“Purple” is literally the face of a horse meant to disappear to slaughter.
We call him Purple as a short form for “the horse with the purple vet wrap on his front leg” as that is how he was sold to the kill buyer.
It kind of stuck. My vet believes his tattoo was altered as there is a lot of smudging over where it would be. He was at New Holland (U.S.) auction and sold to Bruce Rotz. Often we can buy thoroughbreds that have run through New Holland from Rotz if he ends up with them, but in this case, he was a “hands off” horse. I had been sent a picture of him from New Holland but after that when I enquired about the possibilities of buying him from Rotz, I was told no, he had to go to slaughter. I got rather persistent and no doubt rather annoying about it all and kept badgering away to get that designation lifted and try to get him safe. Eventually, I was successful.
Purple was a bit of a complicated horse because he appeared to be a stud in behaviour and as a result, it was very difficult to try to find anyone to quarantine him for the necessary period of time. I was also not able to find a thoroughbred aftercare program willing to take him on under the circumstances after quarantine, so the decision was made to bring him up to Canada and into my Transitions Thoroughbreds program.
We had no idea what was really under that purple vet wrap on Purple’s front leg or how his leg would have been affected with it now having been on for at least a week. As it turns out, under the vet wrap was a fairly recent laceration that had been stitched but luckily, the lengthy time with no bandage change did not cause too much harm.
Purple is now a gelding, which gives him a much better chance at a future. It still rather boggles my mind that somebody would go to the effort and expense to have a vet out to stitch up that front leg and then turn around and dump the horse for slaughter. It just made no sense at all unless Purple had changed hands during that week. Regardless of how it happened, Purple is a very lucky horse–literally the face of a horse meant to disappear to slaughter. No one would have ever known.
The vet estimated that he was no more than 4 or 5 years old when we found him. As you can see, he is an absolute beauty!
Thank you, Jann Arden and the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition, so very much, for considering our program to be the recipient of such a generous donation; it is very much appreciated!