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Racing on 09.08.2022
A mare or not? Mysterious case occupies US courts

Is she a mare or not? A rather mysterious case about the sex of a horse is occupying the courts in the USA. In the past 27 months, Kept True has scored five wins, two second places, two third places and earnings of $323,659 in 14 starts, competing against mares at Aqueduct, Belmont Park and Saratoga.

Crawford Farms took ownership of Kept True without having the horse examined by its own veterinarian, only to later determine through a series of examinations and tests that Kept True was only a mare on the outside.

According to the lawsuit filed by Crawford`s attorney, Kept True was examined by Crawford`s Dr. Jeremy Whitman, who found "obvious abnormalities in the horse`s reproductive organs," most notably that the horse had no ovaries. A Texas A&M University test report found that Kept True "genetically has the appearance of a female horse but the chromosomes of a male horse".

According to Crawford`s lawsuit, Hidden Brook, representing Treadway, hired Hagyard Equine Medical Institute to issue a certificate of reproductive status to determine whether Kept True was pregnant or, if not pregnant, fit for mating. Such a certificate is required by Keeneland for horses being considered as broodmares.

Dr Karen Wolfsdorf signed the certificate, which was filed with Keeneland`s archives, and according to Crawford, Kept True was purchased in reliance on that certificate. Veterinarians at Cornell University Hospital for Animals confirmed Dr Whitman`s findings and reported that tests show Kept True has XY (male) chromosomes and that the horse is unsuitable for breeding.

According to the lawsuit, the dispute arose after Crawford approached Treadway, Hidden Brook and Wolfsdorf to seek cancellation of the sale and reimbursement for the cost of caring for Kept True, which they refused to do.

The lawsuit names all parties involved in the sale as defendants, some of whom are involved in various defences and counterclaims. Crawford was unsuccessful in getting the sale reversed.

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