I was contacted by Jennifer Haas Hoyt of Eclipse Press in December about possibly reviewing a book about success stories of off-track Thoroughbreds. With my passion for exracers, how could I do anything but say “Of Course!” The official title of the book is Second-Chance Horses: Inspiring Stories of Ex-Racehorses Succeeding in New Careers. That sounds pretty much right up my alley…doesn’t it?
I finally got around to starting it yesterday (and finished it this morning). Second-Chance Horses a moderate size at 214 pages. The version sent to me is a hardcover with a lovely full-color dust jacket. There is a really nice forward written by Nick Nicholson, the president and CEO of the Keeneland Association, 18 chapters of wonderful stories (usually just one store per chapter) and its followed up with a Rescue Resource Guide listing equine rescues that work on placing exracers.
The stories are heartwarming and entertaining. They are well written and many contain multiple B&W photos of the horses succeeding in their new lives. As a Thoroughbred owner and lover, I was not really surprised to read any of the stories about these retired beauties because I already now how fabulous they are! However, I do think this book is an excellent way to introduce someone to the possibility that a retired Thoroughbred could be a good horse for them. Anyone who is a horse lover will certainly enjoy this book. Its sort of a Chicken Soup for the Thoroughbred-Lover’s Soul. 🙂
My only disappointment came when I turned to the end of the book only to find that the Resource Guide was missing a crucial element — Friends of Ferdinand, Inc. Not only did they not have FFI listed, they had no listing for the state of Indiana. With two tracks here and hundreds of Thoroughbred and Standardbred breeders, not to mention our proximity to Ohio and Kentucky tracks, it is really a shame that FFI was not included in their Resource Guide. Hopefully, if future editions are printed, FFI will be included.