According to the Daily Racing Forum, I’ll Have Another is going to be retired from racing and used as a stallion. I’m sure all the fans who watched him win the Kentucky Derby and then the Preakness wish him a safe and happy retirement. He is a magnificent horse and he deserves the best.
He was scratched from the Belmont due to a tendon injury–a wise move by his trainer, Doug O’Neill. I would rather see the horse able to retire in good health instead of having a breakdown on the track because he was pushed too hard. A life of rest and relaxation with plenty of mares to keep him busy. Sounds perfect?
Well, maybe not… I’ll Have Another was bought by Japanese stable and will be leaving for Japan sometime in August after going through the proper quarantine procedures. Once he’s half way across the world, it will be hard for anyone to keep track of him and make certain that he is safe. A career as a breeding stallion in Japan had a tragic end for another Kentucky Derby winner.
Ferdinand, winner of the 1986 Kentucky Derby and the 1987 Breeder’s Cup was also shipped off to Japan for a new career as a stud. However, he was unsuccessful as a stallion and within a few years, he could not be found. When his former connections from the United States demanded to see the former champion, they were told that he had been “disposed of” meaning sent to a slaughterhouse in Japan sometime around September of 2002. His career earnings were over 3 million dollars and he had won two of the biggest races in the United States. In the end, none of that mattered. He was in a country where eating horse meat is part of the culture. If he was no longer useful alive, they could make use of his carcass. Unbelievable? Keep reading…
Another Kentucky Derby winner met a similar fate in Sweden. Exceller was retired to stud and moved from place to place until he ended up at a Swedish breeding farm. By this time, he was 24 years old and still in good health. Rumors began circulating that he was sterile and his owner shipped him off to a slaughterhouse. His career earnings were over 1 million dollars and he won several prestigious races before his retirement. None of that mattered in the end. His last owner thought he was no longer useful and sent him off. That is hardly the ending one expects for a champion.
Both of those horses have organizations bearing their names that now work to rescue horses and educate the public about the dangers of the horse slaughter pipeline and the cruelty of the slaughterhouses.
The Exceller Fund can be found at http://www.excellerfund.org
Friends of Ferdinand can be found at http://www.friendsofferdinand.com/
I sincerely hope that I’ll Have Another will enjoy a happy and peaceful retirement. He has earned it. Still, I and many others would feel safer if he was not living out his life in a country where horses are regarded as food when they have outlived their u$efullne$$ to their owners.