Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Genuine Reward - Truly a Great Genuine Story

Many of you are surely familiar with the writer, Laura Hillenbrand, who brought us the story of Seabiscuit.  I take the words below from her, this is her story, and what a great one it is.........

When I was a kid, I saw my first Kentucky Derby, won in smashing style by a tough little filly named Genuine Risk. She was only the second filly to ever win the Derby, and her performance thrilled me to my bones. Two weeks later, my sister, brother and I went to Pimlico Racecourse in Baltimore, stood at the finish line in a jubilant crowd, and watched Genuine Risk finish a gallant second in the wildly run and extremely controversial Preakness. She would finish second in the Belmont Stakes, coming so close to sweeping the Triple Crown. 

One of the greatest horses in history, Genuine Risk, was plagued by infertility. Year after year she was bred, and each try ended in heartbreak. She conceived a foal by Secretariat, but it was delivered stillborn. Finally, in 1993, she delivered a healthy foal, a colt who looked just like her. Named Genuine Reward, he never made it to the races, and after receiving enormous media attention upon his birth, faded from public view. Genuine Risk had only one more live foal. She lived to the grand old age of 31 and died peacefully in her paddock in Virginia.

A few weeks ago I was scrolling through Facebook when I came upon an ad from Craigslist. Genuine Reward was for sale in Wyoming for $500 or best offer, a price so low it was very likely he'd be bought by a killer buyer and sent to a slaughterhouse. Literally seconds after seeing the ad, I called Michael Blowen of the wonderful Old Friends Farm, a retirement paradise for great racehorses. I told him I'd pay for the horse and anything else necessary to get him to the farm in Kentucky. Michael said yes. 

Yesterday morning, Genuine Reward arrived at Old Friends. He’s been beautifully cared for by his owners, and looks lovely, so much like his mother. Upon the stallion's arrival, Michael Blowen called me and said the horse seems very sweet. I’m so happy that this horse, a connection to my childhood and my beginnings in racing, and one of only two babies of the magnificent Genuine Risk, will have a happy home for the rest of his years.

Thanks to her generosity and support (not to mention her incredible timing) this stallion is saved, and will live the life of kings in retirement, even though he never lived it while trying to become a racehorse like his mother.  Isn't this a wonderful story?

(Photos and text from Laura's Facebook page).  We all love and need a happy ending!


  1. That is a fantastic story. So many times horses are just used up and forgotten about. Thank you for sharing. I wish I had some of that line in my breeding program.

    Secretariat is the one who captured my heart. I watched him win :)

  2. This is the best story!!!! Thank you for posting!


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