Mr. Vacaville Tags Off to BB Bunny Bell
Miracles really do happen at Miracle Farm Rescue
August 6, 2007 was one of the most incredible days for me, Barbara (B.J.) Hartmann,at Miracle Farm Rescue Foundation, Inc. I’m sure a lot of “normal” people wonder why people like me rescue horses. I do it for the love of the horse. I just can’t explain what it
feels like when you rehabilitate an injured horse back to a productive job, help an emotionally distraught horse trust again or know that you have just saved a horses life. Rescue work
for the most part is hard work, financially unrewarding, and very, very time consuming. But then there are moments like Aug. 6, 2007 when miraculous things occur.
Let me back up a little. In Feb. 2005, a yearling Standardbred colt named BB Bunny Bell was donated to MFRF with a horrific facial injury. He had suffered with a chronic sinus
infection due to the broken bones in his face. In May 2005, an older Thoroughbred gelding named Vacaville was donated because of the sale of the farm he was at and because of his previous owner’s untimely death due to cancer. I was told he had no registration papers, was in his early twenties, and that he hadn’t done much lately but that he could probably get reconditioned and be ridden again. Vacaville was great with all of the horses so I let him baby
sit BB Bunny Bell out in the pasture.
With the help of many people and multiple donations to the rescue, BB Bunny Bell got the
much needed surgery for his face in the summer of 2005. BB recovered from the surgery and started his training program to become a race horse in 2006. Due to his pedigree and
abilities I had hoped that BB could win purse money for MFRF’s needy horses and then stand at stud for the rest of his life. (What a great job!!) Vacaville unfortunately started to
really slow down in the spring of 2006 so I decided to permanently retire him. He needed to find a life as a pasture companion, so the hunt was on to find him a new home.
My Ohio State intern, Lauren, put him on the internet. She volunteered to do all of my
internet work-emailing, phone calling, screening of possible homes, a true God sent to me
and the rescue. She got lots of replies wanting a riding horse but this was not an acceptable solution. This went on throughout 2006 and continued into 2007, we just couldn’t believe
that such a sweet, kind horse couldn’t find that perfect retirement home. At the same time BB did well but did not race as a 2-year-old in 2006, no sense in pushing a youngster. He
started to really show some signs of being a race horse by the start of 2007. The winter of 2007 was really hard of Vacaville. He was slowing down, really showing his age, but he kept hanging in there. Vacaville always came to life in the springtime. He loved seeing all of the new babies. I think he thought he was their father, so proud and excited when they walked
by his stall. He was such a sweet, lovely mannered old man-never a problem or conflict-as a barn owner you wished they all acted like him. The spring was exciting for BB too. He qualified to race and then made a mark of 157.4 in a qualifier. BB tried hard all spring and summer but never won a race, he was a beginner and acted like one. We kept trying to find a home for Vacaville but also had to luck.