About Denali

I bought Denali at the Enumclaw Auction July 2008. I wasn't planning on buying a horse, but once I saw her I just knew that she was mine. She was sold by a woman who claimed that she was a friend's horse, and that the friend's children road her down by the river. Let me just say now, that if she was A. ever ridden by children or  B. ever ridden down by a river that I am also a multi millionaire. I didn't really care, I just loved the look in her eye, and I couldn't leave her.  The woman told me that she was a 3 year old Appendix, and was broke to ride.

I didn't remember much about the actual purchasing of Denali. I didn't have a number, so I took a friends and bid until I won. I wasn't about to let her go with the meat guy, and I felt a connection with her that I have only ever felt with one other horse, Yukon.

We loaded her up in the trailer. I remember walking out to the trailer with her thinking, "holy shit, what if she won't load." She hopped up without a problem, and started to munch on the hay. No problems. She rode like a champ and was super calm. Once we got her back to the barn, and opened the trailer door, I was convinced I had purchased a wild, unbroke stallion. It was apparent that the ACE had worn off. I carefully unloaded a very hot horse. As I was leading her into the arena, a guy who had come out to see the newest boarder tried to take her tag off. That put her over the edge and over the next 20 minutes she ran non-stop, bucking, kicking, and screaming.

Everyone looked at me all with the same look, but only one asked the question, "What are you going to do now?"

Eventually she calmed down, and I put her in her stall for the evening. She settled in nicely, and the next day she was turned out to the round pen. Within a few hours she threw a shoe. A very light aluminum shoe. Another boarder helped me to hold her head so I could check for what I already knew was there. Her tattoo. It was very fresh, and really easy to read. I took the information down and contacted the Jockey Club. They were able to give me her pedigree and I quickly found out that she was a descendent of the great Secretariat and Seattle Slew. She sold for $38,000 at the Keenland Auction. I was floored. Why a horse with that pedigree ended up at an auction, I just didn't understand.

I asked them about getting her papers and because she was bought at an auction, she was sold "as-is." If I found her previous owner, I would MAYBE be able to get her papers from them.

I contacted the farm she was breed at, Hopewell Farms in Lexington, Kentucky. I asked them if maybe they had her papers (I didn't quite know how everything worked, boy did I get a crash course.) They gave me all of her information, and were very upset that I purchased her at an auction. I got a very good feeling along with a very good lead to getting her papers. They informed me that if her owners wouldn't give me her papers, let them know and they'd get them for me.

The next day I called Emerald Downs, and asked to speak with her trainer. I left my number and why I was calling. I didn't expect him to call.

What happened next totally changed the way I look at horse racing. Holding back tears, he asked me again where I bought her. I told him where and described the woman. He invited my husband and I to the track to meet him in person, and to see the good side of racing. He was wonderful, and I can tell from Denali's personality that she was treated very well by men, she loves my husband.

Turns out that the trainer gave her a "forever" home with a Jockey's wife. The wife said she wanted her for her daughter. The same day that she left for her forever home, she went to the auction. She's done it at least four times, but for some reason no one at Emerald Downs cares.

This is the story of Denali. Thanks for joining us!