You know that phrase, “Heart Horse?” People use that phrase all the time about a horse that they are strongly connected with, and Shandoka was my heart horse as was Big Ruckus, Pride, Josephine, Inga, Charlie’s Guess, Konak, Vehicle, Scubber, Chiller, Mojo, all the horses I trained on at Bradley’s, etc. I can honestly say I haven’t met a horse I don’t love. I think it drives a few of my friends nuts, but it is a true statement. They will attest to it I’m sure.
When I was a kid, there was this horse in the stall next to our horse Vehicle at the track. He was a mean son of a gun. If you got too close, you’d get bit hard probably losing chunks of flesh in the process. He had good reason to be like this; his owner. His owner was a wealthy man who brought down a new woman hanging on his arm each time his horse ran. When they came back to the barn, he would stand there and hit his horse to show off for his current girlfriend. They stood a safe distance away, so he couldn’t bite them while they laughed at his efforts to try. I hated it! I would stand with Vehicle loving on him protecting him from that ugly energy. I glared hatefully at them, but they never noticed; they were in their own world. I was just a kid.
I spent so much time with this horse determined that he would know someone out there cared for him. He tried to bite me many times, but after a lot of carrots and standing in front of him not moving no matter what he threw at me, I finally got through. One day he let me pet him. It was the best day, and yes, I loved him as much as any horse ever even though all I could do is run my hand down his nose. He taught me so much.
I love my horses with my whole heart and more, and I work hard at creating a good relationship with each one of them in whatever way they need. Mojo was no different. I honestly think the moment I brought him his first bucket of hay; our relationship was cemented forever. I miss him each day, and my other three have struggled with his loss as well. Dulce’s gut issues returned for a week, and the space between us became nonexistent. If he could have sat in my lap, he would have. Chaco stopped eating, which wasn’t good considering he needs his joint supplements. Harley spooked at everything refusing to leave the barn at night waiting for Mojo to hang out and eat with him. Things are finally back to normal for them, although Harley is still is a bit jumpy.
I want to thank everyone that reached out to me. It meant the world, and you’ve helped me through the worst of it. One thing I’m asked is what can they do for me regarding all of this. Well, here it is:
The SAFE Act is sitting in Congress going nowhere. I honestly believe if Mojo never ended up in that kill pen, he’d still be alive. I know considering what is going on in our country right now, it may sit there until the next election is over. That doesn’t mean we can’t start a writing campaign lobbying for its passage. I know that Mojo touched your hearts, so I invite you to write about him in your letters to your representatives and the congresspeople that sit on the Agricultural Committee where the bill currently sits. Below are pictures of Mojo that you can download and include in your letters, so they can see him when you talk about him. This is an ugly part of our world, and a stain upon the world of horse racing. I’m tired of being told that it is a necessary evil. That is a lazy answer for those that don’t want to change anything.
The SAFE Act is a bipartisan bill, but it’s stuck in the Agricultural Committee due to the new Chinese Trade Act. Several of us have tried to get answers on whether the export of horses would happen in this bill, and as of yet, none of us have gotten anywhere on this question. If you would like to read about the bill, you can read about it here https://www.animalwelfarecouncil.org/?page_id=594#:~:text=The%20S.A.F.E.,of%20American%20horses%20for%20slaughter.&text=HR%20961%20claims%20to%20prevent,raised%20in%20the%20United%20States.
And here: https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/961/text
Here is a list of everyone on the Agricultural Committee: https://agriculture.house.gov/about/members.htm
If you don’t know who your representatives are, you can find out here: https://www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative
Let Mojo be your inspiration to get involved and put an end to this business once and for all. Let’s do this for Mojo and help all of these other horses. Thank you so much for everything.