Rood & Riddle Auction of Zenyatta Halter Raises Over $6,400

A recent eBay auction of a halter worn by 2010 Horse of the Year and legendary race mare Zenyatta brought a final bid of $6,712.50 in a fundraising effort for the Bluegrass Chapter of the American Red Cross. Zenyatta, along with owners Jerry and Ann Moss, and Lexington, Ky.-based Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital veterinarian Debbie Spike-Pierce, DVM, presented the check from the sale of her halter to the Red Cross at Lane's End Farm, in Versailles, Ky., on Monday (April 2).

Check Presentation

Dr. Debbie Spike-Pierce (far left), Zenyatta, and Ann and Jerry Moss present a $6,487.84 check to Winn Stephens (second from right) of the American Red Cross Bluegrass Chapter.

"It's a great tribute to her and to racing fans to come up with this size of a check," said Jerry Moss.

After fees, the Rood & Riddle Foundation was able to donate $6,478.84. Jerry and Ann Moss also made a generous personal contribution to the disaster relief fund.

"She's always been so generous with all the people, dancing for them, and showing up for them ... it's nice that she can still contribute. As you can see, she really enjoys it," agreed Ann Moss.

Zenyatta was famous in her days on the racetrack for her 19 consecutive victories in graded stakes events, including 13 grade one races, which inspired a legion of devoted fans the world over. Since her retirement in 2010, the mare has resided at Lane's End Farm, where she gave birth to her first foal, a colt by Bernardini, on March 8.

Spike-Pierce purchased Zenyatta's halter in 2011 at a fundraising event on behalf of the Foundation, which chose to put it up for auction for the Red Cross after a line of severe storms and tornadoes tore through Kentucky in early March, destroying homes and farms, and killing 21 residents.

"I guess you could be surprised [about the price it brought], but with it being Zenyatta and the absolute superstar she was on the racetrack, I wasn't," said Spike-Pierce. "We're so excited to be able to give the money to areas that were so devastatingly hit. We're excited we could be part of all this ... and that Zenyatta could be too."

Red Cross director of development Winn Stephens says the organization is thrilled to accept the donation, particularly given its unique origins.

"It's been really amazing for us, because we're providing services to Kentuckians, and this fundraiser is an only-in-Kentucky kind of thing," said Stephens.

The money will go to the Red Cross's disaster relief fund, which is used after natural disasters for both immediate needs like getting supplies to first-responders and individuals, and long-term needs such as financial aid to victims, cleaning materials, and other supplies.

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