A story of horsemen helping horsemen
December 08, 2009
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Dot Morgan of New Vocations Horse Adoptions wrote the following account about horsemen helping horsemen after the tragic fire at Lebanon Raceway early Saturday morning. Below is her story.
It’s 8:30 pm Monday evening. I hear from my brother-in-law Eddie Morgan that Jim Valiente in Hawkinsville, Ga., is loading up a truck and trailer with equipment for the horsemen that lost everything in the fire. Jim Valiante spent a decade running Midwest Harness Supply at the Indiana tracks. Dan Munson and Mike Wilson are driving the rig. Eddie gives me Munson’s number. Munson lost his stable of five horses and all his equipment.
I call the number. Munson’s heading back in the equipment laden truck and trailer. They’re 40 miles south of Lexington. Mike Wilson is driving the rig that was loaned by Lebanon Raceway judge Don Heberling. Susie Wilson, Lebanon Raceway's vice president of racing and simulcasting, gave Mike her credit card to use for gas and lodging. They’ll make it to Lebanon before midnight.
Tuesday morning Dan and Mike are going to unload the trailer and spread out the equipment. Jim Valiante has donated a new jog cart, three race bikes, seven harnesses, feed tubs, water buckets, and a bunch of trunks loaded with coolers, knee boots, tendon boots, and grooming supplies. “He thought of everything,” Munson said, “even cross ties, bell boots, and sweat scrapers. Jim wouldn’t take any money. He just said to let the horsemen pick up what they need; if they can’t use something, sell and use the money.”
Tuesday afternoon Don Heberling’s truck and trailer is heading to Indiana where it will be loaded with more equipment, feed, and even a horse. Trainer/drivers Trent Stohler and Joe Putnam have known Kayne Kauffman for 25 years. Kayne lost 10 horses and all of his equipment. Trent and Joe are giving Kayne a nice raceway horse to restart his stable. The Midwest Harness Supply, in conjunction with Paul Trieber of The Walsh Company, is donating two harnesses and McCauley Brothers is contributing feed. Jimmy Shelton is rounding out the load with a variety of equipment he no longer needs since taking a position with Indiana Downs.
I share this account to inspire others. Many are already reaching out, but many more can. Every gift, no matter the size, means so much when you have nothing at all.