Tuesday, April 21, 2009

What the Huey? ...again

Between the 1,000 things that have been keeping me too busy, I also observed that the Jockey Club is offering free tattoo research. Huey was sold to us as a 2001 "off-track Appendix Quarter Horse". His tattoo is mostly legible except the first digit is faded. As you may know QH and TBs have a different tattoo format. Since it was free, on a lark, I sent his tattoo to the JC. I decided the first digit looked like a "D". That would make him a 2000 model. I also sent the JC photos of Huey. I expected to get nothing back.

Imagine my surprise when they sent me back a positive match. I sent the JC a reply email. I'm sure they sensed my panic by my gratuitous use of exclamation points and capital letters. A gentleman called my cellphone. He said we should walk through the photos together. He went through every marking on Huey one by one. He had the same stripe and star, no white on the feet, mane darker than the tail. This is the part when I totally lost it... (paraphrasing as best as I can here)

Gentleman: "I don't see a photo of the left side of his face. Does he have a small patch of white hairs on his left cheek?"

Me: "A what? Oh my God. Oh my God. I've got to sit down. Yes, he does. I thought it was just an old injury."

Gentleman: "No Ma'am, he was born with it. It's on his registration."

Me: "$**%$## Oh my God. ($***$*#. Huey is a Thoroughbred?!"

Gentleman: "I'm very sure that is him. It's a 100% match. Everything is the same."

I called my mother. She acted like I'd just told her her Ford is really a Toyota. I looked up Huey's "past performances" on EquineLine. His final race corroborated with when I'd been told he'd come off the track. They had a video on EquiBase. So I bought a subscription. The video was extremely grainy. I watched a race through to the finish. All the horses ran by in a clump. But then, 10 seconds later, a sooty chestnut chugged past the finish line. I watched it over 100 times. I clipped through it frame by frame. I paused on frames. I could see the sooty knees, the star-stripe, the mane was darker than the tail. It had to be Huey...

Coming soon, I will reveal the secret identity of Huey, the Thoroughbred. Click to continue...


Grey Horse Matters said...

That's so interesting. At least you now know his background and what he's done and where he's been. Eventually, you may be able to get baby pictures or some really interesting information about his sire and dam etc...I think it's great news.

Stephanie said...

I agree with Grey Horse Matters! It will be great for you to know exactly what you have and his past. Good for you and good for the JC for taking the time to help out!

Reddunappy said...

Thats so cool you could go back and find his history!!

Fantastyk Voyager said...

That is exciting!
BTW- do they lip tatoo QH racehorses? I thought they only did that with the Thoroughbreds. Little do I know!

I bought my aged Arabian mare without papers. Then I found a freeze brand on her neck. I deciphered it and found out her actual name, DOB, progeny, etc. through the Arabian Horse Club.

We bought her as Nadia but her real name is Nari Asbah. I like Nadia beter. lol.