Day At The Track

Sebastian K's owners help SRF with donation

06:21 AM 02 Dec 2014 NZDT
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Harness Racing
Michael Knutsson and Tristan Sjorberg, owners of Sebastian K present SRF donation check to Paula Campbell at the Meadowlands
Lisa Photo
If you have followed Sebastian K at all you can't help but feel good about racing as you read about the love for this horse and the sport by his owners, Swedish brothers Michael Knutsson and Tristan Sjorberg. One can see why they pledged 1% of the 8 year old's earnings this year to the Standardbred Retirement Foundation (SRF)

Sjoberg and Knutsson stepped into every moment of excitement this horse has given them, and it's pretty clear to see when you read Sjoberg's tweets that he gets a whole lot more out of having a horse like Sebastian K than most of our U.S. owners might.

He mentioned the enjoyment of morning jogs at the farm; photographs comical moments his trainer, Aka Svendstadt, has with Sebastian; jokes about entering his well noted horse, White Bliss in to race on the same night to keep Sebastian company; and thanks the Meadowlands spectators who broke into spontaneous applause when Sebastian K exited the Winner's Circle after another great victory.

When Sjoberg tweeted about paying tribute to Valley Victory noting that his legacy is enduring, it was obvious that his passion is complete; it is a love of the animals and the sport hand in hand that makes the difference for him. A pledge to support SRF's work with a gift of 1% in honor of Modern Family, another great horse that recently past was truly admirable of Knutsson and Sjoberg.

Maybe it's the different attitude of the people toward their horses and racing in Sweden where they are commonly applauded, they race longer, and claiming races just don't work for them. Maybe Sjoberg relates better as he too is an athlete, a runner.

SRF President, Paula Campbell and Executive Director and co-founder, Judith Bokman expressed their gratitude to the brothers. "It is very special when someone gives back to the horses that have served well; we are so appreciative," says Campbell. "This is such a commendable gesture and a great story. We hope their passion for the horses and the sport is infectious here, they truly share a love and respect for them," Bokman said. Sebastian K earned more than $600,000. this year and set a world record of 1:49.

SRF is presently caring for 197 Standardbreds all in need of a home, of which 121 may be under their care for life as they are either aged or injured and are passed over by adopters. Unique in its mission, SRF is helping these horses for 25 years, taking in not just those who are adoptable but the old campaigners who are the backbone of racing, some of which are now nearing their 30s retired in pasture. Gifts to SRF are tax-deductible.

From the Standarbred Retirement Foundation

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