He stood frozen, snorting and stomping the ground, as the three men cautiously circled around him.
His ears pricked carefully to the side, listening for their next move. The sound of the whip cracked
above the ground, along with the shouts of the men taunting him into the trailer. Without warning, the
horse gave out a panicked cry while the men pushed and beat him towards the loading ramp.
Onlookers gathered, observing the horse. He was frightened and confused by the beatings, sweat and
blood gleaming on his tormented body. Majesty’s Glory was his name, and he stood sixteen hands high
with long, sleek legs to match. His color was bay with stockings on all sides of his hind legs. His face
held utter fear as he tried to escape his tormentors.
Charles Bailey, the horse’s owner, could be heard barking orders to his stable hands in the distance.
“Load him up and haul him off to the slaughter house! I am done with the nag! I don’t need losers,” he
Suddenly, a tall brown haired young man darted from the crowd and grabbed the lead rope from one of
the stable hands. They looked at him with puzzled looks on their faces, wondering who this lunatic was
interfering in Mr. Bailey’s direct orders. They knew better not to defy Charles Bailey on the track. He
was well-known for being a trouble maker among other stable hands, riders, and trainers. He had been
around on the racing circuit for a long time, and his influence could wreak havoc on the track or ones
Immediately the strange man shouted, “Who owns this horse?”
“I do,” Charles Bailey said as he slowly fought his way through the crowd“ Who wants to know?” he
“Dr. Drew Hamilton, a licensed veterinarian from the state of Kentucky,” he stated. “You can either
turn him over to me or I will report you for the abuse of domesticated animals with the state of
Kentucky on my observation alone. If you are found guilty, you will be possibly barred from the racing
industry for life and fined heavily. Is this the risk you are willing to take for a ‘broken-down nag,’ as
you say?” Drew said sharply.
Charles Bailey stared the veterinarian directly in the eye, infuriated, and snickered, “If you want him
that badly, he is yours and don’t blame me if he tries to kill you. He’s crazy, and sooner or later you will
put him down, too. Don’t say I didn’t warn you, doctor. ”
Drew quickly gathered up the lead rope of the panicked horse, and began to talk softly to calm him.
The horse responded with uncertainty, shaking, fearing the next round of beatings to come his way.
Drew, sensing his fear, quickly began stroking his neck using a soothing voice. The horse began to stop
shaking and pushed Drew with his nose as if to say ‘thank you.’ Drew slowly led him back toward his
handlers and ask them what he had done that was so awful to deserve a beating. The stable hands
responded, “He doesn’t like to race. He rears up in the chute to try to get rid of the rider. The last time
he flipped over backwards, and all the jockeys on the track refused to ride him.”
Drew then turned to the big horse with a warm smile and said,” You outsmarted them, didn’t you
fellow?” The stable hands looked at one another inquisitively, as Drew casually walked the horse away
from the barn area.
Suddenly one of the stable hands shouted, “You forgot these.” Drew turned to look to see papers had
been thrown to the ground. Drew began to turn the horse, but the horse would not budge. Drew knew
the horse thought he was returning to his captors. He resumed petting and reassuring the horse that he
would be right back, and then let the rope drop. Drew walked over to the papers, quickly scooped them
up and returned to his new horse who had backed up even farther than where he had originally left him.
He picked up the rope, used a voice that said, “I told you I would be right back,” and gave him a pat on
Drew walked quietly through the courtyard with Majesty’s Glory by his side, escorting him to the track
veterinarians for an examination of his cuts and abrasions. Drew knocked on the door and a voice said,
“Come in, the door is open!” Drew held onto the lead rope, gently opened the door and peered into the
room, announcing, “Hello, I am Dr. Hamilton and I could use some medical attention for my horse.”
A gray-haired, paunchy gentleman rose up from behind the desk and slowly came to the front door. He
said, “How may I help you? I am Dr. John Pappas, the track veterinarian.”
Drew looked at him pensively and said, “Hello, I am Dr. Drew Hamilton. I have a veterinary practice
up North and I just rescued this horse from a severe beating from one Charles Bailey.”
Dr. Pappas eyed him up and down and said, “You did, did you? Why am I not surprised. I hope you
gave him an equal beating to match your new horse.”
“I am afraid I didn’t, as I was more concerned with the horse than the owner,” Drew replied.
“Well, that is a shame,” said Dr. Pappas. “That man is long overdue for a taste of his own medicine.”
Dr Pappas came outside and began to stroll around both sides of the horse’s torn body, checking for
welts and cuts that needed to be treated. “Did you know, Dr. Hamilton, that Mr. Bailey is a well known
man in these parts? He has lots of money and pull with the track officials and investors in Kentucky.”
