'Untouchable One': N.B. champion race horse rescued from kill pen
A champion race horse from New Brunswick has been given a second chance and a new lease on life after being rescued from a kill pen in the United States.
Untouchable One is a brown pacing horse that was born on Cheryl Geldart’s farm in Norton, N.B. back in 2010 and quickly established himself as a force to be reckoned with on the racetrack, racking up more than $264,000 in winnings.
“He ended up being one of the best horses that I’ve ever had born on my farm,” says Geldart.
“He spent two years racing in the Maritimes, Breeders Crown champions both of those years, and set a few track records that may not stand now, but at the time.”
His racing career took him down to the U.S. where Geldart says he raced in and around New York and New Jersey until he was about seven or eight years old.
“Usually they go to their second career a lot of the time as cart horses for the Amish,” says Geldart. “Once they’re not sound enough, or getting up there, they sadly end up in a shipping pen they call it.”
Geldart says after his racing career was over, she had started to watch for him on rescue sites – she says she had a feeling she might find him, and one day, she did. Untouchable One was discovered in a kill pen in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania.
To rescue him and bring him home to New Brunswick came at a cost of around $3,000, and many people stepped up to help.
“It was amazing, people that watched him as a race horse here that loved him donated money, friends donated money, strangers donated money, it almost makes me cry thinking about it,” says Geldart.
On Saturday, Untouchable One and Geldart returned to the Exhibition Park Raceway in east Saint John – the track he raced so many years ago – as part of Standardbred Rescue and Adoption Awareness Day.
“We’re using Untouchable One as sort of a starting point for a conversation about where these horses are going, what they’ve done and what they can do,” says Tracey Norwood, one of the people who helped organize this event.
“Untouchable One too, also made me more aware of how many [of these horses] are going to slaughter,” says Sandra Nason Sewell, another event organizer.
“I think we have a responsibility to them to give them a second job or even a retirement after their race careers are over.”
For anyone interesting in rescuing a former race horse or learning more about them, Norwood suggests contacting members of the group through the Facebook event page.