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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Just Another Race Horse is an animal story written by Marion N. Seidel, based on true events as told from the viewpoint of a horse named Sonny. Sonny was not one of the small, elite minority of racehorses that were born to be great and had sterling pedigrees to their name. He was just another race horse; though, as far as he was concerned, Sonny did his utmost to be the best possible horse and couldn't see what more he could be. Since he was not considered a candidate for greatness and had no bloodline worth passing on, he was gelded, and the operation occurred before his body had finished developing properly. Sonny spent his early years as a racehorse. While he tried his best, he wasn't suited for the intensive schedule his owners set for him, and the lack of rest and recuperative time between races made his life one filled with pain, injections of painkillers, and abuse by his trainer and some jockeys. It wasn't until the man who called him Handsome and saw through the misery to the horse inside, that Sunny had a shot at a full and meaningful equine existence.
Marion N. Seidel's Just Another Race Horse exposes the harsh and unfeeling attitudes that are all too prevalent in the horse racing industry where owners care more about the profits to be made from racing than their horses' well-being. I was saddened to see how the spirited and willing young horse was transformed through neglect, cruelty and malnutrition into one who feared all human contact and felt the need to defend his food. This is a well-written and knowledgeable story that was penned by someone who was all too familiar with the problems endemic in horse racing and has been part of the solution, at least for those horses lucky enough to be found, rescued and given new lives and homes. While I had been aware that racehorses lived in brutal circumstances, I had known very little about the actual particulars of the situation and appreciated learning more about it from this book. However, what I liked most about Just Another Race Horse was getting to know Sonny and getting a feel for how horses interact with each other and with the humans they encounter. I feel privileged to now have a deeper understanding of these magnificent beings thanks to Sonny's story. Just Another Race Horse is highly recommended.