Author Laura Hillenbrand has a new off-the-track Thoroughbred (OTTB), and she herself couldn't have written a better story about how he came to be hers.
Laura Hillenbrand, author of nonfiction greats including "Seabiscuit" and "Unbroken," now has an off-the-track Thoroughbred (OTTB) all of her own. But it isn't just any ex-racehorse, and fitting with Hillenbrand's literary life, this OTTB comes with a remarkable story.
Hillenbrand and her new horse seem to have been brought together by fate. In 2016, Hillenbrand attended the Breeders' Cup in California. Before she headed home, she stopped at Santa Anita to see the stall that Seabiscuit had lived in at the track.
The stall has been preserved so that it's the same as it was 75 years ago, a fitting way to honor a monumental racehorse. In fact, the stall is actually two; the wall between two stalls had been torn down, allowing Seabiscuit to share the stall with Pumpkin, the large pony who was the racehorse's close friend.
When Hillenbrand approached the stall, she found it occupied by a bay horse. The horse was gentle and affectionate, and nuzzled Laura. This horse was All Around Brown. When Hillenbrand walked away, the horse was so sad that she turned back to visit him once more. He leaned his head against her, nickering in affection.
Hillenbrand was so drawn to All Around Brown that she looked up his race record and got in touch with his trainer. It turns out that All Around Brown was a barn favorite, but wasn't terribly successful as a racehorse. The trainer planned to race the horse one more time.
Last month, the trainer called Hillenbrand. All Around Brown was ready to retire. Because the horse had such impressive bloodlines and was sired by Big Brown, the trainer could have sold him to another barn, continuing his racing career. But All Around Brown didn't seem to want to race anymore.
And so, All Around Brown was given to Hillenbrand.
Hillenbrand's story is a poignant reminder of the good that is still present in horse racing today. We congratulate her on her new OTTB!
Tell us what you think of this fated match in the comments below!
All photos: Lope Texas via Facebook
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