Diary Post #226

Here I am…on the HORSE PLANE! The van is parked right in front of the ramp…to make it easy to deplane and be ON MY WAY! Photo by John Shirreffs

Good Morning,

Firstly, I’d like to mention how ADORABLE all of you are as you respond to the SWEET SIXTEEN participants in the contest. You are so supportive of each other! This is absolutely TOO CUTE! Upon reading your comments and responses, I see the same KINDNESS and SUPPORT you have shown to ME during my career…and I realize again for the zillionth time how appreciative I am of ALL of YOU!

We will draw the ELITE EIGHT tomorrow…and they will be published on Saturday! Good Luck to ALL!

You have also asked what will happen with the postcards after the contest. As I mentioned in the original contest guidelines, by submitting a card to ME for the drawing, you are also granting your permission for ME to use your card in the future. John and Dottie have been reading them and enjoying all of your wonderful and inspirational thoughts. In the future, Dottie will think of a way to share them with ALL of YOU…in one form or another. The words are too special and the thoughts too kind not to be shared with MY DEAR FRIENDS! Thank YOU for being YOU!

Another thing you asked about in the responses is the HORSE PLANE. This is a topic in which I do have experience. In the above photo, you can see ME (my blaze stands out in the crowd) with members of MY TEAM getting ready to deplane. I always flew on TEX SUTTON planes so my comments will be based on my personal experiences. The Sutton plane is designed to accomodate approximately 21 horses in all. The plane is divided into ‘rows’ with 3 stalls in each row. It is set up just like a horse van inside with the stalls being OPEN so the horse can see things going on around he/she and not feel closed in at all during the flight! Per my John, that is the beauty of this plane…it is secure, safe, and open at the top for the horse not to feel closed in at all while traveling!

On the day I was flying, the van would pick me up at the barn. MY BELONGINGS (tack, blankets, equipment etc.) would be packed and ready to also travel with ME! Before I’d be able to travel to another state, I also had to have a HEALTH CERTIFICATE and a COGGINS completed to certify several things: I was healthy and fine to travel and also that all of my vaccinations were current. This paperwork is extremely important and would always TRAVEL WITH ME!

Once loaded on the van, we’d leave BARN 55 and be off to the airport. Tex Sutton planes fly out of Ontario, California. It is about one hour plus driving time to get there from Hollywood Park. Members of MY TEAM traveled right with ME! Mario always flew with ME and went with ME on all of my van trips. When possible (meaning depending on space) Steve, Frank, and / or John would also go on the van and / or plane with ME.

Once we’d land, the plane doors would open up…as you can see above…and Mario and I would walk right down the ramp directly into the waiting van. This is an amazingly WELL-ORGANIZED way to travel. All of these people do a great job to make it so safe and yet relaxing for the horses!

As a matter of fact, my JOHN has some video of ME while on a plane trip! I’ve got an idea…why don’t you COME FLY WITH ME!



With love,
Hugs to ALL~


  1. I t is a miracle that jockey Eibar Coa walked out of the hospital after a horrendous accident. He was told that he would never probably walk again, he did after 2 months.
    Not only are thoroughbreds amazing athletes but jockeys are too.

  2. Dear All: I hate to sound like a broken record but please reach out to Old Friends during this time of great need. They are currently suffering a very serious financial set back / crisis and need our help. Old Friends is a chartiy near and dear to our mighty Queen Z and her connections so let’s make her proud and help up!!! These great and noble horses need our help.

  3. @Jan, your love for Zenyatta is evident, so I will try not to sound like a scold. But you are wrong. “No news”? We had pictures of her at her birthday party just the other day. She sure looks healthy and happy to me. While I am sure she could have gone on to be a great sport horse, what is wrong with her becoming a broodmare? I agree completely that there are many horses that should not be bred. Zenyatta is not one of them. In her accomplishments, pedigree, conformation, soundness, and temperament, she is the best of the best. Her genes belong in the gene pool. As for being bored, remember, she is a horse. She is now living as one, doing horsey things like rolling in the mud and enjoying the company of other horses. She and her friends (and that word is accurate) can run around their huge paddock if they want to, kick up their heels, or much grass all day long.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with the Mosses’ use of her name to generate income for worthy causes. It doesn’t hurt Zenyatta one little bit, and it’s not going into the Mosses’ pockets. I hope other owners follow suit. “Emotional trusting fans” aren’t idiots; we are all free to donate or not as our incomes allow.

    We fans are not the keepers of Zenyatta’s happiness. Her owners are. It is evident that they love her dearly. They will do everything in their power to see that she is happy and healthy for the rest of her life. She has an abundance of carrots and peppermints; bananas and pears too. Every horse should be so lucky! This website is already sensitive to Zenyatta’s “true followers,” whatever that means. Honestly, what more do you want? A Twitter feed of how many carrots she has each day? Dottie will keep us posted on her well being and with the major events of her life. That’s a lot. Please appreciate it.

