Well-bred pair lead MU sale

Thoroughbreds rich in potential, center director says
Thursday, December 28, 2006 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 5:26 a.m. CDT, Saturday, July 19, 2008


Margaret McKeown, right, and Mina Abdelsayed groom Derby Day Senorita at MU’s Equine Center on Wednesday. Derby Day Senorita is one of two thoroughbred horses donated to MU that will be auctioned on Jan. 11. (ADAM WISNESKI/Missourian)

Young singles need roomy accommodations; landlords must be kind and patient and know how to use a hoof pick.

Two thoroughbred horses of famed bloodlines are being auctioned off by the MU Equine Center in a continuous bidding process that will end on Jan. 11.

The two horses, Orbit Cat and Derby Day Senorita, were donated to the university in November by a couple who bred and raced thoroughbred horses. Orbit Cat is a 5-year-old bay gelding, and Derby Day Senorita is a 6-year-old chestnut mare.

Altogether, six horses were donated, but Orbit Cat and Derby Day Senorita were the youngest and lack training. As a result, they were put up for auction first.

Derby Day Senorita comes from a bloodline of award-winning horses. She is the “granddaughter” of Secretariat, the 1973 winner of the Triple Crown and one of only 11 horses in the nation to ever accomplish the feat.

Orbit Cat’s “grandfather” is Storm Cat, who, along with having an exceptional racing career, is well-known for the number of racehorses he has sired.

It is unusual for the equine center to receive horses of this stature, said David Wilson, director of the center.

“Most of the horses we receive are lame,” Wilson said. “But these horses have a lot of potential if their new owners spend some time on them.”

Orbit Cat is an energetic, dark-brown male gelding, which means he will not be able to breed. He stands about 5 feet, 8 inches from the ground to the tallest point on his back.

As he kicked his hooves against his stall, Orbit Cat created a boom that suggested he wants his presence to be recognized. His high energy level made it seem as if he would rather be outside, galloping through a field.

“His breeding and size would make him a nice English pleasure horse or a hunter jumper prospect,” Wilson said. He said that with enough training, Orbit Cat would make an excellent show horse.

Derby Day Senorita stands 5 feet, 2 inches and is a chestnut brown brood mare, which means ideally she would be used for breeding.

“She’s really well-bred,” Wilson said. “Someone may just want to use her for her breeding potential, even though she would also make a great hunter jumper as well.”

The two horses are cared for at MU’s Equine Center by students, faculty members and a number of other caretakers. The university cannot, however, keep the six donated horses at the center because of the high cost of housing and care. One older mare will stay at MU and will be used for teaching purposes in veterinary classes focusing on horse reproduction.

Usually such auctions occur once a year, but this auction is generating much more excitement then expected, Wilson said. He said publicity surrounding the sale has caused the date to be pushed from Jan. 4 to Jan. 11. to allow time for more bids to come in.

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