I’ll Have Another: Pasture or Plate?

22 Jun

ImageAccording 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.

Image 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

Friends of Ferdinand can be found at

Image 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.


Posted by on June 22, 2012 in Uncategorized


28 responses to “I’ll Have Another: Pasture or Plate?

  1. Leslie

    June 23, 2012 at 1:57 AM

    Awesome post! Thank you! I’ll do my best to help this go viral!

    • bcare77

      June 23, 2012 at 1:59 AM

      Please share it everywhere! He is such a magnificent horse. I understand making business decisions but this seems very shady to me…

  2. kristin muir

    June 23, 2012 at 8:43 AM


  3. Tiffany

    June 23, 2012 at 10:52 AM

    well I think you have it all are the kind of people that think every animal should be homed and cared for for their entire life..I understand caring for a champion..I raise rabbits..I have plenty of champions, and they serve the purpose of producing the next generation of champions, and if my champion buck or doe can no longer produce or help feed the they go…into the stew pot…no sense in keeping useless cargo. in this economy here and around the world..people can’t just hang onto animals that serve no purpose other than a pasture decoration…(or in my case…a cage decoration)Three Chimneys has an office in Japan and not far from where IHA is going….and if the decision to sell to Japan was simply…he can be a stud and if not he can be dinner with no “political” crap to deal with, than so be it….leave it well enough not your horse and not your decision!

    • bcare77

      June 23, 2012 at 11:11 AM

      Clearly you missed the entire point of the article. A horse is a living, sentient creature as are your rabbits. I do keep mine as pasture pets when they are too old to be useful under saddle. They have given me the best years of their life and I owe them a peaceful retirement in return.

      You have the same mindset as some people in racing–use them up and then get rid of them. No regard for the animals when there’s money to be made.

      I can guess what you do with your rabbits when they’re no longer useful…

    • Elizabeth Guerrero

      June 24, 2012 at 6:59 PM

      You obvioulsy know nothing about horses. Horses are not rabbits. Horses are intelligent, sensitive animals who give, and give, and are trained to trust humans. And what you suggest is nothing other than the ultimate betrayal. Horses are not rabbits.

      • Emily

        June 25, 2012 at 12:11 AM

        And you obviously know nothing about rabbits. Rabbits are intelligent animals JUST like horses.

    • Rhonda

      December 27, 2012 at 2:09 AM

      Really-you are comparing a TB race horse to a rabbit, horses will give their life to please us. They don’t just sit in a cage and cause fur balls. Horses will die running if we ask them too and what will your rabbit do for you. If you bring an animal into this world, you should be there when he leaves this world. I feel the same, if you bring an animal into your life you should be there or make should you make proper arrangements for his death. Also, you should check into the trainer of “I’ll Have Another” he was in trouble with the Jockey Club, I believe for misuse of drugs in California just before the Derby. The owner said on TV that he would do anything for this horse. Just goes to show some owners and trainers can not be trusted.

      Rhonda-Fogbound Farm
      Owner and breeder of Hunter/Jumpers (alot are former TB race horses)

  4. michele

    June 23, 2012 at 11:00 AM

    Why why cant Three Chimneys take him?

    • bcare77

      June 23, 2012 at 11:13 AM

      I don’t know why they didn’t. I’m guessing the Japanese offer was better. I wish he was going to Three Chimneys.

  5. Eileen M Castro

    June 23, 2012 at 11:22 AM

    Thsi Su heart breaking! Don’t his owners and trainer know the fate of other wonderful horses who met such horrible ends? Who can I call to voice my opinion to?

    • bcare77

      June 23, 2012 at 11:24 AM

      You can comment on the article at Daily Racing Forum’s website. I don’t know of a way to contact the owner yet.

      • Eileen M Castro

        June 23, 2012 at 11:45 AM

        Thank you. This is such a travesty.

  6. Stephanie Thomas

    June 23, 2012 at 7:01 PM

    sharing as well – horrifying!

  7. andy

    June 23, 2012 at 8:36 PM

    Come on people ! Listen to what you are saying ? No way are they going to eat him ,,,,, get a grip

    • bcare77

      June 23, 2012 at 9:19 PM

      Actually they didn’t eat Ferdinand. They used him for pet food.

      I’m not worried that something will happen as soon as he gets there. I’m concerned about what happens if he’s unsuccessful as a breeding stallion over there. His owner doesn’t have a breeding program so he’s not likely to bring the horse back here if things don’t go well in Japan. People forget about horses quickly when they retire. Out of sight, out of mind…

      • Alyssa

        June 23, 2012 at 9:58 PM

        Even if Reddam doesn’t take him back, I could see a place like Three Chimneys or Gainesway having a home for IHA once he is done in Japan (that is, if he has a buy-back clause in the contract, which I hope to the heavens that he does). There are already arrangements for Silver Charm and Charismatic to go to Three Chimneys once they are done in Japan (within the next 3 or 4 years) and from what I hear, a private farm in Kentucky is trying to work something out to get War Emblem back as well.

