San Pail’s phenomenal success as Horse of the Year in Canada in 2011 received triple awards February 12 as Horse of the Year, Trotter of the Year and Best Older Male Trotter at the U.S. Harness Writers Association annual Dan Patch Awards dinner and awards event in Orlando, Florida.
San Pail, co-owned and trained by Rod Hughes of Dunsford, Ontario, received both Canada’s Horse of the Year and Older Trotting Horse of the Year honours in 2011 as well as Equine Canada’s Canadian Bred Horse of the Year in 2011.
Purchased as a two-year-old, the brown eight-year-old gelding did not come into his own until his third year of racing. By the time he was in his eighth year, San Pail had racked up just under $3 million.
San Pail’s success in his later racing career shows that some horses blossom late and is a bittersweet reminder of all those Standardbreds that are sent down the pipeline to auction and ultimately to slaughter. It is through the grace and business acumen of Rod Hughes that he was not sent down into the Mennonite community to ultimately end up in a Quebec slaughter plant like so many other Standardbreds.
The Canadian Horse Defence Coalition’s Pasture to Plate (December/2011) (www.defendhorsescanada.org/lpn.html) investigation into Les Viandes de la Petite-Nation slaughter plant in Quebec traced six Standardbreds that were slaughtered last summer.
These six Standardbreds were aged 12, 9, 8, 6, 4 and 2; five out of the six had racing careers.
All, like San Pail, showed promise.
All, like San Pail, were finely bred.
All, unlike San Pail, will not be afforded accolades in their careers or at the least, a gentle retirement.
All were slaughtered on July 13 and 14, 2011.
Read more about this great horse at: http://www.thestar.com/sports/horseracing/article/1129889–trotting-superstar-san-pail-frontrunner-for-prestigious-u-s-award