Within the last month, two gallant geldings that had distinguished themselves on the track had to be plucked from bad situations, both found to be in terrible physical condition.
The first victim of human neglect was Who’s Bluffing, a 12-year-old son of Pine Bluff. Who’s Bluffing served 10 years at various ovals, starting his career at Arlington Park and finishing it while based at Penn National.
He made 110 starts, won 21 times, earned $523,401, and in 2006 set a new track record at Penn, zipping six furlongs in 01:08.77.
I had always been a fan of Who’s Bluffing and had watched many of his races in Pennsylvania, admiring the way he always tried and seemed to stand up to the wear and tear.
We do not want to go into all the details as to how Who’s Bluffing ended up being rescued by Back in the Saddle Horse Adoption in Linden, Pa., headed by Joni Fink, on May 14. Suffice it to say that he had been placed in that neglectful home by a young woman who plies her trade at Penn National and in the Grantville area, acquiring free horses from owners and trainers and promising she will find them good homes. Despite her assurances, many of these horses turn up on Craigslist within a few days, advertised for a few hundred dollars.
Read for yourself about Who’s Bluffing from Back in the Saddle’s web site (http://www.bitshorseadopt.org/):
“We were alerted to ‘Bluff’ from a concerned friend of BITS. After speaking with the gentleman that had him and after seeing pictures of his condition, we knew he needed help and we agreed to bring him on at our facility. During our intake process, we found numerous ticks throughout his body as well as several nasty bite and kick wounds from his pasture mates. We will be taking Bluff to the vet clinic to get the lump on his face checked and we feel with as many ticks that were pulled from him, we should have him tested and possibly treated for Lyme disease. Bluff is currently in our rehabilitation program but will be available for adoption in the future.”
(photos courtesy of Back in the Saddle Horse Adoption)
The other gelding who needed to be rescued was the stakes winner Nyuk Nyuk Nyuk. An 11-year-old son of Mutakddim, “Nyuk” made 80 starts, won 18 times, and earned over $800,000, and was also one of my favorites.Unfortunately, Nyuk was also found to be in terrible physical condition at a small show farm in Pennsylvania – placed there by the same woman who acquired Who’s Bluffing. They were trying to use Nyuk as a jumper, but he had a fractured sesamoid and couldn’t perform. The farm’s solution was to just turn him out in a field and forget about him.
Eventually, Nyuk was advertised on Craigslist, and the ad drew plenty of attention. Here it is:
11 year 16hh OTTB geld. free to a good home! (Ickesburg, Perry County)
Date: 2012-05-30, 7:14AM EDT
"Nuke" - jockey club registered as "Nyuk Nyuk Nyuk" - is a 16hh OTTB geld. 11 yrs old. He only just came off the track last year, so he did a lot of racing. He's got an issue in his right front ankle. He's fine for light rides and trails. Puppy dog personality and loves attention! This guy needs to go somewhere where he can enjoy being off the track and be spoiled rotten! He's UTD on all shots, coggins, and farrier. No vices. Will be sold with an anti-auction/slaughter contract. Free to an approved home! Please email for more info!
A concerned group of people, including one of his former owners Jack Armstrong, came together in an effort to save him, and arranged for his transport to Beyond the Roses Equine Rescue and Retirement in Michigan.Currently, Nyuk is being nursed back to health. Here’s what was posted on its web site (http://www.beyondtherosesequine.org/index.html):
“Nyuk Nyuk Nyuk has come to us with the help of his former owner Jack Armstrong, after being off the track for over one year. He was received by BTRE almost 200 pounds underweight, severe rain rot, scratches on his rear legs and an old sesamoid fracture on one of his front legs. Nyuk started his career at Woodbine Race Track in 2003 and ran there until 2009 when he was moved to Pennsylvania and raced there until his last race 6-7-2011. Nyuk needs some time to rebuild himself with lots of groceries and TLC.”
This is what Nyuk looked like upon rescue:
(photo courtesy of Beyond the Roses Equine Rescue and Retirement)
We’d like to give a big shout-out to Jack Armstrong, a leading owner at Parx Racing, for stepping up and helping get Nyuk to Beyond the Roses. While he was not the last owner of the gelding, he felt compassion for the horse and went the extra mile to make sure he has a happy retirement.Although we are extremely happy that both Who’s Bluffing and Nyuk Nyuk Nyuk have had safe landings, we know of another horse - Divashightekkgizmo – that also fell into the hands of the same woman on the Penn National backside, but his whereabouts and physical condition are currently unknown.
Here is the Craigslist ad:
3 yr old 16'1h tb gelding - $300 (grantville )
Date: 2012-05-31, 8:22PM EDT
Gizmo is cute tb that just wasn't cut out for racing. (He doesn't realize he's a tb) he's very kind and willing. Rides nice, doesn't have a baby mind. He's utd on shots/coggins/worming. Call or email me to set up an apt to meet this sweetie. His adoption fee is $300 with a no auction slaughter /slaughter contract.