Amazing Feat (Click here for Past Performances)
The Tale of Amazing Feat -- written by Karin Wagner, Founder, Neigh Savers, December 31, 2011
As I sit at my PC on this last day of 2011 I am thinking about all the accomplishments and trials we have gone through this year.
In the last quarter of 2011 I thought more and more about downsizing the organization and taking some pressure off me.
However, as 2011 wound down a few things did occur that changed the downsizing plans. We finally had a successful fund-raiser
in early December that actually brought in some much needed revenue and at the same time I made contact with some outstanding new volunteers
that had terrific horsewoman skills.
At the time the herd under our direct care and sponsorship stood at about 25 horses and I was trying to trim it down to 20.
Now as I sit here we are at 31 horses and when the 31st horse crossed our path it was definitely not in the cards to accept another.
From November 11th to this date we took in an incredible 8 new horses, five mares and three geldings.
This is an amazing feat in itself as some of our sister rescues have not taken in a new horse all of calendar 2011
and many are not able to adopt out. We were also able to place 23 horses into new homes in calendar 2011.
So, one by one the horses came to us and all had their own stories. Each of the horses had raced on California tracks and the five mares
had then retired to become broodmares. Many California breeders are no longer breeding and cannot afford to keep all their mares so that
is how the five came to us from two different parties. The other 2 geldings were injured on the Golden Gate Fields track and came to
us in various stages of rehab and are no longer race worthy. However, both the mares and geldings were well cared for and loved and
had been treated kindly.
Neigh Savers was at capacity or even slightly over and then Amazing Feat came into our lives. It only took one phone call
from a long-time supporter who had received a call from a friend she had met at the Belmont. Kevin Zietz runs Horsing Around Stables
and has bred horses as well as raced them with his partners. He discovered one of his former horses and the first horse he ever bred was
racing very non-competitively at the Portland Meadows track in Oregon and contacted Louise to see if there was any way we could get him retired off track. Louise immediately called me and told me about Amazing Featís plight. It only took that short phone call to convince me we had to act on his behalf as he could not speak up on his own and needed to be protected.
This is Amazing Featís story. It is remarkable that he is even here to tell the tale, let alone that he was able to race 29 times
or even just once. As a yearling he required surgery on his coffin bone. His surgery as a yearling was performed in Lexington, Kentucky
at Rood & Riddle.
They were the ones that told Kevin Zietz he'd never run. Then Kevin fed ex'd the x-rays to Alamo Pintado and they said the same,
except Dr. Ed Hamer did say, "sometimes they will surprise you."
Amazing Featís name stems from the fact that his recovery from such an injury and the fact that he started racing was truly an amazing feat.
Here is a photo of him as a one day old foal and someone had put a warming blanket on him. He was so very cute!
On top of that he also has an ďAmazingĒ pedigree as his sire is Friends Lake (A.P. Indy) and his great grandfather was
Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew. On both his damís side (Candeelite) and his sireís pedigree he can be traced to the remarkable
Secretariat as great-great grandfather. His pedigree chart has ties to all the greatest race horses ever such as Spend a Buck,
Seattle Dancer, Nijinsky, Bold Ruler, Buckpasser, Damascus, and Northern Dancer.
Vets in both Kentucky and California were convinced he'd never race.
The stable couldn't give him away and then he went from being lame in October of his yearling year to running the
full length on his pasture in Lexington in December with no apparent problems.
Thereafter he did go into training and only because a friend of Kevinís cut him a huge favor and agreed to
break and train him in Ocala, Florida. He made it through with flying colors and went to Maryland to train with Mark Shuman.
Everyone agreed he had "Amazing FeetĒ and that it was an "Amazing Feat"
that he was even sustaining the rigors of training. He won his 2nd start in a Maiden Allowance Race in Pennsylvania, beating several
horses that went on to be very productive race horses. Unfortunately because he was such a hard trier and put it all down on
the track he needed a break. The stable brought him back to California for
rest and rehab and he then returned to the races in December 2009. He was a shadow of his former self.
After two comeback races, he got worse with every race.
He was sold to a trainer at Portland Meadows in February 2010. He's been there ever since and raced over 20 times at Portland Meadows.
It was time to stop on him. How did he keep racing and enduring? His past performances show that he was raced an
incredible five times in one month alone between June and July of 2011 and that three of his races were only three days apart.
How did ďAmazing FeatĒ not break down with such a toll?
Portland Meadows is not known to be a glamorous racing venue. In fact, horses that donít make it at the Southern California
venues and then are shipped to Golden Gate Fields and donít make it there are then shipped even further northwards to
Portland Meadows and closer to the processing plants across the border into Canada. Thatís where Amazing Feat spent the last
two years going ever more downhill. Still, the owners did not want him to retire even when presented with a buy offer.
In fact, several offers were presented until they called back and decided to let us have Amazing Feat for $1,000.
Finally all negotiations were concluded and we were ready to receive him. He was transported shortly after Christmas to our northern
California rehab facility in the Sonoma redwoods near the Sea Ranch. There he has a large paddock with green grass to munch
on and 24-hour hay as well. Nothing will be asked of him and he can just be a horse-- eat, sleep and gain weight.
It was heartbreaking to see him look so haggard and thin but even in his bad condition he was still the friendliest of sorts, coming up to nuzzle me
and stand quietly next to me. We donít know his prognosis but are hoping for the best. Even in his poor condition, he is very
handsome with a very fine and noble head. Someone wrote he looks a bit like the horse in ďWar HorseĒ and indeed he has been put
through the battle and somehow survived.
Our thanks go out to Kevin Zietz of Horsing Around Stables, LLC and his connections for sending in donations and to Louise Thanos for her commitment
to help sponsor Amazing Feat who we have given the barn name "Teddy" and everyone that has made a one time donation to help this deserving gelding.
Update: January 2012
Teddy is already gaining weight and seems to be walking sounder. He is enjoying being out in pasture and not having anything asked of him. Louise and Karin
intend to drive back up the coast in late February/early March to check on him personally. At that time we will take new photos.
Update: July 2012
Teddy was moved to Hossmoor and now looks AMAZING. He is easy to handle and very good on trails. Teddy loves to get out in the world and to
explore his surroundings. He is a hard trier and a people pleaser. Anyone
who adopts this guy will get very lucky. Teddy has gained so much weight and his coat now gleams like a bright copper penny in the sun. He is so happy and content and
recently has started eating red licorice as a treat.
Update: September 2012
We are totally devastated and shocked by the sudden death of Teddy from an acute case of colic on 9/29/2012. He was not a candidate for surgery. Teddy was a personal
favorite in our program. He loved everyone he met, especially people who had treats for him. He will be missed more than we can put into words and we are
so heartbroken by his sudden passing.