  4. Hello Zenny

  5. @ Kathyrin Cogswell – missed that at first – ‘Air Horse One’ LOL and brilliant!
    @ Trina Nagele – thanks for the link!
    @ AJ from CA – thanks for finding the pic. of Zenyatta leaving the plane. Here is the link:
    @ Laura J – well said

  6. Changing the subject back to horse transport, you all might be interested in this article and video.
    They’re about the airlift of horses to the World Equestrian Games that occurred in September. It was a massive undertaking.

  7. :)

  8. Dear Zenyatta I am having trouble posting this morning. We loved the Video. You are amazing. The children loved it.

  9. It is a beautiful day in Ohio. We hope you and the girls enjoy the gorgeous Kentucky sunshine. We are sending you our Love with Giant Hugs and Kisses from Shari and Homeroom 215 XXXOOO
    @Dottie a Big Thank You for all of the education. The children and I are learning so much :)
    @Dawn all the fingers, toes and paws are crossed. My homeroom wanted me to tell you GOOD LUCK !!!!! I am praying for you ;) Have a good weekend.

  10. LauraJ well said. I don’t know a lot about horse racing but I think Zen deserves this time to rest and be a horse. My friend told me (and she has horses) that racing is very hard on them. I think Zenyatta has a really nice life. I am also grateful for the knowledge I have learned on this site. I would never have know about Old Friends and it made my heart feel better to know with my donation I was helping horses. I don’t own any of my own but I felt good being a part of such a worthy organization. I would never have known about them if not for Queen Z and this site.

  11. Thanks for all the information on how you travel. Really cool video, too.

  12. Zenny, you are just TOO CUTE!!!!

  13. So cool that you fly in a plane, on the track and now in the paddock, whenever you want. Exciting life you have, and reading about it enriches mine. Thanks for the fun posts. I am still very much “TEAM ZENYATTA”. :)

  14. Credit AJ from CA [Above] for finding this NOT-to-be-MISSED Thoroughbred Times` Article, posted June 23, 2010, by Cynthia McFarland: http://www.thoroughbredtimes.com/horse-health/2010/may/01/h-e-sutton-forwarding-co-still-flying-high.aspx Preparation and staffing, concern for horses and ‘families,’ every consideration & much more under a picture of ?Who Else??? deplaning.

  15. Hi Z, it was a pleasure flying with you this morning! You look like a good traveler. You are so lucky — you got a big old hay bale to munch on during your flight. We’re lucky if we get a bag of peanuts these days! LOL! XOXO

  16. Beautiful Zenyatta, You provided another great Z day, first, being on your flight and then picking up a copy of Reader’s Digest with your gorgeous pic and great comments from Mr. Moss. This is the best part of my day, every day. Thank you, pretty girl, for the joy.

  17. The Moss’s are great people and Mario is the best!

  18. @Judy Berube
    Thanks for the positive feedback. Yeah — I think a journal like this would be wonderful, plus it would include everyone’s stories. I really do believe it could be very marketable….

  19. Dear Jan, have you ever owned a horse? I’ve been lucky enough to have owned two horses and I’ve taken care of more than I can count. From being around horses all these years the one thing that I can tell you for sure is that they are happiest when they are in a large paddock or pasture, can run freely with their friends and still have a lot of human contact. This is exactly the life Zenyatta is living now.

    I’m certain that she loved racing. It was very obvious. She also did not know any other life and she was showered with love and wonderful care during her racing career.

    When my boy turned 25 I retired him. He had lived a life of racing, dressage and three day eventing. I knew he was happy but I had never seen him so happy as the day we turned him loose in a huge pasture with other horses. The first thing he did was take off. He was giddy with freedom to run on his own. The small herd just stood in silence and watched him. When the big Thoroughbred got to the end of the pasture he came running back. This time the herd was ready and they all started on a run ahead of him. He just blew by them as if they were standing still. My horse was in absolute heaven.

    He lived in retirement for 8 years. He still lived at the best barns and except for the big pastures he ran in during the day, his life was not changed all that much. I saw him every day, he had his stall at night and always being the barn favorite he got the royal treatment wherever he lived. I don’t think he missed “working” at all.

    There were many times when I would look at his perfect back and be so tempted to put that saddle on and go for just one more ride. Because when I retired him, my riding ended as I could afford only one horse and he deserved the best possible retirement I could give him. He was retired for 8 years and during those years our bond became even stronger because all my time at the barn was spent taking him on walks and just spending time with him. I think he enjoyed this time as much as I did. I didn’t think it was possible but our bond got even stronger.

