From former racehorse to neglect case to eventing pro: The story of Quizzical Quartz’s comeback

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Quizzical Quartz is thriving as a sport horse with Devon Griffin.
Quizzical Quartz is thriving as a sport horse with Devon Griffin. Photo courtesy Days End Farm Horse Rescue

Quizzical Quartz is a Thoroughbred mare who raced in the United States before transitioning to new multiple new owners and eventually arriving at a horse rescue farm in a state of neglect.

Quartz was a horse with athleticism and heart. More importantly, she had made her humans proud. So how does a horse like this end up at a rescue farm?

On average, a horse finds itself in transition seven times throughout its life, increasing the odds that it may end up in a situation where intervention is needed. There are many factors that can lead to situations requiring intervention, for example, owners may be ageing, face economic struggles, or suffer from mental illness. Beyond these factors, in many cases, the seizure of a horse can be prevented if the owner is properly educated about horse care and is aware of the resources and assistance available to them.

She arrived at Days End Farm Horse Rescue (DEFHR) from Prince George’s County, Maryland, in 2019 emaciated, suffering from hoof and dental neglect. She was also riddled with parasites.

Quizzical Quartz on arrival at Days End Farm Horse Rescue in 2019.
Quizzical Quartz on arrival at Days End Farm Horse Rescue in 2019. Photo courtesy Days End Farm Horse Rescue

Following months of critical and intensive care at DEFHR, the 16-year-old made a full recovery and started working in the farm’s training program. This formerly strong mare had lost muscle through neglect and needed significant conditioning support to regain strength in her topline and hind end. Once Quartz was physically fit, the trainers found that she loved to jump, so they catered to her preferences by giving her thorough jumping and cross-country training. Given her natural abilities, it was clear that it wouldn’t take long for her to find her special someone.

Enter Devon Griffin. A sophomore at Clemson University and an active member of its eventing team, Devon arrived at DEFHR in August looking for her next eventing mount. Having had been involved with DEFHR previously through its summer Horse Training Internship Program and eventually its Volunteer Training Team, Devon was familiar with DEFHR’s horses and Quartz came to mind. After a schooling session, it was obvious that the two were a perfect match.

Devon Griffin and Quizzical Quartz in an eventing competition.
Devon Griffin and Quizzical Quartz competing at an eventing competition. Photo courtesy Days End Farm Horse Rescue

Shortly thereafter, Quartz was officially adopted by Devon and the pair look forward to competing in events and attending clinics in the near future. Like so many other talented horses that come through DEFHR’s rehabilitation and training programs, Quartz has found her happily ever after as a competition partner in a loving home for many years to come.

» To support DEFHR’s mission, volunteer, participate in an education program, or find your next equine competitor or companion, please visit www.DEFHR.org and find us on Instagram (@4TheHorses) and Facebook (@DEFHR).

This story was originally published in The Competitive Equestrian.

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