Joe Pike has completed quarantine, according to the organization. Photo courtesy CTA
Ex-Marine Joe Pike is a featured private eye character in suspense novels by Los Angeles-based writer Robert Crais, but he is also a 10-year-old Thoroughbred racehorse who retired in Puerto Rico and has come home, thanks to his original breeder Joanna Reisler and the Caribbean Thoroughbred Aftercare (CTA) program. The CTA is trying to raise $3,000 to offset the costs of bringing the beloved Joe Pike back to the States.
For more than a decade, the Caribbean Thoroughbred Aftercare team has worked diligently to provide a responsible process for Thoroughbreds who have been shipped to the islands for racing to be returned off the racetracks in healthy condition and ready for new careers and homecomings. CTA has received an Eclipse Award of Merit for their work after hurricanes devastated Puerto Rico several years ago and has been accredited by the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance.
Reisler sees a little bit of the private eye character in the horse that shares his namesake, Joe Pike, a name he got shortly after selling as a yearling at the OBS sale in 2012. She noted the horse has a personality was one to remember.
From 2013 to 2018, Joe Pike started 36 times winning 14 times, second seven times and third six times. He earned $132,747, which is a significant amount on the island based on the modest purses. His success led him to being named the champion 3-year-old imported horse in Puerto Rico.
After racing his last race on April 13, 2018, his owner proposed keeping him in Puerto Rico as a breeding stallion. Joe Pike’s sire, Benny the Bull, was a multiple graded stakes winner and Eclipse Award-winning sprinter in 2008, beating Midnight Lute 107 votes to 86.
Before Joe Pike could make his way to the breeding shed, Reisler noticed the horse was no longer racing and called CTA for information on where he was. Reisler offered him a home, if CTA could get him back to Florida.
Through dedicated time and collective efforts, CTA acquired Joe Pike and have brought him stateside. However, the costs associated with getting him home include quarantine, shipping by plane to Miami, and a van ride to Ocala. The total cost is $3,094. This does not include the nonprofit’s cost for gelding, current shots, and board.
Hundreds of Thoroughbreds arrive in Puerto Rico and surrounding islands each year. The challenges of transitioning each back to the States are many, and one of the biggest hurdles is the cost for horses to return to the mainland. The CTA has had to dip into its emergency fund to fund Joe Pike’s trip back and is now calling on the racing community to help restore their reserves.
The CTA Flight Fund helps with the expenses and is funded by donations.
For information on the CTA program or to make a donation go to https://pages.donately.com/cta/campaign/cta-flight-fund and designate a specific horse or generally for horses CTA is helping.
The Caribbean Thoroughbred Aftercare can also be reached at P.O. Box 43001, PMB 372 , Rio Grande, Puerto Rico 00745 or by contacting the CTA team at [email protected]
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