Obit press release:
Old Friends Retiree Escapedfromnewyork Dead at 10
GEORGETOWN, KY – January 20, 2015 Escapedfromnewyork, a resident of the Old Friends Retirement Facility in Georgetown, KY died on January 18 from a heart attack brought on by colic at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital.
A son of Aristotle out of the Fortunate Prospect mare Prospect Street, the then-4-year-old bay colt arrived at Old Friends unnamed and unregistered. He was dubbed Escapedfromnewyork by Old Friends supporter Fred Jones in an online contest, a name borrowed from the 1981 Kurt Russell Film. Old Friends officially registered the horse through the cooperation of the Jockey Club.
Around the farm the horse was endearingly known as Snake, which was Russell’s character in the movie.
“Snake was a very brave little horse,” said Michael Blowen, Old Friends founder and President. “Despite his rough start in life he was affectionate and kind and a pleasure to be around.
The 10-year-old unraced gelding was one of 177 Thoroughbreds found in various states of neglect in 2009 at Ernie Paragallo’s Center Brook Farm in upstate New York. Paragallo, a prominent owner and breeder who raced champion Sprinter winner Artax, was eventually charged with 33 counts of animal cruelty and sentenced to two years in jail and a $33,000 fine.
“Our thanks go out to New York’s Columbia-Greene Humane Society for the wonderful work they did to rescue all of the horses found at Center Brook and for allowing us to adopt this little horse, Blowen continued. “It has been very rewarding to have given him six happy years.”
April 2009 the state of New York seized 177 malnourished horses from breeder Ernie Paragallo. The Humane Society for Columbia and Greene Counties, NY incurred a cost of some $100,000 for their care, but local Coxsackie residents responded with a huge outpour of feed, the New York Racing Association (NYRA) made a major donation, and among many in racing, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) and their partners Hallway Feeds, Pfizer and UPS provided feed and supplies. Old Friends is among those who gave a Paragallo horse a home.
Our colt, a grandson of Fortunate Prospect, arrived nameless, gaunt and stunted. Early in life he'd fractured an ankle that had not been repaired. But it took us all of two minutes to fall in love with his trusting nature and the gleam of fun in his eye. We held a “name the horse” contest and are delighted with the winning entry, Escapedfromnewyork.
Escapedfromnewyork is a quick learner, but it's we humans who can learn the most from him. Besides his own hard early life, his mother's damsire was Exceller, the great victor over Seattle Slew and Affirmed in the Jockey Club Gold Cup who died in a European slaughterhouse. Yet, one look in his perky eyes shows he doesn't dwell on the negatives. Since arriving at Old Friends, he's grown and relishes his new energy with an eagerness that charms all.