Genuine Risk in 1980 became the second of three fillies to ever win the Kentucky Derby.  Following her racing career she had only two foals that lived…and neither of them made it to the races.  One of the offspring was named Genuine Reward, a colt by Rahy.

Genuine Reward, born in 1993, is one of the eight featured animals in a Parade magazine (June 25, 2017) cover story titled “The Rescuers.”  Parade’s subtitle described “…stories about people, the animals they love, and how they saved each other.”

Genuine Reward stood at stud beginning in 1997, first as a Thoroughbred sire and later as a sire of polo ponies.  In 2015, his owner was attempting to find the horse a caring home by listing him for sale on the Fort Collins, Colorado Craigslist for $500.  Lauren Hillenbrand, author of the bestselling books Seabiscuit and Unbroken, became aware of the listing through a post on her Facebook page.

The post “distressed” Ms. Hillenbrand, as she was concerned that the $500 asking price would attract a buyer who would send Genuine Reward to slaughter.  According to Parade, she called Michael Blowen, founder of the retirement facility Old Friends Equine in Georgetown, Kentucky and said “I’ll pay transport, keep, whatever it takes to get him if you’ll take him.”  Mr. Blowen agreed and Genuine Reward resides at Old Friend’s Equine today.

Parade reported that, including Genuine Reward, Ms. Hillenbrand has rescued 15 horses since her first rescue 37 years ago when she was 13 years old.

Ms. Hillenbrand had great success writing about the racehorse Seabiscuit–who was sold off by Hall of Fame trainer Sunny Jim Fitzsimmons, only to become an all-time great—and Olympic distance runner and World War II veteran Louis Zamperini, who survived atrocities as a POW of the Japanese.  I would say that she is not only a master chronicler of redemptive life stories, but is an exemplary and extraordinarily caring person.

Genuine sums it up.

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