Retired Racehorses

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Thoroughbred racehorses are amazing athletes. But when their days on the track are over, most of their lives are still ahead of them. Some retired Thoroughbreds go on to become dressage horses or the equine members of the mounted Police or therapy animals for special needs children. To learn more about the many options for Thoroughbreds when their racing days are over, go to the website or call 651-437-1889.


A special Thank you to an old-fashioned sort of veterinarian

He is remindful of the way medicine was once practiced, when house calls were a way of life, when the practitioners of the science had a neighborly bedside manner and enjoyed visiting as much as doctoring. Above all, when the care and treatment of the patient went beyond the dictates of the bottom line and the corporate intrusions on time and attention to detail.

There was a price to be paid for such dedication to duty, however, and it was typically expressed with a question from one of his colleagues: “Have you seen Bowman?”

The answer usually could be found by locating the barn sending the tempting scent of fresh bakery into the surrounding atmosphere. Someone made a cake to accompany the morning coffee and had the good Doc’s ear, if, in fact, he didn’t have theirs.

“Doc” is Dr. Dick Bowman, who was the long-time state veterinarian and equine dentist at Canterbury Park, who for many years provided a refuge for the unwanted and displaced horses of the Minnesota racing world and beyond. The Middle Ages had their Francis of Assisi. Canterbury Park had its Richard of  North Dakota.

Dick Bowman has saved hundreds of horses from a dismal life if not a dreadful demise once their racing careers have ended, hauling them 600 miles to his North Dakota ranch, then tending to their infirmities, fixing their teeth, feeding them and generally restoring them to the good health necessary to live out the remainder of their lives.

There is a difference between individuals who have trouble saying no and then complain about their own acquiescence. Dick Bowman never said no because that is what he intended. He very simply wanted to help animals in need, because he cares about them.

Bowman has often been repaid with the simple recognition the animals provide. “When I would first get them to the ranch they wanted to be left alone. They didn’t want anything to do with people for a while,” he said. “You couldn’t even walk up to them. Eventually they come looking for us, wanting to be petted, wanting some contact with humans.”

There are other special occasions that can accompany only a true appreciation for horses, when the herd en masse, for example, heads to quench its thirst. “There’s nothing more exciting to hear than a herd of horses running up to the corral for water,” Bowman said. “You’d think it was a herd of buffalo. They sound like thunder. Sometimes they’ll simply come running up to say hello.”

Expenses went on and on for horses, for dental care, for inoculations and for food, always for food. “I shudder to think how much grass and hay they have gone through,” Bowman added. “A horse will eat almost continuously if allowed to.”

Bowman had an equine dental practice involving clients in six states for 17 years, traveling 60,000 miles a year caring for the teeth of horses in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska and even in Wyoming one year. He sold the practice a while back, which at the time allowed Doc more time to devote to his cattle ranch and the horse adoption program. “It was never a thing that made me money,” he said. “But it’s probably the most fulfilling thing I’ve done in life.”

It is impossible to overstate just how great an impact Doc Bowman had on the aftercare of racehorses. Thank you so much, Doc!




Stormin’ Hot

Stormin Hot is a 2009 Ontario-bred gelding who began his racing career in Canada and ended it in the U.S. He raced the majority of his races at Fort Erie Race Track with his maiden start coming at Woodbine and his last few taking him to Charles Town Races. After his last start, the dark bay gelding was donated to Thoroughbred Placement Resources. He had racked up record which included three wins from 17 starts.

“Bene” flourished in the TPR retraining program and even began competing in horse trials before being adopted by Erin F. “He is Erin’s first horse and a dream come true,” says Kimberly Clark, Executive Director of TPR. Erin’s father discovered TPR while on a business trip and followed up with a visit to one of their farms with his daughter. “It was love at first sight for Erin and Bene.” Erin had saved up her own money to pay for her new horse and changed his show name to “My Benediction.” The pair now enjoying both showing and just hanging out together, including spending quality time with Erin’s entire family. Erin states, “Having Bene has been a blessing, hence the name My Benediction. I’ve learned so many new things… He has made me a better rider, and I learn more about him every day, like the fact that he hates peanut butter sandwiches, and loves Pop-Tarts!”

Bon Bon

Sweet and chocolate brown in color, Bon Bon matches her name perfectly. The 2006 Florida-bred mare was a favorite of the Niall Brennan Stable racehorse training program and they were more than happy to have her back when she retired from racing. Bon Bon raced 62 times, mostly in Florida, and retired with six wins to her name. Upon retirement, she was sent by her trainer to Final Furlong Horse Retirement, the aftercare program set up by Niall Brennan Stable.

Bon Bon had received great flatwork experience in her early training days and continued on the eventing track after retiring from racing. She quickly picked up her new career and did not take long to be adopted. Alice B. has found a great eventing partner, along with a companion for camping trips. She has nothing but great things to say about Bon Bon, stating “She is gentle, kind, brave, and truly loves her new life.”