Australian Horse Provides Inspiration Through Recovery

I apologize for being absent for awhile. I will be back with a longer blog story next week, but as I am currently dealing with some family issues, this week I will simply be sharing with you a touching article that I read recently.

I love reading stories about horses with huge hearts. The subject of this article—an 8-year-old Australian-bred gelding named Geejayhaitch--is reminiscent of racing icon Personal Ensign.

Geejayhaitch didn’t have as high of a profile as Personal Ensign, but I believe his inner strength and ability to defy the great odds that were against him is equal to that of the late mare.

Personal Ensign suffered a fractured pastern as a 2-year-old but returned to racing and win multiple grade I races, including the 1988 Breeders’ Cup Distaff (gr. I).

Geejayhaitch also had a miraculous recovery from a horrific injury. Four years ago, Geejayhaitch broke both of his front legs below the knee, which is a death sentence for most horses. But trainer/co-owner Walter McShane thought the gelding deserved a second chance.

After an extensive surgery to repair his legs with screws and meticulous rehabilitation efforts on a new water treadmill, Geejayhaitch was back to his old self. McShane took the gelding’s spirited nature and thorough healing after 14 months as a sign he was ready to go back to work.

While he hasn’t gone on to accomplish the same heroic feats of Personal Ensign, just the fact Geejayhaitch has won five races and placed in seven others since his return to racing deserves some major accolades. Most recently, the gelding finished second in a 12-furlong turf race at Moonee Valley in Australia.

I hope you enjoy this story as much as I did. We all need a little inspiration once in awhile, and Geejayhaitch gives me hope and makes me smile. Click here to read more about him and view pictures and video.

7 Comments

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Paula Higgins

A very heartwarming and wonderful story. God Bless Walter McShane for giving is horse the care he needed to survive.

28 Sep 2011 9:58 PM
PomDeTerre

God bless you, Walter McShane.  That you saw beyond the immediate medical expenses to bring this animal back to life deserves respect and applause.  The industry has been come far too disposable with it's product, the horse, far too tempted by the lure of insurance, far too ready to give up on the suffering animal and move on to the next one- particularly a gelding with no potential for off track earnings. Sir, you are a wonderful exception to that rule.  Best of luck to you and Geejayhaitch.

29 Sep 2011 5:15 AM
Zen4Zen

That's terrific -- even just that he was saved from that terrible injury, let alone that he's had such a great record since then.  Maybe not Personal Ensign or Black Caviar, but what a trooper!  Thanks for letting us know about him.

29 Sep 2011 5:21 AM
Ida Lee

What an inspiring story!!! Thank you to his connections for giving Geejayhaitch another chance at life. Not many would have done so.

29 Sep 2011 4:42 PM
birdie5

What a wonderful inspirational story! Walter McShane is obviously a wonderful person and Geejayhaitch is showing him his appreciation for not giving up on him. I wish them both the best of luck. Thanks for sharing their story!

29 Sep 2011 10:49 PM
Silverfoot

There is no limit to the size of their hearts. It's nice to hear about horses who aren't in the headlines every day. Thanks for sharing this inspirational & touching story.

02 Oct 2011 1:10 AM
Delrene

What an amazing story.  Inspirational and heartwarming. Having just read that Banned was euthanized, this really helps take away the sorrow.   I know Banned's family did their best under horrific circumstances, it's still  good to know that some can be saved and race again.  

03 Oct 2011 12:38 AM

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