Blog Tales from the LOPE Ranch

Aidan’s Legacy

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Recently, EireBorne Sport Horses became a sponsor of LOPE’s Racehorse Education Program (in which we send LOPE horses to professional trainers to develop job skills before adoption). Dianna Davis had sent the donation in memory of a special Thoroughbred in her life, Aide Memoire (“Aidan”).

aidan-1Aidan was a gorgeous and regally bred stallion. A son of Alydar, he had raced and then became a stud due to his outstanding pedigree. Dianna discovered Aidan though the most unlikely of sources — a Craigslist ad.

A few years ago, Aidan had turned up in a local auction. In spite of his underweight frame and several health issues, his bearing and conformation immediately stood out. A kind woman bought him for $300, helped him gain weight, and then began the search to find him a forever adoption home.

When Dianna saw “Son of Alydar” on the listing, she felt compelled to respond to the ad. One look at Aidan was all it took — Dianna brought him home and helped Aidan fully recover his strength again. She slowly pieced together his history. Aidan was bred at Darley International and then raced. From the age of six onward, Aidan was a sire — a career that included being bred to TB and QH mares for racing and sport horse foals.

From his health issues, it appeared that Aidan had been overbred at some point — and then, with his usefulness as a stallion reduced, Aidan had begun the slow slide downward to finally be sold at an auction for $300 at the age of 19.

aidan-2Aidan had arthritic changes (especially in his stifles), was underweight and had an undiagnosed heart issue. Dianna carefully rehabbed him back to the gorgeous stallion he had once been. As she says,

“When I bought Aidan, I really wasn’t sure what my intentions were going to be for him. I just knew that this incredibly bred stallion, a living piece of Thoroughbred racing history should be given a second chance to a good life.

I recognized how fortunate it was to have this very special son of Alydar living in my small Texas barn. He is a dream realized in life.

When I was a teenager, I cut out newspaper clippings of Alydar and Affirmed and stapled them to my bedroom walls. When I was a young woman I had the opportunity to work at racing and breeding stables in Newmarket, England.

In the six years that I was there, I took care of many Alydar and Affirmed youngsters coming from America. Always dreaming I might have one of my own one day! Many years passed, but the dream was always in the back of my mind. To have Aidan come to me now, was nothing short of fate for me.”

Aidan became strong enough to breed again — and left Dianna two fillies before his death earlier this year. At the end of his life, he had regained all of his previous beauty and glory — from Dianna’s description, he had truly come full circle again. His personality bloomed, with all the delightful quirks that so many Thoroughbreds can have (including entertaining addictions to carrots, Frank Sinatra music, “diving” into fresh shavings and so on).

After his death, Dianna was deeply saddened and mourned her friend. She wrote to LOPE:

“Aidan gave me his legacy. His girls will always be with me. I will always honor Aidan by making sure his girls never know the hardships he suffered. I will tell others how great these horses are. We should never forget any of them.”

We are very honored to be part of Aidan’s legacy at LOPE. Thank you, Dianna and EireBorne Sport Horses for your support of LOPE — and for helping Aidan have a wonderful life in his golden years.

1 Comment

  1. Rhiannon Bennett says:

    I had the honor of being able to get to know Aiden through Dianna, and Eireborne Sporthorses. He was truly a magnificent example of how love can transform any obstacles into blessings. He is missed, but will never be forgotten.

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