Horse Adoption Goes International
Two years ago Julia Zhu adopted a small bay gelding named Run’n’Coke from South Jersey Thoroughbred Rescue and Adoption. She renamed him RC and together they trained in dressage. “He recognizes his name as RC now and responds to it,” Julia says. While she and RC worked together, Julia met someone on vacation, who proved to be what she was looking for in a two-legged partner. He is a government official in Switzerland so they bought a farm there and Julia, trained as a neuroscientist, plans to transfer her research interests there from the University of Pennsylvania. The move to Switzerland also meant that RC would have to relocate: “You can’t leave your partner behind,” she says, “and I wanted something from the United States.” She adds that she worried about the stress on RC and so they decided to look for another horse here to bond with RC and accompany him to his new home. “We thought we’d look for a good quality breeding mare, but then my fiancé saw Senate Testamony on the South Jersey website and fell in love with him before we even saw him.”
Senate Testamony had just come in to South Jersey from Patty Hogan’s hospital in Cream Ridge, NJ. He is a two year old son of Medaglia d’Oro, had been purchased by Starlight Stable partnership at the Keeneland yearling sale for $320,000. In training with Todd Pletcher, he fractured his knee and was sent to Hogan to repair it. Dr. Hogan put two screws in his knee and put him on stall rest. Dr. Hogan said he had a slab fracture of the right knee and she implanted two medical grade, stainless steel screws into the knee. The screws will remain in Senate Testamony’s knee for his lifetime. Once the fracture heals, he will be fine, able to do anything other horses can do.
The Starlight partnership, aware of how difficult it is to bring a horse back to top racing form after such an injury, decided to adopt him out. Hogan recommended South Jersey and so Senate Testamony’s picture went up on the organization website.
“I had at least ten people wanting to adopt him because he is just a gorgeous horse. I chose Julia because she had adopted Run’n’Coke a couple of years ago and she has done a tremendous job with him; he is in a beautiful facility and she makes the BIGGEST fuss over him. She is doing the same with Testamony already, grooming him for hours and bringing him treats. I wish everyone treated their horses as well.”
So instead of a “good quality breeding mare,” Zhu and her fiancé are taking two geldings, one large (Testamony is 17 hands) and one small, but both bay, to Switzerland as “something from the U.S.”