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Sunday, January 10, 2010

A Sweet Reunion, 27 Year Old Yeah Me Do gets a visit from his breeder

Yeah Me Do, winning in California for owners Roy and Sue Andolfo

On February 19, 1983 a grey colt by Macarther Park was born to California racehorse breeders Roy and Sue Andolfo. These long time horse racing owners had high hopes for the colt out of Romantically, a mare trained by Joe Shell who had earned over $21,000 for the Andolfo's back in the late 70's. The colt named Yeah Me Do grew into a beautiful grey gelding that raced in California for the Andolfo's earning over $72,000 . He was claimed from his owners as a 6 year old. A year or so later the Andolfo's ran into the man who claimed their horse and asked how he was doing. They were very disappointed when the man told him that Yeah Me Do had died.

May 2009
Last summer I received a phone call from a man who had an old thoroughbred named Sonny that he had purchased from a killer sale in Cleburne, Texas 8 years earlier. He informed me that even though the horse had been wonderful riding partner for his children he could no longer afford to meet the needs of this older thinning gelding. He had attempted to seek a home for Sonny but with no luck. He tried other horse rescues but was turned down due to the geldings age, which he thought to be in his late teens. He then went on to tell me if we couldn't help him he would regrettably have to take him back to the sale where he had originally purchased him.

I offered to take Sonny but when he arrived I was shocked to see he was not just thin, but severely malnutrition. So much in fact that his hooves had actually started to turn loose and most of his teeth were either missing or deformed from being kicked in the mouth a few years earlier. To eat hay he would have to chew, spit it out, pick it up and chew again, and then repeat the process once more before swallowing each bite. I frantically called Dr Gene White from Diamond W Equine and he came to our farm within a few hours fighting rush hour traffic to help our new rescue.

After pulling one tooth that was protruding out from Sonny's mouth and having another one fall out while he was being floated, Dr White wormed and and vaccinated the poor thin guy. We started him on feed slowly and worked our way up with a bran, senior mash and all of the timothy hay he could eat. Within a week you could see a difference in not only his appearance but his attitude as well. I knew he was going to make it.

Horseshoer Pat Burton came and worked on Sonny's feet, the worst he had ever seen. The hooves were cracked from one side to the other not up and down like regular uncared for hooves. They would move each step the gelding took causing severe pain and discomfort. Pat used a product that formed a hardened sole, which made a stable surface for Sonny to stand on and he immediately began to move with more confidence and courage.

During this first week I contacted the Jockey Club with the few numbers I could read from the geldings mouth. After several tries and lots of guessing we narrowed it down to one old gelding, Yeah Me Do. I immediately posted the news on the Alex Brown's Horse Forum and to my surprise was contact by Joe Shell, the trainer of Yeah Me Do's dam. He generously donated to Yeah Me Do's care and offered to try to contact his breeders, in which he succeeded. Now retired, but still living in California, the Andolfo's couldn't believe Yeah Me Do was still alive but through photographs his identity was confirmed.

Yeah Me Do continued to gain weight. His hooves grew with the help of a few good supplements and he turned into a beautiful horse once more. We even started riding him a little, bridle-less of course like we do our racetrack ponies.
A Special Surprise

Yeah Me Do's breeders also contributed to his care and rehabilitation. But the greatest gift they have given us was a visit. In December while traveling to see family for the holidays the Andolfo's were reunited with their missing boy that they had thought was dead for so many years. The recognized their Yammi immediately even with his thick winter coat. What a wonderful day it was for them to see their horse after all these years.
There is a special fund to donate to Yeah Me Do's continuing needs. Please click the Paypal button on the Remember Me Racehorse Rescue website at and be sure to send an email dedicating your funds to Yeah Me Do.
We also have other horses at Remember Me that needs sponsors to support them while they rehabilitate and are retrained for new careers. Catsky with an injured tendon, Santo who was just too slow, and Classic Cozzene, a broodmare who lost her usefullness when she couldn't carry anymore foals just to name a few. Please help us continue to help retired racehorses find their forever homes by donating to Remember Me Racehorse Rescue today.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

