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The Texas

In the second week of October, 27 thoroughbreds were dumped into a Kemp, Texas kill pen. Most of these were babies, fillies, colts and pregnant mares all unhandled, not all halter broke, all in poor condition. This would start a massive group rescue network from all over the U.S. with rescues and individuals.

What happened? 

A veterinarian and breeder developed dementia, he apparently was ill for some time. All these horses whether gelded or not, babies and adults were running together in one herd for over three years. It was clear these horses hadn't been handled for a while nor cared for due to feet and body condition with mares and fillies of all ages bred; possibly inbred. His son, Heath White recently got involved and dumped all 27 into the direct ship kill lot in Kemp, TX. 

We are proud to say, all 27 have been saved. 

You can follow all 27 here.

Thoroughbred Athletes has taken in four of those. These are their stories. 

Our Four


Malibu - 3yo pregnant D. Bay Filly 

Amara - 3yo Bay Filly

Indian Blade - 4yo Bay Pregnant Filly

Baby Blue - Nearly 2yo d. bay colt

On October 14, 2023, the four we took in of the twenty-seven arrived and immediately went to quarantine. We were told we'd be receiving two mares and two colts. To our surprise, we ended up with three fillies and one colt. It was quickly determined that these four were barely halter broke; if at all. They were in far worse condition than we'd been led to believe. They were underweight; not emaciated. Their feet look like they haven't been done in quite some time. They are covered in scars and two had wounds that required vet attention. We had suspicions that two of the three fillies were pregnant. We were afraid all three due to their past living conditions. The worst part was, they were all very sick. All four were coughing, extreme mucous draining from their eyes and noses and looked sickly. They didn't have much interest in food or hay either. 

We had no ID's on these horses either. They never raced; we doubt even registered. They're all not broke. The jockey club generously offered free DNA kits for all twenty-seven. This will help us at least get their bloodlines and names if any have had registration started. Until then, we gave them nicknames.

Three of our teens from our youth program were given the opportunity to name three of the four due to their amazing help on the day the horses arrived. They chose our "older" clearly pregnant mare, the colt and the dark bay filly that looked suspiciously pregnant. The last filly was named by our barn manager; this very skittish filly took to her. You can see their nicknames in the other column. 

In the days to come, our CEO Lynn Sullivan and barn manager Lauren Magby were able to interact daily with these four horses. We watched them start to feel comfortable enough to eat hay, a little food and let us closer to them. You could see it in their eyes as time went on that they were letting their guard down and settling in. The journey of the four begins now; stay tuned to this page "The 27" for consistent updates. 

10/18/23 - The Vet Visit

One of the amazing vets from Oakridge Equine: Dr. Brackenoff, came out with a team to address the needs of our four. Remarkably, all four let us halter them and lead them with just some reluctance. They were sedated and two at a time examined. Our "older" mare Indian Blade "Indy" was determined to be a 4yo filly. They confirmed that she is 6 months pregnant. They cleaned and treated a wound on her side too. It will just need to be continually cleaned and ointment put on until it heals. Our colt Baby Blue "BB" was determined to be a long yearling. He had a wound oozing pus on his right front knee area. They were able to drain a lot of the pus and we determined to x-ray just in case. A sequestrum was discovered. At this time, we are trying to treat without surgery. Once BB is healthier, we will take him in to be castrated and re-evaluate to see if surgery is necessary. Our filly Malibu was determined to be 3 years old. She was next in the line up for a pregnancy check, she was confirmed six months pregnant too. Lastly, our filly Amara was determined to be 3 years old too. She was also pregnancy checked. Remarkably, she was not pregnant. However, an ovarian cyst was found. Our vets believe this is the sole reason she was not impregnated. All four were de-wormed, their eyes and noses cleaned and labs drawn to determine white counts and any not seen health issues. Unfortunately, all four were determined to have abscesses in their lungs. We believe this to be early pneumonia. 

Labs pending.

10/19/23 - Update

As of today, all four of our sick horses are not only consuming hay but grain too. They are becoming much more trusting. Baby steps; baby steps.


Our colt "BB" has been put on antibiotics, his labs were the worst on fighting the pneumonia. 

Same day news; all of our babies are finally eating soaked cubes!! This is amazing progress. 


Our pregnant girl Malibu could use some thoughts and prayers. The other horses aren't accepting her so we've had to separate her. She and Amara are presenting as our sickest too. They both are coughing, runny noses and eye discharge. They do not have the healthiest appetites either. 


Malibu finished her breakfast today! This is great! 

Our barn manager Lauren also worked with the horses on blankets. She was by herself so didn't attempt to put them on as it is risky to blanket alone with these unbroke babies who have probably never seen a blanket before. She introduced them to the sight of a blanket and rubbed them with the blanket to associate it with good things. We have super cold weather coming up this weekend and early next week. They will be blanketed over the weekend. Updates on that will be next!


We made it through the cold snap. Well just say that blankets did not happen. 


All horses are healthy with full appetites and we can now start our 30 day countdown to end their quarantine. They are no longer showing signs of illness. 


Amazing news!!! Amara and Indy were adopted by a long time Thoroughbred Athletes adopter to become polo horses. Amara will undergo immediate training and Indy will wait until she has her foal and has weaned. 


Malibu and BB were hauled to the vet this morning. We noticed Malibu developed some lameness in her hock. BB was scheduled to be gelded today. 


Gelding went great. 

Malibu.... it is with a heavy heart we write that an old very serious fracture was discovered in Malibu's hock. She is not even a full three years old. This fracture happened sometime during her three years of life. It has calcified to the point that her tendon is slowly being sawed with movement and weight. She is pregnant... she is gaining weight daily and will continue to do so until march. This is not something that can be fixed or treated... injections won't help... there is no surgical option...eventually her tendon will be severed. 

We made the decision to bring her home and give her a chance with some pain medicine to hopefully have her foal. We will have to check on her daily. The minute her eyes and body tell us that she is in too much pain...we have an ugly choice ahead of us. 

She is on stall rest with heavy bedding. She is getting daily pain meds. She has a brace on her hock but only time will tell. 

To say we angry, sad, sickened and torn in two at the story of these 27 and what they endured is an understatement. 

Stay tuned and stay praying.


It is with great sadness that we inform you of Malibu's passing. She started to abort her baby due to the overwhelming pain from her injured leg. When she began to abort, we called the vet to end her suffering. People failed her. We take comfort in knowing that in the end she had a full belly, knew love and what it felt like to be taken care of. 


The last and final news of our Texas 27, BB has been adopted. He is going to a wonderful home where he will do ground training for a couple years and then move on to barrels into the future. He will be a great representation of thoroughbreds in the western world. 

If we get any updates on the three that we've adopted out, we will let you know. 

Thank you for your support and love during this time.

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