    Please be happy for Zenyatta. Her life is full of free days in the pasture with her friends, lots and lots of human contact, lots of treats and she still has a very strong connection with her family from her racing life and her loving owners. I don’t think it could get any better than that.

  20. Good Morning Sweet “Z” and All,

    Dear Trina N., In case you did not happen to notice, there is a lovely response for you at the end of #221 from Mr. Sherrill Brooke; written by his assistant, Linda Shelton. Blessings for a beautiful today!

  21. p.s. So nice to know we fly with the same “Pilot”…

  22. @Laura J- Very well said.
    Congratulations to Harmonious on her win yesterday!
    Zenyatta – your #1 fan in Montana loves you!

  23. @DJ—Thank you so much! I had not seen the response from Linda Shelton–I’ll go read it right away!TOO CUTE!

  24. Hey Zen! Hope the Kentucky springtime is just what you expected! Thanks for sharing all of the info…getting ready for the Derby and of course, the Easter Bunny! Do you think you will get lots of carrots in your basket????
    Lots of Love

  25. Dear MLV: Things I`m still learning, you have said with erudition in your note above. Human love, try though we do to refine it, is shot through with use, exploitation, manipulation and demand. This is not original thinking & I regret having mis-placed the author`s name and source text, but often it is our own view which colors what we see, or believe we know. Knowing horses, and loving them, grows with the work WE DO FOR them. It is a given they will work for us, wholeheartedly. Man has an unusually busy gift for attaching every energy potential to produce work of some sort, but takes a lifetime learning the blessings of rest. When we want to look into horses as they see themselves, all you describe becomes visible. Thank you for an especially telling insight.

  26. @MLV, LOVE your story! It reminded me of the Bloodhorse video of Zenyatta at Lane’s End and her first day running at liberty in her paddock. She was reveling in her new freedom, kicking up her heels, flagging her tail, and whinnying with joy.

    For anyone who hasn’t seen it, here’s the link:

  27. What a very cool post! Thank you for sharing this, Dottie.
    @MLV – Thank you for sharing your tender and insightful posts with regard to your two beloved horses, and your dear Oliver. Our animals bring such joy into our lives, and add another dimension, without which, we would not have. While their lives are but a “season,” the gift they have given us remains in our hearts, forever.

  28. I also believe that horses living in a pasture, in natural settings, are very happy. These animals are so very versatile, and give us so much, in return for love, and care. However, there will always reside within, a part of their natural instincts, that desire the freedom, for which they were born. I have a story about Noah, a horse I leased a few years back, (while living in another state),and who taught me so very much. Noah is a big, in his prime, paint gelding, who lives totally free on a 10 acre pasture, with a huge, insulated walk-in shelter. Noah was the alpha horse in “his” herd of eight other geldings. One day, 4 new horses arrived and put into the pasture. They consisted of a Quarter horse gelding, an Arabian gelding, a pony, and a 2 year old rescued thoroughbred racehorse filly. Initially, all of the horses ran about amok with excitement. One day later, the 4 new horses formed their own herd, and stuck together, grazing. Noah was NOT happy about this. Within another few days, it was apparent that Noah & the Quarter horse gelding were fighting at night. It got to the point were Noah was actually bloodied, albeit surface wounds. I was distraught, but told that the horses would resolve things in their own way. I thought Noah & his “adversary” were fighting over the thoroughbred filly. I had a hard time getting Noah out of the pasture to ride, as he was so tense and concerned about this new situation in his pasture. It was a rough 2 weeks, but one day, I went to the barn to see all of the horses together. The filly was by the Quarter horse’s side, but they had formed ONE herd, under Noah. From that point on, all was peaceful. It was amazing, as I then knew that Noah was basically saying to the Quarter horse – “You can have the filly, but you cannot have a herd. You must all join in and be a part of mine, over which I preside.” Incredible. A note to this is that new horses would NEVER be introduced in a small area. The 10 acres was big enough, considering the number of horses present, run away, if need be.

  29. Always enjoy your posts – they make my day, you are so special and bring so much happiness to everyone. Just thinking, it was a year ago that I saw you win the Apple Blossom at Oaklawn Park! Good luck to the sweet 16, all –
    Love you so much, sweet girl –

  30. @Jan: As much as it hurt us, depressed us when The Queen retired, we knew we had to let go and not be selfish..I was selfish at first..I was like, I wanna see her run, race forever Z. When I saw her video of her first taste of freedom, I cried…she finally gets to be what she really is, a happy, healthy, beautiful horse. As for the Adoptive parents, they are the best and restored my faith in Racehorse Owners. Zenyatta and Team Zenyatta are changing the world…not just the raceworld. Dottie will let us know when it something happens with our Big Girl..in the meantime, enjoy the posts of loyal fans forever…