By Mary Perdue
Lady at the Track
(This is part two in a series about South Carolina Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation’s Second Chances program at Wateree Correctional Facility)
Six years ago, when Kentucky-bred gelding Bet Gold raised his head from grazing in a field with fellow retired thoroughbreds, he could see barbed wire behind the fences surrounding his pasture at Wateree Correctional Facility in Rembert, South Carolina. Today, thanks to the dedication of inmates who cared for him there, along with the love, skill and patience of two South Carolina women, the 18-year-old bay son of Touch Gold is thriving on the show circuit at Carolina Ridge Equestrian Center, only about an hour’s van ride away from where he used to graze.
The story of how he got there begins with trainer Sheli Rose of Gilbert, SC, who first saw Bet Gold (now known as “Better”) in a field at Wateree. Rose has been rehoming thoroughbreds since 1989, when she began working at Thistledown Race Course outside Cleveland, Ohio.
“Thoroughbreds have always been my passion,” Rose said. “I know what kind of life they have at the track and I’m always looking for a good horse.”
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