Heavenly Perfect, a descendent of War Admiral was just a number to the racing industry - The heart of a racehorse can be their demise.
To the people who rescued her, Heavenly Perfect, known to those who loved her as Melody, was a beautiful loving mare who lured you into her stall with her low loving nickers and then when you went into her stall she was there to wrap her head around you and give you a big horsy hug. To other horses Melody was nice mare that was the peacekeeper of her small herd. She got along with everyone and made sure no one was picked on. But, to the racing industry Melody was a number... she was tattoo number G24671, she was known as Heavenly Perfect, a descendent of War Admiral.
Heavenly perfect was born in 2003 and bred by Magali Ventures, LLC, she was sold at Barretts Equine Limited October 2004 Sale of Preferred Yearlings for $33,000. She had what they wanted, a potential earner and the heart of a racehorse.
Life does not always end as it begins, for many racehorses there is a cruel twist that changes their life and not for the better. Melody was rescued from going to the slaughterhouse in Mexico on May 23, 2008. She had run her last physical race 10 days prior and this time the only wagering going on was between the killbuyers and the rescuers. It was a claiming race taking place at a cold dark kill auction in Sugarcreek, Ohio and if Melody lost, the price would be her life. That day, Melody and the other horses won their race, ... They were rescued.
Sometimes in rescue the most you can do is give the horses a last chapter that is filled with love and kindness and a dignified ending. On June 7th Melody was brought into the hospital because of a bout with colic, which she was able to get through. What was discovered at the hospital was disgraceful. Melody not only had laminitis but it was evident from the x-rays that this rotation began over 5 months ago, by the time she came to us her coffin bone was nearly coming through her sole on both front feet. Melody had 3 chips in her knees, one in the 4th Carpel bone and 2 in her joints, the x-rays also showed that she had at least 2 fractures, one in her second carpel bone and one in her radial carpel bone. These injuries were not new. On a scale of 1 to 10, ten being the worst, Melody┤s arthritis was an 8.
Here are some videos of her last three (3) races. They are so close in time, you just got to know she was hurting in every one of them, but look how hard she tried to win, even with founder, fracture, chipped knees and arthiritis. What a heart she had for the race and to please her heartless owner!
PLEASE NOTE: These are YouTube Videos and you can leave your comments on them underneath the vids, and we ask that you PLEASE DO and let the world know what you think of Hollendorfer running Heavenly Perfect in the condition she was! We WILL NOT let him get away with it but will make an example of him for all others. He is now our International Posterboy of Racehorse Cruelty. Welcome to the Horseracing Hall of Shame, Jerry!
One would think that months ago Melody would have quit racing, but no, her trainers would get everything they could out of this mare. Her last race was May 13th, 2008, where the only comment about her was " a steady fade." What would you expect in her condition, her trainer and owner was Jerry Hollendorfer. Click below to see his bio, ranked as the 4th "winningest owner and trainer in all of North America whos horses have won him over $90,000.000!
Jerry Hollendorfer is not new to the racing industry nor was he new to Heavenly Perfect. According to Equineline Database he and his partner George Todaro obtained her in a claiming race in October of 2006. Hollendorfer developed a reputation as a claiming trainer, but in a career turning point, Hollendorfer turned $16,000 claimer Novel Sprite into a $467,586 multiple stakes winner, to receive the Horsemen's Benevolent and Protection Association's 1986 Claimer of the Year award. Selected as California Thoroughbred Breeders Association Trainer of the Year in 1995. With over 5,000 training victories, his horses have earned more than $91 million. AS of May 13th Holledorger was still her owner and trainer of record and on May 13th Hollendorfer raced Heavenly Perfect at River Downs Racetrack in Ohio in the condition she was in, the only comment on her chart said "steady fade."
We called Hollendorfer┤s facility to get a comment but did not receive a return phone call. On May 23, 2008, 10 days after her last race, she was sent to the kill auction in Sugarcreek, Ohio. On May 23, 2008 with the combined efforts of the Victoria McCullough Founder of the Triumph Project through the Davis/McCullough Foundation and Pure Thoughts, Heavenly Perfect was safe.
The Triumph Project was formed in November 2007 to assist in raising awareness about horse slaughter and horse welfare. It is the hope of the "Triumph Project" that enlightenment of the senseless cruelty that lurks within the shadows be brought forward and the horses have an ally and are given a voice.
On July 8th, Melody was laid to rest, no longer would she endure the pain. Victoria McCullough promised this mare she would soon be in greener pasture. The realization of the cruelty to the horses was said eloquently by Victoria "
For myself and the "Davis McCullough Foundation we are learning everyday that it is not enough to save the horses from needless slaughter, there is yet another abuse that rests in silence, it is unspeakable that any horse endure this painful road to a premature death thankfully given in dignity instead of at the hand of an inhuman and callous worker with a knife to sever her spine as a reward for her gallant heart."
This brave mare touched the heart of many in her short time with us, Dr. Robert Smith somberly stated, "Melody was an exceptional horse, I am very sorry that a mare with such a heart had to be put down."
It was not the slaughterhouse that killed Melody.... it was her heart.... the heart of a racehorse. They give their heart and soul to their passion... the race. They give their heart and soul to their trainers/owners. These racehorses give their heart and soul to the racing industry... who in turn, .... chew it up, spit it out and send the horses to a tortuous end.
If only, 6 months ago, the people in charge of Heavenly Perfect┤s well being had given back to her what she had given to them, she would be alive today. A change must be made.
PLEASE NOTE: If you would like more information about this story of Heavenly Perfect, please contact Jennifer Swanson, one of the original rescuers, by emailing her here; (below)
www.PTHR.org PLEASE NOTE: For those of you like us who are determined to see justice done in Heavenly Perfects case, there is a Thoroughbred Racing Industry Congressional House Subcomitte studying race-horse abuse and is calling for more over-sight. I am sure they woud love to hear of the torture Mr Jerry Hollendorfer put poor Heavenly Perfect through by forcing her to race time and time again knowing she was not fit to race.
Here is a list with some of the SubCommitte-members names and websites. Please note that they do not answer emails from people in any state but their own, but the sites do have telephone numbers & addresses if you want to call or write.
These are the only people who really want to know and to do something about it.
We hope everyone will contact them with their concerns about the mistreatment of Heavenly Perfect and hopefully we will see Jerry Hollendofer sitting in the hot seat before the next Congressional Hearing on the Maltreatment of race horses.
You can see videos of these congressional hearings below. Here you can see how serious they are about correcting these sorts of problems. Once you open the link, click on the big red button to the right to activate the media player. Be sure to "undock" it for the larger picture. Watch it, get mad, and then contact the Representatives listed below the link;
PLEASE ALSO NOTE: That because of incidents like this, where rescuers discover lame horses being raced, race horse owners and trainers are not bringing their "unwanted" horses to auctions anymore, but are being them to MEL HOOVERS STABLES in New Holland, Pa, where Mel promices them that the horse will be destroyed. Mels is a "direct to slaughter" stable where the horses have NO chance of being rescued. Please see and sign the petition against MEL HOOVER in the link below;
ALSO, Below are listed some major Racing Industry Organizations and Media Outlets you may also want to contact and let them know what you think of Mr. Jerry Hollendorfer and what he did to Heavenly Perfect:
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