Courtesy of Susan Dalebroux, Post
The grooms call him ‘Superpony'.
Less than year ago, 2001 Texas Horse of the Year, Lights On
Broadway, was purchased off the back of a slaughter truck for $200. And after a few lackluster cheap claiming
races, he was acquired by a group of energized horse lovers and shipped off to
begin a new career as an off-the-track Thoroughbred, or OTTB, under the excellent
care of trainers Donna and Dallas Keen.
I was fortunate to see Lights On Broadway last
September, shortly after he arrived at the Keen farm, just south of Fort
Worth. He was underweight and had hoof
abscesses, but the heart of the champion remained.
"He knows he's somebody," Donna told me. "You can tell just by the way he carries
himself, perks his ears up and responds to you.
He's exceptionally intelligent."
Indeed, Donna discovered that Lights On Broadway was easy to
train for a post-racing career, and had hoped that he might develop into a
suitable pony at the racetrack. He also
became the inspiration for the Keens' new non-profit racehorse rehabilitation
and placement program, Remember
Me Rescue. Dallas and Donna are
passionate about finding homes for former racehorses as well as raising
awareness about horse rescue.
This spring, Lights On Broadway - ‘Superpony' - returned to
Lone Star Park, but his pony career wasn't going well. "He has a paralyzed flapper and gets very
nervous along with making a quite a bit of noise when galloping on the
racetrack," Donna informed me. "Plus
he's really too big for me [at a little over 17 hands], making it hard for me
to get on him, or pick up something I might drop. And," she admitted, "he's not happy here."
So Lights On Broadway will be leaving the racetrack for good
and head to his new home: a 2-acre paddock in Fredericksburg, located in the
beautiful Hill Country of Texas.
However, before he goes, the champion will be in the spotlight once
again - he'll be featured in the local news this weekend. His final job: demonstrate the importance and
success of horse rescue. There is life