An ex-racehorse now has a new home.
CL Prince, otherwise known as Cayden or Etlan, has found his person. The story of the former racehorse that was found wandering near the Shenandoah National Park last summer now has a happy ending. Orange County resident Alice Bartlett adopted the 8-year-old gelding from Hope’s Legacy Rescue late this past fall.
Bartlett had been looking for a trail horse for some time when friends suggested that she look at CL Prince. Although he wasn’t the Arabian she had been searching for, the gelding checked all the other boxes for his 72-year-old adopter and so far, Bartlett has been delighted with her new steed.
“He’s really good,” said Bartlett. “He’s so quiet and easygoing and not spooky at all. He really is a prince, just like his real name.”
Bartlett prefers to use her horse’s registered name rather than the nicknames given to him by both his rescuer and foster home. Etlan resident Jerri Ward called the horse that was found wandering around her property Cayden because it means survivor and Madison resident Samantha Martynowski called him Etlan while he spent time recovering at her home.
Ward and her fiancee found the horse wandering on their property and filed a report with Madison County Animal Control. The horse, skinny and neglected had wandered on to the couple’s farm and Ward assumed the animal belonged to a neighbor or possibly someone who had been trail riding. Despite the report to animal control and several notices of a ‘found’ horse on local, regional and national Facebook pages, no one came forward to claim the wandering equine. Ward learned quickly that finding livestock is very different than a stray kitten or dog. Because she had pasture and a barn, Ward agreed to house the horse until his owner was found or until the four day stray hold allowed her to relinquish the horse to a rescue.
Ward eventually found Hope’s Legacy and transferred ownership to the Afton based non-profit that specializes in rescuing and rehabilitating horses. When local veterinarian, Chris Robertson examined the horse he discovered an important clue as to the mystery horse’s identity. On the underside of the horse’s lip was a tattoo. All Thoroughbred racehorses have their registration number tattooed on the underside of the lip so racing officials can positively identify horses entered in races are the correct ones. The tattoo showed him to be CL Prince, a winning 8 year-old Florida bred gelding that raced up and down the east coast and made his last start at Charles Town in 2015.
Although the horse was positively identified, it is still a mystery as to how he ended up roaming Madison County. Despite the unusual beginning of his story, CL Prince and Alice Bartlett have made it a happy ending.
“Prince is a horse, and this was the best horse deal ever,” said Bartlett. “I’d really like to know how he got there. It just doesn’t make sense.”