Drew looked at him with raised eyebrows and said, “Honestly, Dr. Pappas, I really don’t care who he is.
I just reacted at the time. I heard the horse cry out and instinct took over.”
Dr. Pappas smiled at him and said, “Thank heavens this horse found you. There aren’t too many people
on this track who think about the love of the animal any more. To them it’s just business. I have started
to become really soured on the track philosophy of horses as just a business; if the horse isn’t making
money they are disposed of either due to liability or earnings to losses ratio. Eventually they all break
down or wear out, and then are sold or put down. I am near retirement age; if I were younger I would
move on to start my practice again He finished his inspection and said, “Well, Drew all I can see is
minor cuts that will heal with time and treatment, but you all ready knew that.”
Drew gave a smile and said, “Yes, I know, but my supplies are in the truck in the parking lot.” Dr.
Pappas slowly walked into his office to retrieve the antiseptic and gauze.
“Here you go, Drew,” he said handing him the supplies, “You might as well start treating your own
horse. By the way, does the horse have a name?”
“I never thought about it, but I do have the papers, if I can read them.” Drew put the cleaning supplies
down on the chair and shoved his hand into his right pocket, pulling out the papers. He said, “See if
you can read them,” and handed them to Dr. Pappas. “I had to pick them up out of the dirt and mud, so
I didn’t bother looking at them.” Dr Pappas stretched out his hand to take the smudged papers from
Drew and opened them gingerly, so as not to tear them further.
He said, “His name is ‘Majesty’s Glory’ I think; let me look at his breeding. My lord, he has some good
bloodlines that go back to Man O’ War! You picked a good horse, boy.”
Drew listened intently and said, “He may have good breeding, but I don’t have a clue what to do with
him. I am a vet, not a trainer. I don’t have any idea where to start or what to do with him. I am at a loss
here. They didn’t teach us how to train horses in veterinary college, only how to treat.”
Dr. Pappas listened quietly and slowly walked over to his desk, pulled out a piece of paper and wrote
down a phone number. “Here,” he said, “call this gal Jenna. She has a small place about a half hour
from here, and I have taken several horses to her. If she can’t help you, no one can, I know this for a
fact. She is my stepdaughter and understands abused horses firsthand. I wouldn’t recommend her if I
didn’t think she could help you. I have seen her take thoroughbreds that no one can handle and make
them as gentle as a kitten. You just have to trust me here.”
“Well what does she charge?” Drew asked.
Dr Pappas smiled and said “You will need to work that out with her. She might even barter with you for
your services in exchange for hers. It would actually help her out, as overhead is high.”
Drew threw back his head with a smile and pondered what the doctor had said to him. “Doc, can you
tell me more about your stepdaughter? I am very cautious about who I do business with, especially
since it reflects on my practice. I have to feel secure about them and what they do, so I would
appreciate it if you might give me some insight. If she is as good as you say, then I may be able to refer
my clients to her.” Drew looked down at the slip of paper in his hand, and spoke aloud, “Jenna.”
Dr. Pappas said, “Yup that is her, she is like my own. I married her mother twenty years ago after her
father walked out on the family. I am the only father figure she knows or trusts. Her father just couldn’t
handle a wife and child. Jenna’s mother and father married right out of high school, and then a baby
came along quicker than was planned. They just weren’t ready and he wasn’t done with sowing his
“I shouldn’t be telling you this, so you have to keep this between us, but since you asked, you should
know that she recently had a traumatic abusive relationship that she is trying to recover from. This is
what I meant when I said she understands abuse first-hand.
Her husband changed after they were married. His personality turned out to be the opposite of what she
fell in love with, and he put on a façade to fool the rest of us. Really, the green eyed monster was there
all along, with the philosophy that he was king of the castle. You see, her husband wouldn’t let her
continue her work with horses; he wanted the barefoot and pregnant scenario. He wanted her to make
him her life and nothing else. She started to rebel, and then he started dominating her with abuse. On
more than one occasion she called me from the hospital. He broke her arm accidentally as she was
escaping out the front door when she refused to listen to him. She was terrified to press charges. I tried
to get her to see the light and be done with this man, but she had been so traumatized that it has taken
months of therapy to help her readjust to normalcy. She has filed for divorce and hopefully she will be
done with this possessive monster.”
