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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct. 2, 2012
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    1,740

    Default Bittersweet Racehorse Rescue Story from LA Times

    http://www.latimes.com/local/great-r...ry.html#page=1

    Racehorse rescued from auction had belonged to a family killed in Christmas Eve massacre, is reunited with survivors and going back to live out his days with his breeder. Incredible story.

    His pedigree:
    http://www.pedigreequery.com/return+of+the+king2
    A helmet saved my life.

    2014 goal: learn to ride like TheHorseProblem, er, a barn rat!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov. 4, 2003
    Location
    Sanger, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,824

    Default

    What a great story!
    Julie
    www.centaurfencing.com
    Safer, Stronger, Lasts Longer!
    Godspeed BARBARO--Run fast and free!



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar. 12, 2006
    Posts
    2,097

    Default

    I couldn't find it in the link. Do you remember the title?
    "All top hat and no canter". *Graureiter*



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb. 28, 2006
    Location
    The rocky part of KY
    Posts
    9,190

    Default

    Heart rending story more like. What a horrible thing to happen to the family. I AM glad that the surviving son got that little bit of memory of the good times back and that the breeder is keeping him.
    Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
    Incredible Invisible



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct. 2, 2012
    Posts
    1,740

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Gestalt View Post
    I couldn't find it in the link. Do you remember the title?
    Forgive the all caps; it copied that way from the article.

    HORSE GOING TO GREENER PASTURES AFTER OWNER'S HEARTBREAKING TRAGEDY
    A helmet saved my life.

    2014 goal: learn to ride like TheHorseProblem, er, a barn rat!



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov. 20, 2010
    Location
    Upstate New York
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    4,168

    Default

    Oh - what a story. Thanks for posting this.
    Being right half the time beats being half-right all the time. Malcolm Forbes



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb. 15, 2004
    Location
    Ontario
    Posts
    7,692

    Default

    http://offtrackthoroughbreds.com/201...cued-in-calif/

    I read that at the end of June through FB



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct. 9, 2002
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    1,796

    Default

    I'm so glad to see this story picked up here too! I live in the Ortega’s neighborhood, about 10 houses down from their street. My next door neighbors on both sides heard the gunshots, but we did not hear them as we’d gone to bed. But the massive number of emergency vehicles and flashing lights passing our house woke us up, and the next morning, there was a thick acrid, greasy smell in the air. Pardo not only shot this family execution-style, he had fashioned a homemade flamethrower and torched everything to keep those not shot from escaping. The fire was huge and intense, but some kids escaped jumping from second story windows and retreating to neighbor’s homes. First thing that monster did was shoot the 9yro girl who answered the door in the face. (Remarkably, she lived.) Thirteen children were orphaned that night.

    It was a horrible, surreal experience. We didn’t know the Ortegas, but it was deeply disturbing to think THAT happened *here*. Not some other part of the country, some other city, some other PART of the city, even–HERE. We listened in horror to the news radio on the hourlong drive as the body count grew. Later, we had the surreal experience of watching national news correspondents walking down a street in our neighborhood in special news reports. We also had the disturbing realization that that monster had to have driven past our house twice that night.

    What was worse was in the days and weeks following, our neighborhood was barraged by news vans, helicopters, and worst of all, looky-loos. A friend of mine who lived on the corner of that street had people (as in, more than one) *knock on the door to ask directions.* She and her husband said they reached a point they just wanted to stand on the corner and direct traffic toward the street. I meanwhile wanted to put freakin’ spike strips down.

    But, it brought our neighborhood together—we tied orange ribbons to trees and posts in community unity (Covina used to be an orange grove), knocked on doors and shared our horrified reactions, baked friendship bread and passed it along, conducted both public and private fundraisers.

    The house has long since been bulldozed, but the scarred lot remains. I pass it often as it’s part of one of my regular dog walking routes. A simple privacy fence is in place, but you can still see the emptied pool and slide through the screen. Every Christmas, a neighbor sets out the lighted reindeer the Ortegas always had out, some of the few salvaged items from the home. Sometimes candles and other memorial items line the privacy fence in the driveway.

    I didn’t know about their connection to Return Of The King until he ran at SA. And, like many I think, it didn’t even occur to me that his future may be as dark as it became. A surviving brother (James) had inherited him and this was the first time he ran under his name. When I saw ROTK on AHR’s Facebook page and the story connected, I freaked—I instantly remembered him (his name *had* seemed familiar) and I started tagging locals and friends. My husband teaches where a lot of the Ortega kids went to school, and a teacher friend had many of the kids. She in turn tagged the kids in the post so they could see. I’m thrilled to read the LA Times story that they have heard about this and plan to see ROTK before he moves on to his new home.

    I felt the need to do SOMEthing as a local resident, so I called the local paper a few times and finally got in contact with a very interested reporter a week after ROTK was rescued. I shared names, contact information, everything I had. This paper just ran a “Five Years Later” story this past Christmas on the massacre, and this horrible event still reverberates through our community. I thought maybe they’d passed on it when I saw the LA Times article, but AHR tells me one is in fact in the works with our paper. Hope so! I’ll link it here when it comes out.

    Return of the King won for the Ortegas just two weeks after the massacre. I remember it making all the papers, and how Santa Anita ran a fundraiser for the family a month later. It’s horrific the horse came to this place, but it’s beautiful that he has been rescued and retirement awaits him. He is the living reminder of the darkest parts of human nature, both human on human and human on animal, yet he also is the embodiment of courage, strength, endurance, and hope.
    SA Ferrana Moniet
    Not goodbye--just waiting at the end of the trail.
    My bloggity blog: Hobby Horse: Adventures of the Perpetual Newbie


    5 members found this post helpful.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct. 9, 2002
    Location
    Southern California
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    1,796

    Default

    FalseImpression, then you might recognize my post as being an edited-together-version of some comments I made there. It was just easier than trying to retype. That and I haven't had my coffee yet.
    SA Ferrana Moniet
    Not goodbye--just waiting at the end of the trail.
    My bloggity blog: Hobby Horse: Adventures of the Perpetual Newbie


    1 members found this post helpful.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov. 20, 2010
    Location
    Upstate New York
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    Default

    Oh, wow, Lauruffian. But thanks for all you did.
    Being right half the time beats being half-right all the time. Malcolm Forbes


    1 members found this post helpful.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct. 9, 2002
    Location
    Southern California
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    1,796

    Default

    Whoo hoo! The local paper finally ran an article on him!

    http://www.sgvtribune.com/sports/201...stmas-massacre
    SA Ferrana Moniet
    Not goodbye--just waiting at the end of the trail.
    My bloggity blog: Hobby Horse: Adventures of the Perpetual Newbie


    1 members found this post helpful.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec. 29, 1999
    Location
    Harrisburg, PA USA
    Posts
    5,707

    Default

    Wow. What a story. The photo of him is precious. Poor horse. Going place to place, wondering what it's all about, until sore and sad he ends up at auction. SO GLAD Megan Gaynes got him and that his breeder is going to take him home.


    2 members found this post helpful.

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