CATSKY nearly euthanized, now coming to Remember Me Racehorse Rescue

A trainer contacted me a couple of weeks ago about a horse that had been injured on December 21st during a race at the Fair Grounds. He asked me if I had any openings at our rescue for a horse needing rehabilitation. When I asked what had happened to the horse he told me the horse had torn his suspensory ligament and would need many months of rehab if he had any chance of having a normal life. I told him to fill out our horse donation application and also asked if he wouldn't mind keeping him at the track until we could get the horse a ride to Texas.

I immediately contacted John Christensen who owns and operates a Cold Salt Water Spa at the Fair Grounds and asked if he would consider donating a few treatments to our new injured horse. John not only offered to treat him a few times, but graciously offer to treat him daily until he can be moved to Remember Me Rescue.

I arranged with the trainer to pick up the horse for his first spa treatment. When I first saw Catsky he was standing in the back of his stall, ears pinned, and shaking his head as if to scare me away. His leg with the suspensory injury was swollen twice the size of the other and the back of his ankle was dropping nearly to the ground as he stepped away from me. He didn't want to be bothered but his aggressive behavior was ignored as I opened his webbing and slipped the halter over his beautiful refined head. Just as I thought, he was all bluff.

I was very concerned as I led him towards the Salt Water Spa that I would be causing more harm than good by asking him to limp on the concrete from barn 35 to barn 11 where the Spa is located. He was nervously looking towards the racetrack but as soon as he would attemp to trot he would begin to limp terribly. We arrived at the Spa Catsky was a little shaken up from the excitement of being out of his stall for the first time since December 21st. He walked into the Spa and as the nearly freezing water started to fill under him he began to dig, splashing cold water on me and the Spa attendant. He spent 15 minuets in the Spa for his first treatment. Our walk back to his barn was much more comfortable for him.

To my surprise when I arrived to pick Catsky up for his second day of treatment he greated me a the front of the stall. I noticed his swelling had reduced a little, not much, but any improvement was much welcomed. This time he actually drug me to the Spa, not like the same sore horse from the day before, but happy and much more comfortable. He stood much better for his second spa treatment almost like he knew it had helped him the day before. He stayed in for nearly 20 minuets this treatment.

As we walked back to his barn I ran into Dr Hays, the vet that had taken care of Catsky after his injury. I told him that Catsky's trainer had donated him to us and that I was taking him to the Spa for daily treatments until he left for Texas. Dr. Hays commented on how well his leg was looking after only his second treatment and said, "I am so glad they didn't euthanized this horse". Catsky has a chance to be a very special horse for someone. Dr. Hays has always been quick to help with our rescue program and donated a wormer for Catsky and also told me that he was recently vaccinated.

Catsky is scheduled to arrive at Remember Me Racehorse Rescue by the weekend. He will be able to have visitors as soon as he gets settled in and gets used to his new surroundings.
We will need help while Catsky is here. His rehabilitation costs will be expensive and he will need long term stall care before he can be placed in a small outside paddock. We are accepting donations in Catsky's name through paypal or by sending a check to Remember Me Rescue, 4100 Conveyor Drive, Burleson, Texas 76028 and writing Catsky on the memo line. Please consider sponsoring Catsky with a tax deductible monthly donation to help with the cost of his rehabilitation and care. (For more information on donations visit our website at

Catsky is a beautiful 6 year old bay gelding by Sky Classic and out of a granddaughter of Storm Cat. During his racing career he had 12 starts with 2 wins, a second and a third place finish earning $44,122 before being injured in his last race. Now he can just be a horse, thanks to his owner, trainer, his caring vet, a Salt Water Spa owner, and all the people that donate to our program. Thanks to everyone who has been a part of this racetrack rescue!