If she appears aloof or standoffish, it is because she doesn’t know who she can trust, like Majesty’s
Glory is now. She feels ashamed about what she went through and is trying to recover through the only
means she knows, horses. She is doing the best to cope through it all, but it’s tough, as she tries to put
her life back together. All this will of course have to come from her in greater detail, but the horses are
very therapeutic giving her a goal with a future. She has an emotional connection to the horses, like
they are helping each other heal. She rehabilitates them for a new career so they can go on with their
lives in a different capacity. She has a wonderful, giving heart with animals, and in time her old self
will emerge. The girl can ride though; she has been riding since she was five. Her mother took her to
lessons and shows throughout her childhood. Her mother, Emma, was a horse lover and Jenna is a
duplicate of her. When her mother died, she left Jenna the house, the training facilities and stables.
Jenna has about forty acres now and it’s her life. What I am trying to tell you is you won’t go wrong
with her. Just understand what she might be going through if things seem a little off. I know in time she
will recover and most people really like her once they get past the formalities. This is all I can tell you.
You will have to ask her for any specific details.”
Drew gestured toward Dr. Pappas, indicating that he wanted the horse’s lead rope. Dr. Pappas met his
hand, and Drew gently took the rope. Dr. Pappas looked up at Drew and said, “I hope I haven’t so
overwhelmed you with Jenna’s background that you might not use her talents, but remember, you
asked. I know some folks can’t handle what others are going through. They don’t want to get
Drew said with a smirk, “Where the heck am I going to go? I have a business to run! I’ve trained
Quarter horses on my parent’s ranch, but not race horses, and besides, I am way too busy for gossip. I
want to get to know a person’s character before I do business so I know I can trust them to do their job.
Other than that, it isn’t important to me, and frankly it’s none of my business. As long as she is able to
help me and Majesty, that is all that counts. Majesty needs someone who can help him, and if she is the
one to do it then we are both helped.
Dr. Pappas nodded and said, “You won’t be sorry or disappointed. Are you headed over there tonight?”
Drew started walking toward his truck with Majesty calmly walking beside him toward the trailer. He
shouted over his shoulder, “Well that depends where Beginnings Farms is located!” Drew continued
walking towards the trailer, as he began whispering to the horse in an even tone. Dr. Pappas slowly
came up behind Majesty and unlocked the silver trailer door to send him on his new journey. Majesty
walked in without hesitation, which was a stark contrast to earlier behaviors. Drew hooked his halter to
a shank inside the trailer and told him, “It won’t be long, boy, before you have a new home.” Dr Pappas
cocked his head, listening to Drew talking to Majesty and a satisfaction came over his face that spoke
volumes. He knew that horse had found the right home.
Dr. Pappas interrupted his thoughts and cleared his throat and said to Drew, “Why don’t I write down
the directions for you? It’s four o’clock now and it is about a half hour drive from here, provided you
don’t get lost.”
Drew replied with a snicker, “You got that right. It gets dark around 5:30, so I’m praying I get there
before then. I’ll take those directions doc. It will be easier on both of us not driving around in the dark.”
Dr. Pappas returned from his office and handed Drew handwritten instructions to Beginning Farms. Dr.
Pappas said, “If you get lost, call Jenna. The phone number is at the bottom. I will call her and let her
know you are coming. She keeps her cell phone handy.”
Drew took the directions and read them carefully out loud to himself. He replied, “Thanks, Doc. I’m
keeping my fingers crossed,” as he gave Dr. Pappas a handshake. “Luckily it is on my way to the clinic,
so it isn’t too far off the beaten path. I’ll give you a call later.”
“Okay, but I got a feeling I will see you real soon.” Dr. Pappas replied.
Drew headed towards his silver truck, opened the driver’s side door, jumped in and rolled down his
window. He turned the engine on and the radio came on full blast. He smiled at Dr. Pappas and said, “I
get lonely on the road a lot, so I like the company of the radio.”
Dr. Pappas glanced at him and said, “I know the feeling. I remember the good old days. I’ll talk to you
later and tell Jenna I said hello.”
“Will do,” Drew quickly replied, turning his steering wheel to avoid hitting the truck parked in front of
him and the spectators alongside of it.
Drew crept down the gravel top road at a snail’s pace, past the stables and onto the main highway to
meet Jenna and give Majesty a new life. He didn’t plan on getting into the horse training arena again,
but here he was, because he couldn’t tolerate abuse in any form. He had treated too many animals who
had suffered at the hands of neglectful and abusive owners, and he had been called out on many a
rescue. Drew donated his time and his expense to help these animals survive, knowing they would
recapture their lives in a new home. It was his way of giving back, but little did he know he would be
giving back in more ways than one.