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Duke and Hanna's story

Duke's Story

Duke is a 16hh, 6 years grey gelding we rescued in 2006, he was on his way to the doggers if we hadn't. He was in great condition, well cared for and an easygoing boy. So after the usual worming, vaccination, teeth, feet roster and some test rides in the paddock and in the local area he was up for adoption.

We received many enquiries due to him being such an impressive boy with such potential, but as many of you know we wait for the absolute right home for a horse, certainly not 'first come first served', so along came Hanna and her family, looking for a young, athletic, good looker just like Duke! They were experienced with horses, had a lot of love to give and were altogether a great home for him, so arrangements were made to view him, they liked him and arranged to buy him shortly afterwards.

Duke is now living in the lap of luxury in North Sydney, doted on and loved, and wants for nothing!. His new owners have since found out through tracing his brands that he was a race horse until just a few weeks before being rescued (we didn't know that when DCH'ers Amanda, Louisa and Colin rode him out along roads and in 10ha paddocks on a loose rein in his test phase.. he was just so quiet, it actually took much convincing to even get him to trot!) he won about $76, 000 in prize money! His father was an American import named Azzaam

and out of all of Azzaam's offspring, Duke is always listed first when they say sire of 103 runners and 39 winners.He raced 43 times and in fairly good ones at that

his father had Secretariat bloodlines. He raced against a couple of Gai Waterhouse's horses and won a fair few times, too

Below is an email from his owner Hanna, who's kind enough to send us updates on how he's going, we love to see these horses who once had such an uncertain future doing so well!

Hey Amanda, It's been a while since I wrote, so I thought I'd update you on Duke's progress since my last email! Dukey and I have been going trail-riding regularly now with my sister and her horse -- he's absolutely fantastic with cars/motorbikes/kids/trucks/scary horse-eating monsters. I'm able to open and close gates off him, walk over bridges, ride on the main road... The list is endless! He's just such a reliable horse, even when I go riding on my own.

I'm still waiting for my first fall off him! He's now comfortably jumping 50-60 cms and we're hoping to compete in a jumping show in June -- it'll be his first show. I originally planned to take him to a hack show on the 25th of April, but it felt a little too soon for him. I bet my bottom dollar he takes the show scene like a pro, though.

He's still very, very spoilt and loved by the whole family...my brother's new favourite thing! He's especially fond of pears and my leftover toast (or whatever he can get his mouth around...). His new favourite thing to do is get his whole body into the feed room (no joke) while I'm not looking, and then I have to squish under him to push him back out again -- still very much the cheeky man. :)

I just love him so much, I don't know what I'd do without his adorable face hanging over the fence, waiting for me when I get home from school. He's assured a forever home with me, you can rest easy! :) Have included a few photos so you can see what we've been getting up to...

Thanks so much, Hanna

Due to a change of circumstance Duke was re-surrendered to DCH in 2009; he was then re-adopted and given another chance at a wonderful life by Brenda and her family. In July 2009 Brenda writes:

Hi Amanda and Nadia, I've finally got the chance to let you know how Duke's going and share some pics. First thing we did together was to go out on a trail ride with some friends. Duke was great, he was the best behaved horse and seemed to really enjoy himself. We went through some creeks, some bushy areas, past some roos and motorbikes and he was perfect for the entire ride. Our weekly lessons are also going really well. Duke is enjoying them and his fitness is slowly improving. My instructor had a mock-dressage day for students that wanted to be judged by a local dressage judge without the who-ha of things that go on with the real thing. It was only the 2nd time I had ridden him and we scored 60% in a preparatory test and I forgot the test half way through, so I was really chuffed with our result. We will keep our fingers crossed that we will get some nice weather soon so that we can enjoy some more rides out. Brenda

Duke was adopted in May 2006 after 4 months in foster care.

Duke and Hanna was adopted on 11 May 2009 after 2 days in foster care

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Animals in our Care

These animals have been rescued from various pounds and shelters by volunteer Foster Carers who provide the animal with a safe haven until they can be permanently rehomed. They are located throughout Sydney, Australia.

Please note that descriptions of breed, age and size are given in good faith and are based on assessment of the animal's features, together with veterinary opinion. We cannot guarantee the age and breed of any animal listed.

Added: 29 July 2021