I LOVE all the awesome stories my friend Susan Salk finds about horses being given second chances and getting to show how incredible they are. She writes about them on her blog "Off-Track Thoroughbreds" and shares their stories. This one is about a woman who bought a horse at the New Holland auction for only $25 and gave him a whole new life. ~Declan
Tomtomjim has bloomed into a beautiful gentleman since being plucked from New Holland auction
Melissa Rudershausen’s hand shot up through the stale, fetid air, as the smell of frightened livestock hit her like a blast of bad wind.
Tearing up from the stench that clung to her clothes, the smart, young rider raised her hand at the New Holland Auction last Thanksgiving, and with the small gesture offered a moment of mercy to a Thoroughbred who would be saved that day from the possibility of slaughter that awaited the hogs, goats, and other livestock.
Just $25 bought the depressed-looking Thoroughbred stallion, whose price had dropped like the Stock Market on a bad day.
“I don’t remember my hand going in the air,” she says. “But, nobody wanted this horse. Stallions are hard to sell because it costs so much to geld them, and his price kept dropping and dropping until the auctioneer finally said, “Somebody take him for $25.”
For Rudershausen, an equestrian and professional Thoroughbred trainer well used to the conditions, the pressures, the sense of urgency at New Holland, her impulsiveness surprised her.
Ordinarily the proprietor of Double Rock Thoroughbred Rescue of Ocala, Fla., an impressive A Circuit rider with a knack for turning the most woebegone kill-pen horse into a handsome show horse, is methodical in her approach.
TomTomJim Sire: Carson City Dam: Stereotype Foal date: Feb. 20, 2003“I normally have a plan. I’ll go first and look over the horse; I’ll run my hands down his legs to see if he is clean-legged, and I’ll check his feet. I like to know what I’m getting. But this time, my hand went up in the air, and I owned a strange horse.”
She never had a chance to do much more than glance at Tomtomjim when she spotted him in the sales arena, so clearly a Thoroughbred that his look and attitude “just screamed Thoroughbred.”
As his price plummeted, she acted on impulse. On heart.
“It was like my hand went up in the air, and my mind engaged after it,” she says. “And suddenly I owned a horse I knew nothing about. I was a little nervous. Afterwards, I went over to see what I had bought, and he was a complete sweetheart.”