Complying with an owner’s wishes has led to a torrent of abuse for Warrnambool trainer Maddie Raymond.
Raymond entered Group 3 winner Pacodali in an Inglis sale at the behest of Irish owner Seamus McPeake but the move quickly turned into a nightmare for the trainer.
Social media lit up, slamming Raymond for putting the winner of more than $600,000 in stakes up for sale in an online auction instead of finding the rising nine-year-old a retirement home.
“It’s been upsetting. I’ve had emails saying I’m a piece of crap and much worse and a lot of phone calls saying I’m doing the wrong thing,” Raymond said.
Raymond said she tried many potential options to rehome Pacodali but there were no takers. She added the gelding’s traits limited the potential homes for the Irish-bred galloper.
“Everyone is saying just retire him and find him a nice paddock somewhere but it’s not as simple as that,” Raymond said.
“I don’t have land to be able to do that and the owner lives in Ireland and doesn’t have a farm.
“We don’t have the resources to do it ourselves.”
The trainer said many of the negative comments were made without any knowledge of Pacodali’s circumstances.
“He is a high maintenance horse and one that is going to take a bit of looking after for the rest of his life.
“But nobody showed any interest in doing that before the uproar on social media.
“These people that have offered him a home online, not one has contacted me or the owner to tell me they have a home for him.”
Raymond said Pacodali was unsuitable to be retrained as an equestrian performer while the horse was also a difficult traveller, which would rule him out as a pony club horse.
Raymond said giving Pacodali away for free was not in the horse’s best interests as she was fearful where he would end up.
“We put a reserve on him so people couldn’t pick him up for chips. If I put him online as free to a good home, who knows where he would end up,” she said.
“If people pay good money for horses, they are going to look after them.”
Raymond said she would contact Pacodali’s owners in Ireland on Tuesday night to determine their next move in the wake of the uproar.
Musk Creek Farm manager Scott Williamson has set up a GoFundMe page to buy Pacodali to rehome the horse at his Mornington Peninsula property.
Racing participants, including fellow trainers Gemma Rielly and Blake Ryan, have contributed to the fundraising effort, which has raised more than $4500.
Pacodali’s auction ends on Wednesday at noon. The bidding stood at $3750 at the time of writing.
Originally published as Trainer cops online abuse after sale uproar