Florida retirement not to be
Plans for a dream retirement -- one fit for royalty --
appear to have ended.
For the last two-plus years Royal Colt, a nine-year-old
gelding, has lived a pretty good life in the Coleman Stable
at Fraser Downs. Although still competing until recent weeks,
he has pretty much been like a pet to the Coleman family.
He has been the best friend of Fast Lane Cruizin, something
not to be taken lightly because, as Royal Colt knew, Cruizin
is the best horse in B.C.
But, for a couple of months it appeared Royal Colt was
going from a nice home to the epitome of the dream retirement.
It looked like he was headed to a fancy farm in -- believe
it or not -- Florida.
That farm belongs to Pamela Jo Pember, a self-confessed
horse nut who was scouring horse web sites early this year
looking for another "friendly" riding horse for
her six-year-old son.
Pember found an ad she liked at www.exracers.com. It was
placed by Casie Coleman because it had been determined that
Royal Colt was done with racing and would not be going with
the Colemans when they left (in late April) for Ontario
with Cruizin and other horses in their stable. Casie was
looking for a good home for Colt.
Enter the beauty of the internet as for a little while
Pamela Jo and Casie "talked" about their mutual
liking for Royal Colt. One liked the "perfect horse
for our home" and the other the "perfect home
for our horse." They, at first, did not realize they
were talking between Florida and B.C.
"My family and I are quite impressed with Casie and
Royal Colt as well," Pember told TrackMarks back in
February, "and I am a firm believer in 'things happen
for a reason.' "
"At first I thought that sounds great," Casie
said at the time, "She (Pamela Jo) sent pictures of
their place and it looked so nice. Later I told her it might
be a hard situation (getting him to Florida) because of
how far away it was."
At first Pember was not deterred. She already had a 21-year-old
standardbred mare that her older daughter rides.
"I now belong to the Standardbred Pleasure Horse Organization
of Florida, Inc. which "places" horses in good
homes after their racing career," she said. And after
some studying she felt "I fell in love with the two
of them (Casie and Royal Colt) after a couple of emails.
Casie reminds me of myself at her age and Royal Colt seems
like quite a character with a lot of personality."
That he is.
"We got him at Cal Expo (in Sacramento)," Casie
explained. "He won four races for us but it was one
problem after another (health wise)."
After much care and attention Royal Colt was back on the
track but by now had become more like a pet. And why not.
"He will just stand there without a halter," Coleman
said with great pride. "He will follow me everywhere
and when I say 'Colt go home' he will go to his stall."
Colt has become a familiar face in south Surrey, visiting
malls where he has "let kids sit on his back. He also
went to the IGA and stood for two hours dressed up as Rudolph
at Christmas time."
But to shorten the story here, Pember "says she can't
do it (afford to get the horse to Florida) at this time,"
said Linda Coleman, Royal Colt's owner and Casie's mom.
"We have run out of time as we are leaving for Ontario."
(Pember knew this from day one).
So, Cruizin, and Phil and Linda, have left for Ontario.
Linda will drive and pick up Casie who has been in Edmonton
the last month.
Royal Colt remains in B.C. Others have told the Colemans
"we are interested" but still nothing.
Does anyone out there need "a nice little horse"
or a "big pet?"
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