Happy Birthday To…

February is a major month at my farm, and for Unbridled Thoroughbred Foundation these days.

February 13th: Zeno Bay was saved from Moore’s Killpen.

February 20th: Vai Via was saved from Moore’s Killpen.

February 21st: Someone celebrates a birthday!

Our very own Zeno Bay is celebrating 21 years of life today, a birthday he might not have seen if it weren’t for the generosity of the donors to Unbridled Thoroughbred Foundation.

I cannot account for this horse for his first twenty years but I can try to fill in the blanks.


According to Equibase Zeno Bay was born to Muirfield Ventures in Maryland on February 21st, 1998.  He was bred by Citidancer out of Guibilante (New to the horse terms?  “By” refers to the father, or sire,  and “out of” refers to the mother, or dam).

All of my research on Muirfield Ventures leads me to Muirfield Farm (in MD)  which was sold in 1999.  My guess (all I have to go on) is that this farm sold and liquidated through Muirfield Ventures.  He would have been a yearling at this point if still on premises during the sale.


His first owner appears as Jean B Morris (trainer Earl Begley) on the schedule for his first race, a cloudy Friday April 4, 2001 at Charles Town, West Virginia.  Then three year old Zeno Bay placed 3rd after a quick, dirty, 4.5 furlongs.

A month later Zeno ran his second race and broke his maiden.   Wednesday was another cloudy day at Charles Town and Zeno ate those 4.5 furlongs, pulling even farther ahead in the home stretch.

Zeno Bay

Zeno Bay ran his third and forth races coming in 3rd and 2nd, respectively.  He won his fifth race at Pimlico (Baltimore, MD) on the clear Saturday of July 7, 2001.  This track was 6 furlongs this time and it was this race that he had changed hands to Oswald H. Redman (trainer Jeff Runco).  He was claimed for $6500.

This was the last time Zeno Bay ran in the money.  For the first 5 races he placed in the money (1st, 2nd, or 3rd) but he struck out in 7th in his final two races.

In the first race since changing owners he was claimed yet again only two weeks later back at Charles Town Saturday July 21, 2001.  He only came in 7th but he was purchased for $7500 by James W. Shawyer (trainer Thomas E Mazerski).  His career ended August 4th with another 7th place run.  These are his last known traceable details.

Photo courtesy of Trish Bode


I can tell you he has poor feet, dental issues, arthritis, and a bowed tendon.  His circulatory system appears to be compromised, but I am no vet.

I cannot talk to what happened during or after his career at the track and I have only shared with you information that is readily available through a simple Google search.  I have been unsuccessful finding any details about the people and I will not criticize them without knowing the whole story.  They very well could have meant well and are completely clueless as to how Zeno Bay found himself next in line for slaughter last year.

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From 2001 to 2018 spans seventeen years.  Zeno Bay had lived somewhere, been something, for SEVENTEEN YEARS.  Where?  Who knows.

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I have ridden the handsome fellow and he is bombproof, I have yet to see him spook at anything.  He takes a lot of leg and encouragement so I carry a crop, but he is also very willing.  His gaits are extremely comfortable and his canter is a dream.  He knows how to carry himself and set his head and doesn’t require a heavy hand, but he’s not fussy at all either.


This leads me to wonder if he had been a lesson horse.  He rides like one, and he would have been a lovely hunter horse for children’s shows.  I wonder if children grew up with this horse.  I wonder what they would think if they found out about his fate.

Zeno Bay upon redemption from Moore’s killpen 02/16/2018

Unbridled found Zeno Bay in Moore’s killpen slightly more than a year ago.  Waiting among others to be hauled from Pennsylvania to Canada and killed for meat.  The angels of Unbridled rallied and bought him another chance at life.


He was redeemed February 13th, 2018.  After quarantine he went to live at Breezy Hills in Maryland.  Here, in the “care” of Breezy Hills his condition degraded immensely. He was emaciated, loaded with parasites, had dental issues, and had a quarter crack in his hoof to the coronet band.  Killpens hold horses in order to feed them and put weight on the before shipping for meat.  Zeno Bay had a better body score at the killpen than he did when I first met him in September 2018.  I visited him only days after his return to New York where Susan dewormed him, got him the dental care he needed, and provided ample hay and water.  Within a week he was in my care at home, and had already gained weight during the week he was in New York.


Since then Zeno Bay has blossomed.  He enjoys my company and leaves the other two boys to be with me.  If I take Blade out to have one on one time Zeno is there waiting at the gate for our return as if to say “my turn.”  He’s not waiting for Blade, he ignores Blade when we return.  It’s his person he waits for.  He’s always curious and wants to know about me and what I’m up to.  He often musses up my hair or tries to share his breakfast which he drops all over the place.  He tells me where his itchy spots are.  Some days I go out on the ATV, kill the engine, and just sit quietly with the boys.  Zeno Bay is always the first to come and position himself right where he wants to be touched.  Sometimes it’s his cheek, sometimes his neck, and he definitely loves a good chest rub.    He smiles from the depths of his big lovable heart.

I’ve been slowly putting weight on him, feeding an aged horse that was already thin and in lesser health during the winter is a struggle.  I have been addressing many of his issues and he keeps me on my toes.  We have de-wormed him with a Powerpack.  I have addressed his legs stocking up during a rainstorm when he didn’t get enough movement.  I exercised him (walked) in the frigid temperatures of January after his sheath had become swollen and painful from edema; I also suspect this is from not enough movement as it happened during a snow storm and he didn’t move around much.  I have been constantly addressing a stubborn case of thrush and white line in his feet (not to mention the issues in my own horse’s feet).  I have also successfully rid him of lice (EWW).  These scenarios are why I, a non-medical professional, might suspect cardiac/circulation issues.  Either way he is loved and cared for.


Today he is officially 21 years old! He is doing very well and living his best life thanks to Unbridled Thoroughbred Foundation.


If you’d like to make a donation to Unbridled in honor of Zeno Bay, please visit https://www.paypal.me/UnbridledTBF



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