"When the trailer pulled in, his head came up," said Deb Johnson, who will provide Cusack with a lifelong home on the 40 acres she shares with her husband, 22-year-old daughter, and six horses.
Cusack the racer: he won four races in New Zealand, including the Progressive 2000m at Riccarton on April 2, 2005. He's pictured with his regular jockey Kylie Williams. © Jeni Bassett/Equine Attitude
» Forum: "Can we save Cusack?"
"He led out calmly, backed up a couple of times from the trailer and then stretched his neck way out to nibble a few pieces of hay on the trailer floor.
"With a few words of encouragement, 'It's OK buddy', he jumped right in.
"When they arrived, Cusack was a little sore-footed from standing on concrete all that time," Deb reported.
His new lodgings gave him a much-needed opportunity for a roll and a lie down.
"When he was led to his new 16 by 20 covered box stall, deep with shavings, he rolled and rolled and rolled.
"I can't imagine how GOOD it felt to him to be able to roll. I'm sure he slept well last night, laying down for the first time in a very long time.
"He had tons of hay waiting for him, fresh water, a good going over, and brushing. They said he started eating like he had never eaten before."
Deb wonders whether the person who left Cusack at the auction home did so because they could no longer care for him.
"I like to think that the human that surrendered Cusack loved him very much. Maybe he tried to find him a home, and in quiet desperation, gave him a chance at a good home by taking him to auction."
However, if no such home is forthcoming, horses more often than not find their way across the US border to abattoirs in either Canada or Mexico.