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Blog Tales from the LOPE Ranch

Meet LP’s Tiger

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elle-body

As a mare, LP’s Tiger is an unusual warhorse! She’s 11 years old and just retired from racing in late 2016. A fan favorite at Penn National, LP’s Tiger was known for her grit and determination. She ran a whopping 141 times, earning $244,676 over her eight years at the track.

What’s especially impressive about LP’s Tiger is that she is a petite mare (only about 15.1H). How such an elegant little mare could run so hard and so long is truly a mystery. LP’s Tiger is dainty and feminine, with a pretty face and long eyelashes. Her barn name is “Elle” (the French word for “she”).

Elle was bred in Florida. She raced in FL, MA, MD, WV and PA. A hardworking racehorse, Elle brought home winnings every year that she ran. In her last two years at the track, Elle raced almost exclusively at Penn National. She was a great favorite with fans — everyone appreciated her fiery competitive spirit packaged in such a petite frame!

But even steely little mares have to stop running eventually. Elle gradually slowed down at the track — it was too hard to keep up with all the up-and-coming younger racehorses. Although she was sound (with remarkably clean legs), Elle just didn’t have the speed anymore to be competitive.

What’s especially impressive about LP’s Tiger is that she is a petite mare (only about 15.1H). How such an elegant little mare could run so hard and so long is truly a mystery.

A racehorse rehoming village came together to help LP’s Tiger come to LOPE. CANTER PA arranged for her leave the track in later 2016. Mid-Atlantic Horse Rescue then took LP’s Tiger to their facility in MD, where she received pasture turnout and excellent care for several months. They also restarted her lightly under saddle. In June 2017, LP’s Tiger came to LOPE as part of our Racing Warriors Program and to be our 2017 RRP Makeover candidate (if she wanted to do that).

We fell in love with Elle’s boss mare personality and lovely conformation. She epitomized the quote “Though she be but small, she is mighty.” We couldn’t wait to ride her and begin our RRP journey together.

But then an unusual rehab issue surfaced. Elle had retired sound from the track, but she began to occasionally show an atypical type of lameness in her left hind. It was intermittent (every few days) at first — but soon became more and more frequent. Elle became agitated — she knew she wasn’t right and it frustrated her tremendously. The more that she tensed up, the worse the lameness would become — to the point of appearing almost entirely non-weight bearing on that leg. It almost seemed as if adrenaline or excitability triggered the lameness.

LP’s Tiger is dainty and feminine, with a pretty face and long eyelashes. Her barn name is “Elle” (the French word for “she”).

LP’s Tiger is dainty and feminine, with a pretty face and long eyelashes. Her barn name is “Elle” (the French word for “she”).

Our veterinarians at Austin Equine Hospital provided exemplary veterinary care (as always). Elle was examined thoroughly and her progress monitored. As her excitability and anxiety continued to increase, they recommended an ultrasound of her ovaries. The ultrasound revealed a persistent follicle in her right ovary. The ovary was abnormally large due to the persistent follicle, causing a hormonal imbalance in Elle’s metabolism. This imbalance had created her anxiety and provided the catalyst for her lameness (which was due to tendon contraction triggered by physical tension and emotional stress).

Elle will need to be on Regumate (a daily hormone supplement) for three months, plus she will require a rehabilitation program (on the ground and eventually under saddle) to help her lameness issue. In addition, our veterinarians have recommended that another ultrasound and lab work in the next month (to make sure all is progressing well).

She is such a rare horse — and has given so much to her sport — that we feel it’s an honor to help her. We would like people to follow Elle’s progress at LOPE (just follow LOPE on facebook). Her tale is unique, full of twists and turns. LOPE is determined that it will have a happy ending, the one that Elle so clearly deserves. And maybe Elle’s rehab will help provide education and insight into her less than common veterinary conditions — as well inspire people to take a chance on extra special horses with rehab needs.

LP’s Tiger is in Need of:

  • Daily Regumate for three months
  • Follow-up ultrasound, vet exam and lab work
  • Regular supply of alfalfa, hay and Bluebonnet senior feed
  • Lots of shavings (she is particular about her stall)
  • Rehabilitation ground work and under saddle sessions with cavaletti, obstacles, hill work
  • Regular farrier care
  • Assessment and retraining for second career (whatever she decides that will be)
  • A college fund (in case she wants to go back to school)
Make a Donation to LP’s Tiger

LOPE and LP’s Tiger would like to thank CANTER PA and MidAtlantic Horse Rescue for helping her safely transition from the track and come to Texas.. As always, much gratitude to Austin Equine Hospital for their dedicated, compassionate care of the LOPE horses (most notably the racing warriors like Elle).

See LP’s Tiger’s race record and pedigree.

Austin Equine Hospital Sugar Land Stables Schleese
American Association of Equine Technicians and Assistants Paddock Foundation Soft Ride Boots
Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance Two Socks Designs Moose Pants Studio
Thoroughbred Charities of America Scissortail Hill Equestrian Secretariat Foundation
Blanco River Academy Equine Express Sam Houston Race Park