Saturday, April 25, 2009

Huey's secret identity revealed!

Continuing the story from the previous post..

Last summer, when we'd only had Huey for a month, I remember standing with my mother watching him in the pasture. I said to my mother that he looked a lot like Mr. Prospector.

Mr. Prospector was an influential Thoroughbred sire. He had a tendency to pass on "bench knees" (offset). He also had a lumpishly muscled build, to my eye. Huey has both of these characteristics.

Huey was sold to us as an "Appendix Quarter Horse". Since I remembered hearing somewhere that Mr. P showed up in xQHs, the resemblance did not alarm me. Huey came with a lip tattoo, which we could read as "Something-1-(6 or 8)-5-2-1". (Want to know more about tattoo formats? Read more...) Huey's tattoo seemed too long for a QH. So we wondered if the first or last digit was a smudge. We did a few look ups but nothing matched.

Finally the Jockey Club recently began looking up tattoos for free. I re-examined Huey's lip with the assistance of a carrot. The first character looked rather like a faded D. So I sent the JC "D16521" along with photos of Huey. When they sent me a match I was shocked. After a very courteous JC registrar called me and spent time reassuring me, I realized I was convinced.

Huey is...

"Word by Word", a chestnut gelding born March 2, 2000 in Kentucky. His paternal great grandfather is Mr. Prospector. He is out of a mare with Prince John two times, a line reputed to have good temperaments and hunter quality movement.

I immediately emailed the breeder. But I was disappointed to hear that any information on Huey would be in storage and that they were not interested in searching. Undeterred, I looked up his race record. Then I bought a subscription to EquiBase and watched a video of Huey losing his last race. Ah yes, I have trouble motivating him to be forward too.

Huey raced 46 times and won 8 for a career total of $96,195 between 2003 and 2007. He raced almost exclusively at Mountaineer Track in West Virginia. My instructor checked with the trader who sold Huey to us. He remembered that the trader he'd bought Huey from said he'd come from Mountaineer but that guy had said he was a Appendix Quarter Horse. He assumed that was right and hadn't pursued it further (he buys and sells many horses a year). The date checked out as a month or two after Huey's final race. I've sent an email to the racing office to request win photos. Once I can get a photo and get in contact with a person from his past, I will have tied up all the loose ends.

So now we know who Huey is. I had wondered if we ever would. As I said to my mother, Huey doesn't mind. He doesn't know if he is a Quarter Horse or a Thoroughbred or a zebra. He just is who he is. But we promised him a carrot cupcake on March 2nd next year...


Paint Girl said...

That is so cool that you found out his real identity! Hopefully you can get those racing photos of him!

Grey Horse Matters said...

I love it! How nice to know where your mom's horse came from and his background. I would love to have more info on some of our guys(you know the ones with nothing but a sad story). How cool it will be to get some racing pictures of his wins. If you frame them in a collage it would be a great gift for your mom.

Reddunappy said...

So what is his race/registered name?

A Bay Horse said...

It's "Word by Word" (out of "Word Harvest" by "West by West"). That's a good idea Grey Horse. I'm hoping I can do that. :)

Reddunappy said...

LOL sorry I didnt get that in your post LOL I am slow sometimes, I thought you were quoting the jockey club word for word, duh :0)

Reddunappy said...

That is so fun that you found out his bloodlines!

Five O'Clock Somewhere said...

How cool to be able to find out so much on Huey. So do you have to subscribe to Equibase to find out whether they have footage of a horse, or can you check first before subscribing? My last horse was an OTTB.

A Bay Horse said...

Do you know what dates your horse raced? I had to order Huey's "Past Performances" report, because I needed to know exactly what dates he raced. That was $10 at EquineLine.

You could check check YouTube first. But Huey's races weren't on youtube.

Once I knew the dates, yes you can look up on EquiBase by track and date and see if a video is available before you buy.


Anne said...

I love this story! We've recently bought a TB horse but can't read his tattoo. The person who rehabbed him from the track told me he was Seattle Slew's grandson, but she hasn't gotten back to me with any of his identifying info.

I thought I had the right tattoo number (the vet read it and she said she's good at that because she works at the track) but that tattoo came back as a mare.... Ooops.

Huey's resemblance to Mr. Prospector is uncanny. What an impressive detective you are!

Please post the photos if you get them. I think I'm going to go out now and see if I can try to read that smeared tattoo again. I've been told to take a photo and try to study it. The horse stands very quietly but won't let me pull up his lip. He holds is down tightly like a resistant child at the dentist. Very funny business this all is, but how rewarding to get the whole story. Great fun! Anne at

info said...

what a great find! amazing that yout tracked his history down.
I bought a big tb/friesian x not long ago and the owner had no idea her mare was a Deputy Minister grandaughter -known for good tempurment too- so a nat. champion on the sire side and 'hall of famer' on the dams. before i found all this out I'd watch him gallop and say my god he's got a bigger length of stride there, than most 1450 lbs...funny how you see things in your horse!