Day At The Track

Pocketfulasunshine saved from slaughterhouse

04:13 PM 26 Oct 2014 NZDT
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Pocketfulasunshine was about to be slaughtered
Pocketfulasunshine was about to be slaughtered
Pocketful Of Sunshine
Harness racing, like any industry is a business. Bills need to be paid, food needs to be put on the table and we are responsible for our families.

An excellent showing of the importance of family took flight on Thursday October 16th when trainer Kyle Reibeling was notified through social media that one of his past horses was set to be put down.

"A friend of mine, Jackie Panko alerted me that a friend of hers noticed some Standardbreds in a meat pen in Ottawa, ON waiting to go to slaughter" says Kyle. "One of the tattoo numbers matched a mare I bred and raised."

"I raced her for a year before she was purchased by another party" explains Kyle.

This didn't sit well for Kyle; it left a sinking feeling within that this would be her demise. "My heart sank." Kyle describes. "I know we can't control what happens to our horses after they leave our care, but when (a situation like this) is presented, you have to do something about."

That's exactly what Kyle did.

Did Kyle think it was possible to save Pocketfulasunshine? He did not know to be honest, but instead of wondering Kyle took action to save her. His first thought was 'I cannot let this happen'.

"This was happening in the Ottawa (Ontario) area" explains Kyle. "I didn't know how to go about, we got the contact information we needed and luckily I have a good friend and a gentleman I train for down in Ottawa who really stepped up to the plate."

Enter Bern Lavigne and Rick Sullivan who came through with back to back home runs.

"They went down the next day and purchased her for me and took her to their place." Kyle notes, "They picked the burrs out of her and gave her a good bath. She was real skinny."

Kyle is proud to say she has a great life now. Pocketfulasunshine is done racing, however Kyle admits he does enjoy taking her out for a jog and Pocketfulasunshine is responding well. And she's eating well; Kyle adds she finishes every meal. His daughters have fallen in love with Pocketfulasunshine too.

"This is something we had to do." Kyle continues, "We are not looking for praise and I don't think this is anything out of the ordinary. Nobody wants to see anything bad happen to one of their horses they took care of and loved like family."

A few years ago while riding in his tractor Kyle recalls wondering what to name her, "I remember thinking 'what am going to name this foal?' and a Natasha Bedingfield song came on that was full of spunk and Pocketfulasunshine it was."

The song: Pocketful of Sunshine

'Take me away, to a secret place...' are the first few words that catch me when I listened to the song that inspired the name. At the time, who would have known how deep this would mean? More powerful were these next set of lyrics written by Natasha which took this story to an entire new level of meaning.

'Take me away to better days... take me away to a sweet escape.... In the darkness there is light and nobody cries.... Take me away to better days... the sun is on my side... I smile up to the sky and know I will be alright.'

Roderick Balgobin
Supernova Sports Club
 

 

 

 

 

 

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