Happy Birthday, Zeno Bay!

February 17, 2021

It was three years February 13 since Zeno Bay left that horrible auction lot and found a forever home. Every domestic animal deserves a forever home where they are cared for with love and kindness. 

Zeno Bay is a handsome bay horse who raced seven times as a 3-year-old in 2001. And he hit the board five times including two wins racing the Mid-Atlantic circuit. Sadly, he finished seventh in his last two races at Charles Town with very low speed figures. In his last race he vied for the lead for half then faded back to lose by 20 ¾ lengths. 

The 23-year-old seemed to be pretty good at his job but alas he ran as a low level claimer with earnings of only $15,747. And then he disappeared off the track and Equibase radar. 

The son of Citidancer out of the Chieftain mare Giubilante popped up 17 years later—in the monthly horse sale operated by known kill buyer Brian Moore in Lebanon, Pennsylvania.

Zeno Bay with his lot number standing for auction photos for Moore’s posting on Facebook.

Found by rescue organization Unbridled Thoroughbred Foundation’s Zeno Bay’s plight was quickly circulated for bail donations. Unbridled’s founder, Susan Kayne, posted information on social media to the Foundation’s network of followers.  

Jeff Morris, a horse breeder and former trainer from Arcadia, Calif. who now resides in South Carolina and noted author of “Seabiscuit,” Laura Hillenbrand spied the post. With Laura taking the lead the two, who are longtime friends, teamed up to donate the required bail. (Jeff and Laura had saved a mare named Saudi Poetry a few years prior. Read her story here). 

“Finding myself able to play to a small role in retrieving Zeno Bay from extremity was much more  than a pleasure, it was an honor. For all of us who’ve been given so much by our equine friends over the years—fun, love, joy, meaning, and fulfillment—we must be obliged to give back, and there’s no better opportunity than when we find a horse at risk of falling through the cracks,” expressed Jeff Morris.

“I couldn’t be more pleased to know that Zeno Bay, and his wonderful owner, have found each other, and may they have many happy years together.” 

Journey Home

Facilitated by Unbridled, Zeno Bay was removed from his dark fate and brought to Allie Stahl Smith’s Circle K Farms in Landisburg, Pennsylvania to await his next stage of quarantine. 

Bred in Maryland and rescued in Pennsylvania, Zeno Bay was then adopted by Pam Gordon of TreFoil Farm and headed to New York state for the last stage of his journey.

“[Zeno Bay] was adopted by a local stable we know from the community in Middleburgh, N.Y.,” said Kayne. “We reached out to them to let them know he was available and would be suitable for their clientele.”

Gordon was delighted to bring then 20-year-old Zeno Bay to the farm. Giving the gelding the barn name “Tito,” he joined the herd of lesson and trail ride horses leased by local clients at TreFoil. 

“This lovely animal was donated to TreFoil Farm from Unbridled,” Gordon proudly said. “Tito is sweet, gentle and kind. He is a favorite here at the farm—everybody’s sweetheart. He is wonderful on trail rides. And Tito is great around kids. He’s bomb proof.”

Three years later this is where Zeno Bay thrives thanks to everyone involved in this story.

Zeno Bay will officially turn 23 on February 21. Let’s wish him a very happy birthday and many returns. 

Follow Zeno Bay’s journey on Unbridled’s Facebook page

Zeno Bay’s Pedigree

With a lot of Northern Dancer in his top, Zeno Bay’s pedigree is peppered with French, Irish and British flavor through his dam’s line. His tailmares include Reines de Course Mumtaz Begum (FR) (bred by the Aga Khan and the dam of influential sire, Nasrullah, Champion Two Year Old Filly Dodoma (GB), and Stakes producer, Bibibeg (IRE)), Miss Disco, (The dam of Bold Ruler) and 1965 Broodmare of the Year, Pocahontas, who was also the dam of Tom Rolfe and blacktype producing mares, Lady Rebecca (GB) and Wampum (GB). 

Unbridled’s founder, Susan Kayne

About Unbridled 

Unbridled Thoroughbred Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit public charity devoted to protecting Thoroughbreds from exploitation and slaughter. They are a lifeline for Thoroughbreds from all walks of life. In all that we do, it is their purpose to embolden a new ethical perspective towards Thoroughbreds to be appreciated, recognized, and respected as fellow sentient beings. 

They rescue, revitalize, and rehome horses through adoption, and we sustain a herd of Thoroughbred Mares in Sanctuary. The Thoroughbreds they redeem are representative of tens of thousands more who were not saved and suffered torturous, violent deaths in slaughter plants. 

​Through advocacy, education, and hands-on engagement we seek to inspire a new ethical perspective to embolden appreciation for the inherent worth of every horse. For the horse-human bond to flourish, they believe that compassion, empathy, and respect must be the principles upon which the horse-human relationship is built.

Unbridled is volunteer-run and donor-supported. They rely on donations, public support, grants, fundraising events, and merchandise sales to support their lifesaving mission.

Unbridled is the only Thoroughbred Foundation in the USA dually Accredited by the American Sanctuary Association (ASA) and Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS). Unbridled is a Guardian Partner of Equus Foundation, and recipient of GuideStar Platinum Seal of Transparency.

By Maribeth Kalinich with Rachel Humphrey, contributor

Photos courtesy Unbridled Thoroughbreds Foundation and Pam Gordon 

Contributing Authors

MB Kalinich

Maribeth Kalinich is a racing enthusiast and historian who writes about current racing events, Thoroughbred history and preservation of historic racing sites. Growing up in...

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