in their barns if he cannot be ridden. But, fingers crossed, we are hopeful that Malcolm will have a second career, a job to do, and a very lucky family of his own to love him. Stay tuned, for the rest of the story!

If you would like to help Malcolm, or another horse like him, please consider a tax-deductible donation to the Friends of Ferdinand One More Horse campaign