The loud sound of cicadas filled the air under the shade of a grove of large pine trees. The sweltering July heat hung over Remember Me Rescue manager Lilly Armstrong, my mother, and me, which was lessened thanks to the shade of the trees. Five Thoroughbred broodmares milled around – a brown, a chestnut, a gray, and two bays.
Each of these mares had recently arrived at the Burleson, Texas racehorse rescue after being purchased from the Round Mountain sale to which well-known breeder Keith Asmussen had shipped them. Asmussen stated he did not know the sale was frequented by kill buyers, as his granddaughters often purchased horses there. Nonetheless, all of these mares, along with five other Asmussen mares, were purchased to keep them from being bought by buyers that ship horses to slaughterhouses in Mexico. One of the mares was unable to be purchased by Deborah Jones on behalf of John Murrell, who was the one buying the mares to rescue them, but found a home with someone who was not a kill buyer.
While four mares stayed at a boarding stable near the sales facility, five mares arrived at Remember Me. On July 16, I had the opportunity to meet these mares. Of course, all of the five mares labeled by colors above have names. In accordance with their aforementioned listed colors, they were Luxury of Time, Our Revival, Rhododendron, Empress Jones, and Valid Obsession.
“Luxury could live in the house with me,” Lilly told us as we walked toward the mares. “She’s like a dog.”
Lilly’s words made it no surprise that Luxury of Time was the first to greet us. It was immediately obvious that the brown was very friendly, as she eagerly welcomed us and followed us around like a puppy. It wasn’t long before I further realized how sweet the mare was.
Lilly began rubbing the mare and once she found the right spot, Luxury would bend her neck so that she could rub Lilly back. With her lips, Luxury would press against Lilly, rubbing them. It was the most affectionate thing I’d ever seen a horse do.
|Luxury of Time and Lilly|
Photo by Terri Cage
As we visited the other mares, Luxury followed us around like a puppy. She never exactly became jealous, but as I gave attention to Our Revival – a mare who will soon be going to Old Friends to live out her days – and Empress Jones – a mare who has found a home that she will leave for soon – Luxury stood near me, demanding attention in a friendly manner.
Of course, I could not resist. I began to scratch Luxury in one of her favorite spots and as I did so, she swung her head around to begin rubbing me back. Laughing with delight, I continue to rub Luxury as she pressed her lips against my leg, moving them in a circle as she returned the favor.
|Luxury and me - with a photo bomb by|
Photo by Terri Cage
To think sweet Luxury, along with the other Asmussen mares that were rescued from the Round Mountain sale, came so close to being purchased by kill buyers can easily sadden you. But when you stop to realize that these mares were saved, it reminds you that there are people out there who want to help these beautiful animals.
Luxury of Time will soon be leaving for Golden Eagle Farm in California, the same farm that bred her. The seventeen-year-old daughter of Seattle Slew will forever reside at John and Betty Mabee’s farm, which is known for being responsible in the care of horses it has bred. Fortunately for Luxury of Time, she will forever live out her days with people who love her – people who will rub her and gladly allow her to rub them back.
Thank you to all at Dallas and Donna Keen’s Remember Me Rescue, Three Chimneys Farm, Deborah Jones, Golden Eagle Farm, and everyone who helped these mares!
Official press release of the rescue: http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/71203/asmussen-mares-now-at-remember-me-rescue
|Luxury of Time|
Photo by Terri Cage
On September 14, 2012, Luxury of Time tragically lost her fight with an illness she had been battling for quite some time. You will forever be in my heart, Luxury. You quite possibly were the sweetest horse I ever met and I will never forget you. Rest in peace, sweet girl.