Tuesday, August 16, 2016

FKA Jerry: The dirt on Oak's past

A few weeks ago I pulled out Oak's Coggins in order to see when I needed to pull a new one. This is when I notice for the first time that the name listed as owner was different from the person I bought him from (most observant horse buyer in the world award goes to me) and that his name is "Jerry." Not out of the ordinary for a horse to have a different name or an unknown person on the Coggins, but it made me want to investigate further into Oak's history. So investigate I did!

I contact the person I bought him from and asked her about it. She told me the name and location on the Coggins were not from who she bought him from, and that she tried tracking it down, but got nowhere. Also, she changed his name to Oakley because she assumed "Jerry" was not his real name. Who would name a horse Jerry?

So I did some internet sleuthing and managed to track the name and address on the Coggins to a real-estate mogul (not kidding) in Florida. He also owns an Andalusian and Thoroughbred breeding farm about 45 minutes away from me.

So of course I send an email to the contact listed on the farm's website with pictures and a plea for more information on Jerry. I get an immediate response. Three responses in fact. Two from the real-estate mogul and his wife saying "Oh Jerry! We love Jerry! Yes he came from us! Our barn manager will contact you", and one email from the barn manager asking if she could call me. I say sure and quickly get a phone call.

So here is Oak's (Formerly Known As Jerry) Story as we know it now:
Jerry June 2015. Still a cutie (Picture from the Barn Manager)
 The real-estate mogul's wife loves Haflingers and they want to invest in horses, so they start off buying three Haflingers from a Florida auction (cause why not!) and buy some property to put them on. Jerry and his best friend George (Seinfeld fans?) are sold to them as broke to drive and ride. The barn manager thinks Jerry (Oak) was about three when they first got him. The Haflingers mostly lived as pasture pets being occasionally used for pony rides for the kids. In the next few years the family begins to invest in racehorses and Andalusians, and has exercise riders on staff now and they sometimes work the Haflingers (and by the barn manger's recollection treat them too roughly), but for the most part the ponies just hang out.
Jerry and George 2015. I wish I could reunite them Black Beauty style
In July 2015 the family decides they don't need the Haflingers anymore so they sell both Jerry and George. Jerry goes to someone named Sally (named changed to protect the not so innocent) who wants to use him as a trail horse. Barn Manager warns Sally that Jerry has not been worked consistently and therefore is pretty green, but Sally buys him anyways. Sally lives close by and the barn manager makes her promise to let them know if she ever needs to re-home Jerry. They always have a home for Jerry.

This is where the speculation enters the story.

  • July 2015 Sold to Sally in Central FL
  • August-October 2015 ???
  • November 2015 Bought by last owner from somewhere in Georgia sold by someone named "Taylor"
  • February 2016 comes to live with me

The barn manager swears that Jerry did not have any of his three large scars on his body when he lived with her, nor was he nervous or reactive. She describes him as laid back, friendly, and very green. I know she could be lying, but after talking with her I believe her. I also see that horse slowly coming out again in him. The person I bought him from got him from someone she described as a horse dealer/meat buyer in Georgia in November 2015.

So somehow between July 2015 and February 2016 (when I got him) he went to at least four people -- one (Taylor) a horse trader/meat buyer. In less than six months a horse can go from living the life of luxury to ending up scarred (emotionally and physically) and discarded in some slaughter pen. It can happen that fast people. Hug your ponies tight tonight, and (I know this goes without saying) be careful who you sell your horses to

And no, I don't think I will call him Jerry. ;)


  1. Wow that's pretty crazy (and also excellent that you could track his history like that!)

    I know all of Kat's tale but maybe I should do more sleuthing on Tango!

  2. Wow. Funny, I did some digging into Carmen and she has a not so good history. I think that she could have ended up at an auction so I'm glad that I found her.

    1. You think that nice horses like her would be safe but I have seen a few nice looking Andalusians end up at the auction too. No horse is safe from that potential I guess.

  3. I used to work at a rescue. It's crazy what can happen to a horse even when you sell it to a "good" home.

    1. I know it makes me so nervous to ever sell again! Not that I was planning on it ever but still...

  4. It was fun digging into Mitch's history through his American Haflinger registered papers -- I even got to meet his former owners once, which was really special.

    And no kidding, you never know what can happen to a horse, which is why Jet has a life with me forever (even before I knew she had DSLD)

    1. Yeah I have never had a registered haffy (that I know of). That would be fun though!

  5. Amazing how quickly it can go bad for a horse. I'm happy he found a loving home with you and I'm sure he is too. Wonder what the "moguls" would think about what happened to the Jerry they loved so much they sold.

    We've rescued a lot of horses who have a forever home with us from some bad situations. The hard thing is it seems very hard to get an honest answer about their past from anybody. My biggest mystery is Donnie but I've come to the conclusion we'll never know why he is as nervous and skittish as he is.

    1. Yeah I will never "really" know what happened either. Just have to make peace with it.

      The "moguls" feel awful, and are happy he is safe again. They said he always has a home at their farm if I ever need it.