MT. WASHINGTON, KY (WAVE) - He snorts loudly. Often. Mugs for the camera. The perfect thoroughbred to train as a barrel racer and as a companion to her prime mount, Bozo.
But Meaghan Metzmeier hadn't counted on worms, or that the 9-year-old she renamed Chance would be so malnourished that his ribs showed.
"His niece was calling and pretty much begging me to take him," Metzmeier told WAVE 3 News on Tuesday.
Metzmeier, and fellow competitor Christy DeWitt Summitt, first encountered Chance and 15-year-old thoroughbred Winston among fourteen mares, stallions and foals boarded in stables off of Nelsonville Road near Boston the Wednesday before Labor Day. Their owner, Donnie Hairns Bentley Jr., was nowhere to be found.
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"Each mare sat there and drank four buckets of water," Metzmeier said.
"Their stalls were built up, like two feet high of mud and manure," Summitt said. "They were almost hitting their heads on the (barn) ceilings."
She believes that's to blame for the abscess to Winston's left front hoof; its bandage was held in place with duct tape. He's kept mostly to himself among the eight horses and ponies Summitt is rehabilitating at Little Haven, her farm in Bloomfield.
"(Winston) took two hours to load, because everybody out there was scaring the crap out of him," Summitt said.