GUTHRIE, Okla. (KFOR) – Having a winning name like “War Admiral” or “Rich Strike” is an added bonus if you’re a race horse – but for a colt named “EF Won,” survival is his greatest accomplishment.
“He did win his over his battle at first but he’s still fighting,” said Lynn Sullivan with Thoroughbred Athletes, Inc.
Like most thoroughbreds, the two-year-old stallion was bred to run – and win.
But after a tornado struck Seminole in May, the fact that he’s still standing is a massive victory.
“A friend of mine owns a farm that was hit by this tornado and she lost a few of her own horses,” Sullivan said. “This horse was being boarded there. Because of the extent of his injuries, she didn’t have a facility or any help to really keep him wrapped and do and do what was needed for him.”
That’s when Sullivan stepped in.
At her Guthrie ranch, she takes in race horses who, for various reasons, won’t make it to the track – and retrains them – helping them find a new path.
“You can’t just say, ‘whoa’ and pull back on the reins and expect them to stop – they don’t understand those things,” Sullivan said. “It’s an entirely different ball game than jumping on a rodeo horse and running some barrels.”
While this colt may never compete in a rodeo and certainly won’t run on the track – he’s got a new, formal name that can compete with the best of the best: ‘EF Won.’
“Because tornadoes are measured on an EF scale and this horse faced down a tornado and he actually won,” said barn manager Lauren Magby.
After several surgeries, EF Won is still recovering and not out of the woods just yet – but he’s surrounded by love – and is in the process of being adopted.
“I knew it was just meant to be when I met him and he’s just a warrior in my eyes, so I’m happy to call him mine,” said Bree Smotone, who is adopting the colt.
While his legs are weakened by scars of the past, his heart carries him through the day.
“To see him be this gentle, calm, curious soul and not scared of humans or anything of the surroundings is an amazing thing,” Magby said.
Sullivan says there are still many concerns as EF Won is a growing horse with severe injuries.
He will be gelded once his body is strong enough.
Thoroughbred Athletes is selling t-shirts with EF Won’s picture on them – with proceeds going to his care.