      • bcare77

        June 23, 2012 at 10:02 PM

        I would love to see all of them at Three Chimneys. That way their fans could still go and see them. If they bring them all back, that would be great news!

  8. Alyssa

    June 23, 2012 at 10:34 PM

    I agree, that would be great business for the fans of all 3 horses, Three Chimneys, and the Kentucky thoroughbred business! The president of Three Chimneys, Case Clay, keeps in touch with all of the Japanese breeders (Big Red farm, eventual owner of IHA, and the JBBA, owners of Silver Charm and Charismatic) and visits Silver Charm and Charismatic reguarly. So it’s nice to know that those 2 stallions are being carefully watched over by US overseers.
    Still though, with IHA going to Japan this August, it feels like he is being ripped away from his fans, Lava Man, and Mario. Sad really, but as they say, money talks. I hate to be spiteful, but I am secretly hoping that IHA’s breeding career is short lived in Japan…..>.>

    • bcare77

      June 23, 2012 at 10:46 PM

      I hope he’s successful but you’re right about it being too soon for the fans.

  9. Horse Lady

    June 24, 2012 at 8:31 AM

    I would think the sellers of the horse would have included a caveat in the sales contract that would require he be euthanized should he no longer be of use in the breeding shed, or other such language. That whoud be the proper protocal given the Ferdinand debacle. I am NOT against all horse slaughter.. I see firsthand how horses are left to suffer and starve when owners can no longer afford to feed them, nor to pay a vet to put them down and then hire a backhoe to bury them. The unintended consequence of banning horse slaugher inthe US has led to these horses being shipped to Mexico and Cananda, where they are slaughterd in less regulated conditions. Mexico is horriffic. We just had a wreck on an interstate in TN with 38 horse heading to slaughter in Mexico. Tell me that is not worse than having a place here in the US, that is regulated by USDA and the Humane Society of the US

    • bcare77

      June 25, 2012 at 12:31 AM

      Horse slaughter is inhumane no matter where you have it. The USDA did a lousy job of enforcing the policies when U.S. slaughter houses were open. Please read info at to see what it’s like having a slaughter house in your town.

      It’s about the money not the horses for people who work in the slaughter industry. I already covered this in a previous post entitled Bleed It Out.

  10. Cally

    June 25, 2012 at 9:50 AM

    “I’m not worried that something will happen as soon as he gets there. I’m concerned about what happens if he’s unsuccessful as a breeding stallion over there. His owner doesn’t have a breeding program so he’s not likely to bring the horse back here if things don’t go well in Japan. People forget about horses quickly when they retire. Out of sight, out of mind…”

    If you think that doesn’t happen in the United States as well, you’re kidding yourself. Just because there aren’t any slaughterhouses here doesn’t mean unwanted former racers aren’t shipped to slaughter every day. The only difference is that they aren’t ashamed to tell the truth about it in other countries.

    • bcare77

      June 25, 2012 at 9:33 PM

      Have you read my other posts on this blog? I know Thoroughbreds are taken from the U.S. and shipped to Canada and Mexico. I have pulled them from kill pens. However, the Canadian plant in Richelieu has recently stopped accepting Thoroughbreds. In the future, they will most likely go from the U.S. to Mexico. If you lose track of a horse and suspect it went to slaughter, it is much easier to track it here than it would be to trace the horse from halfway across the globe. Even if a horse has been sent off, they can still be saved if people are quick enough. It has happened recently. Some of the plants are starting to reject the OTTBs because of their drug histories.

  11. P. Mills

    July 14, 2012 at 9:11 PM

    I was sad to hear this maganificent animal is being sent to Japan. I think we know the rest of the story. Very, very sad. My horses and dogs are part of my family, each deserving a restfull pleasant retirement. It seems most animals like the race horses or dogs are a commodity and it is all about the $$$. It saddens me.

  12. Susan Romano

    October 8, 2012 at 3:02 AM

    I am very sad that this magestic animal has been sent to Japan! I can only hope and pray that someone keeps track of him and insures his return home to the USA once he is no longer useful there in Japan. I have now lost my faith in this sport and the owners. I always had the misguided belief that these horses meant as much to their owners as they did to me. Apparently I was just tragically naive. I will never follow the careers of these horses in the future and pray for those who are obvoiusly in need of protection. SHAME ON THE OWNERS SHAME SHAME SHAME!!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: