Star Plus pointing his toe to win. PR image.

Star Plus arrives at Old Friends haven for retired Thoroughbreds

Star Plus pointing his toe to win. PR image.
Star Plus pointing his toe to win. He is now safely and happily retired at Old Friends Equine rescue and sanctuary in Georgetown, Kentucky. PR image.

Zippy Chippy is not the only star shining brightly at Old Friends haven for retired Thoroughbreds in Georgetown, Kentucky. Star Plus is right there with him.

We are so delighted and relieved to read in a newsletter written by Michael Blowen and posted on Facebook July 30, 2012:

We recently added to new retirees from Earl Mack (or Earl Macke). Star Plus, an energetic stallion, and Lion Hunter, a gelding. Mr Mack is very supportive of his horses and the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation and Old Friends. We previously retired his beautiful mare, Santona. Special thanks to Denali Stud for keeping all three Thoroughbreds until we had their spots open up.

Star Plus is a racehorse who was injured and could no longer race. His owner Earle Mack sold him with the understanding that Star Plus would not be raced again. But the new owner broke that agreement running Star Plus in several races anyway, knowing it was highly risky for the horse’s health and safety. That is a brief introduction to a story with a long, undulating plot populated with a cast of characters and the twists and turns of an Agatha Christie novel. If you would like attempt it, begin here at the Paulick Report, written by Ray Paulick who broke the Star Plus story.

The follow-up Paulick Report stated that Star Plus was safe, would not race again and retiring at Old Friends. We called Old Friends to see if Star Plus had arrived so we could visit him, and told he was not there. Not long after a New York Times article (one in a series of exposés on the underbelly of horse racing) stated that Star Plus was “somewhere in Kentucky” and we became alarmed.

Now we know where that “somewhere in Kentucky” was, and that Star Plus simply was awaiting an opening at Old Friends. Isn’t it sad that horse racing in the U.S. is so rife with tragedies and coverups that you fear for a horse’s life every time the slightest peculiarity is reported.

We trust that Star Plus is settling in beautifully and will have a safe and happy life.

9 thoughts on “Star Plus arrives at Old Friends haven for retired Thoroughbreds”

  1. And thank you to Ray Paulick of the Paulick Report who broke the Star Plus story and gave the many people involved the chance to do right by this horse. Without Paulick speaking out on behalf of Star Plus, it is highly likely the outcome would have been fatal for the horse.


  2. I am glad for these lucky horses who deserve so much care.
    Whenever I see these saves, I think of the all the rest who were not saved. Think of the anonymous and loyal, hardworking grade horses, registered horses, show horses, children’s ponies, pets, you name it. Rescues can never accommodate all of these loving, loyal animals. There is not enough money in this world to set up and pay for all of these betrayed friends to mankind.
    Until slaughter ends, no innocent life is ever safe. HB2966/S1176


  3. Great story. Wish all had happy endings like this, but I’ll take this one. My hats off to Earl Mack and attorney Maggie Moss who worked tirelessly to ensure this happy ending! This story also proves that many more facilities like this are desperately needed! We need to all pull together 4 the TBs who puts on the show and, without him, we would have no business.


  4. OLD FRIENDS and Michael Blowen are wonderful for the retired Thoroughbreds. Hate to think where they would be without them.


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