Emaciated $1m half-brother to Zenyatta saved from livestock auction for $390
A half-brother to the outstanding Zenyatta has been rescued from an obscure livestock auction in Georgia after being found malnourished and in poor condition.
Souper Spectacular, who was purchased for $1.15 million as a yearling in 2008 by Charlotte Weber’s Live Oak Plantation, was bought by Mistie Lewis and her daughter Hannah for $390 last Saturday at an auction in Eastanollee, 100 miles north-east of Atlanta.
A winner of three of his nine starts, and $108,510 in prize-money, Souper Spectacular was reportedly given away at the end of his racing days for a second career before being gifted to a zoo, and then to a woman who sent him to the auction.
The 11-year-old son of Giant’s Causeway, who was part-bred by Coolmore’s Ashford Stud, was found in a shocking condition last weekend, emaciated and covered in a bacterial skin condition called rain scald, or rain rot. He had no headcollar or proper identification with him.
Having identified the horse, Lewis and her family set up a funding page to help for the long-term care of the gelding, who they have nicknamed Seven.
In a post on the funding page, Hannah Lewis wrote: “On Saturday night we rescued Souper Spectacular. He is extremely underweight and has lost 40 per cent of his body weight. He is going to require a lot of vetting, lots of hay and feed.
“I couldn’t stand to see him [how he was]. The bidding started and it took a while but we got him! That night we took him home and gave him fresh hay and water. By morning he seemed to be much happier and was whinnying when I walked up to him."
She added: "I feel like he truly knows we saved him. Horses fall through the cracks all of the time and I’m so glad we found this diamond in the rough!”
Speaking to usracing.com, Mistie Lewis, who said she had been in contact with Live Oak Plantation to let them know about Souper Spectacular, added: “I can promise that I will take care of him for as long as I can and as long as he’s happy. And if something happens to me, my daughter will take care of him. He’s not going anywhere for a long, long time.”
Zenyatta, who is three years older than Souper Spectacular, retired in 2010 after an outstanding career in which she won 19 of her 20 starts, including the 2009 Breeders’ Cup Classic.
Donations can be made to the Souper Spectacular fund here.
Read exclusive previews of from 6pm daily on racingpost.com