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Racehorse finally experiences freedom after 25 years of work
She was so happy to be free.
Rachel Shapiro
09.14.21

A horse named Joanie had hadn’t had much happiness in her long life. The mare was born in 1999, and she spent her first years as a racehorse. She participated in tons of races over the years and even won many of them.

But finally, she got too old to race, and her owner sold her.

Freedom Farm Animal Rescue via Instagram
Source:
Freedom Farm Animal Rescue via Instagram

Joanie was sold to an Amish family, and she was used to pull a buggy.

The buggy equipment painfully tore at the fur on her face, leaving her with hair loss.

Freedom Farm Animal Rescue via Instagram
Source:
Freedom Farm Animal Rescue via Instagram

For unknown reasons, Joanie’s second owner didn’t want to keep her, and so he decided to send the horse to an auction house.

They placed her in a “direct ship pen,” which meant that she was going right to a slaughterhouse after she was sold. This poor horse had done nothing but work her whole life, and now, she was going to be slaughtered. But then, someone came to save her.

Freedom Farm Animal Rescue via Instagram
Source:
Freedom Farm Animal Rescue via Instagram

Jamie Castano, founder of Freedom Farm Animal Rescue, wasn’t planning on adopting any animals when he went to the auction house where Joanie was being held. He planned on taking pictures and video of the auction house to raise awareness of these animals’ plight. But then, Castano saw Joanie.

He examined the horse, and he was shocked when he saw that she had the number ‘25’ tattooed on her neck.

“I actually have the number 25 tattooed on my arm as a memorial for my uncle who had passed away,” Castano told The Dodo. “So when I happened to see her, I was like, ‘Oh my god.’”

Freedom Farm Animal Rescue via Instagram
Source:
Freedom Farm Animal Rescue via Instagram

Castano examined Joanie further, and he noticed that her legs were covered in pin fire markings.

“They give them to racehorses,” Castano said. “It’s pretty much like a shot of acid to freeze the tendon or muscle. So when they have an injury or they’re not performing their best, this is supposed to make them not feel that area. My vet had said, ‘Maybe four or five pin firing marks is almost normal,’ but she had 18 on each leg.”

Freedom Farm Animal Rescue via Instagram
Source:
Freedom Farm Animal Rescue via Instagram

Castano knew he couldn’t leave this poor horse at the auction house. He put a post on Freedom Farm Animal Rescue’s Instagram page asking for donations so he could buy the horse.

The post was widely shared, and Castano was able to raise the money he needed to buy Joanie.

Just like that, Joanie’s fate changed. She was no longer going to the slaughterhouse—now, she was going to a wonderful home where she would have plenty of space to roam and run.

Freedom Farm Animal Rescue via Instagram
Source:
Freedom Farm Animal Rescue via Instagram

Castano and his team took Joanie from the auction house and brought her to their sanctuary. They took her over to their quarantine field and opened the door to Joanie’s trailer.

Joanie immediately ran out into the field and rolled around, so happy to be free.

Castano shared footage of Joanie’s freedom roll on Instagram. It was amazing to see how happy the horse looked!

Joanie loves life on the farm.

At first, she was nervous when anyone tried to pet her or feed her. But soon, she realized that she was in a safe place, and she began to relax.

“She’s just an absolute sweetheart,” Castano said. “If we’re in her field, she’ll follow us all around. To go from a horse that was on her way to a slaughterhouse to following us around the pasture — that’s incredible.”

Freedom Farm Animal Rescue via Instagram
Source:
Freedom Farm Animal Rescue via Instagram

After a lifetime of hardship, Joanie made it to a safe place where she could relax and enjoy her senior years. We’re so glad she finally got to experience freedom!

Check out a sweet video of Joanie below!

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

Loving on Joanie 💚

Posted by Freedom Farm Animal Rescue on Monday, July 10, 2017

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By Rachel Shapiro
hi@sbly.com
Rachel Shapiro is a contributing writing at Shareably. She is based in New York and can be reached at hi@shareably.net.
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