Kiwi TB Shaun chows down on Midwest ‘gold’

Shaun, at far right, with his paddock buddies in Kansas.
Shaun, at far right, with his paddock buddies in Kansas.

Grass is like gold in the dry Midwest at the moment, but Kiwi thoroughbred Shaun is doing very nicely on his generous share of it at his home in Kansas.

Shaun, who raced under the name Cusack in New Zealand, was exported to North America in 2007.

He was found in May last year in kill pens in Washington state.

Thanks to the generosity of Horsetalk readers, enough funds were raised to buy him and ship him halfway across the United States to the home of Deb Johnson, in Kansas.

He has settled in well with her herd, has gained weight, and is enjoying all the trapping of rural Kansas life.

Deb reports that temperatures are starting to cool, but there is still a major drought.

A lot of cattle and horses are being lost due to grass dying and animals resorting to eating noxious weeds, she says.

“A trainer in Missouri just lost six horses in three days, and they are assuming it is from eating weeds. It is touching both cattle and horses, so I assume it isn’t a virus.

“We’re fortunate here in that we still have plenty of the green stuff, now known as ‘gold’ here in the midwest.

“Hay prices are at an all-time high.”

She says the fierce summer heat this year had taken its toll on older horses, with many succumbing to the conditions.

“It’s been a hard summer,” she says.

“Shaun is doing well, enjoying being barefoot and keeping company with the mares.

“His hips are starting to look more normal and his gaits are looking more balanced.

“He looks, feels and acts very happy – a huge contrast to the horse that arrived here over a year ago.

“I have decided not to ride him, at least for now. I hope he will be strong enough for light riding some day, but if not, he makes for a very handsome pasture horse. ”


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