Ohio Veterinarian's Son Confirms 52 Thoroughbreds Rehomed

The 52 Ohio Thoroughbreds that gained notoriety three weeks ago after their owner's death have "all been placed in good homes," confirmed Dan Stearns, the son of the horses' owner. The horses, owned by Daniel C. Stearns, DVM, claimed the attention of social media users worldwide when a friend of the veterinarian took to the Internet to help disperse the herd. The message Lynn Boggs posted on Facebook spread quickly, and all of the horses were rehomed within a week.

According to the son, his father had been breeding and racing Thoroughbreds since 1950. He was also for a long time the oldest living owner racing horses at Thistledown Racetrack in Cleveland.

"He raced and bred right up until the end," Dan Stearns said. "In fact, he had a winner the day after he died."

In addition to his racing and breeding operation, the late veterinarian owned a practice for nearly 62 years. Emily Taylor, a veterinary assistant at the clinic, worked with Dr. Stearns for eight years and refers to him as her mentor.

"I would describe him as having a gruff exterior but really the biggest heart of gold on the inside," she said.

According to Taylor, when Stearns fell ill in October, he never really retired from his position at the clinic because he believed that he would return to his job: "All he would talk about was when he ... could get back to work."

Prior to his death, Dr. Stearns discussed his horses with his son, who said: "He gave me some specific instructions on who to give some horses to directly, which I did. For the rest he wanted the horses to be given to good homes with people who own horses, and preferably people within the Thoroughbred industry. He was pretty explicit that he didn't want the horses going to the kill buyers or to people who'd never owned a horse.

"The social media helped find homes for the horses," Stearns said. "We had calls from people in Germany; it was a little bizarre."

He credited Boggs, along with Jerry Noss and his father's trainer Tony Cucinotta for "getting on Facebook, getting on e-mail, and calling responsible horse owners. They are the people that literally made it happen."

TheHorse.com offers a listing of free horses available all across the country. Please check out the list if you are able to give one of these horses a home.

About the Author

Erica Larson, News Editor

Erica Larson, news editor, holds a degree in journalism with an external specialty in equine science from Michigan State University in East Lansing. A Massachusetts native, she grew up in the saddle and has dabbled in a variety of disciplines including foxhunting, saddle seat, and mounted games. Currently, Erica competes in eventing with her OTTB, Dorado.

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