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High Five WW, Hungarian stallion (now gelding), rescued from starvation

*Edited the title to hopefully bring more eyes to the situation.

Unfortunately, turns out this old man (24 yo) fell into some very bad hands and was seized along with 12 other horses in Georgia last year and turned over to the care of the Georgia Equine Rescue League (GERL). Got their newest E-newsletter a little while ago, and this was the top story. Text copy and pasted below since it is not available on their website yet:

"If you have ever been involved in the world of rescue you know that occasionally, you experience an unusual situation that shakes your inner core. O.G.’s story is one of those.

O.G (Older Gentleman), a 16.3 hand, 23-year-old Warmblood, was one of three stallions in a herd of 13 horses that were seized from their owner by the Merriwether County Sheriff’s office back in September of 2022. He was big, had kind eyes and no topline due to the level of starvation he endured. A vet report noted his body score of 1 and weight at 1,070 pounds with a notation beside it that read “overestimation”.

For the next 11 months all three stallions enjoyed regular meals of good quality feed and returned to a normal body weight. They were castrated recently after custody was awarded by the Judge and it was at that time that we started posting photos of O.G. on the GERL Facebook page. Shortly after the first post appeared, we received a message from a previous owner who recognized him. She was horrified to find out that he had landed in (yet another) rescue. She had rescued him from a previous situation and sold him to the lady who starved him. She was very helpful in providing his history.

It turns out that O. G’s real name is High Five WW. He is a black Hungarian Grand Prix Jumper with winnings over 28,000 and a very impressive show record, showing and winning in many Grand Prix and International Classes. In Europe he was sold as a 4-year-old and shown on the European circuit before being shipped to Florida to the W.E.F. She shared a 2013 video of him in a practice round that was quite impressive with no signs of lameness.

I do not know at what point he suffered the injury that put him out of the competition circuit, but we were told that GERL is his fourth rescue. That realization made me ill. How could such a valuable animal who served his owners well end up like this? As I shared his story with friends and acquaintances, I learned that it is a story more common than one would think.

For O.G., this will be his last rescue. We have vowed that he will be with GERL as long as forever, if that is what it takes to find him a forever home!"

some of the pics attached to the article:

GERL does not adopt horses outside the state of Georgia, but wanted to share the story in hopes maybe someone within the state could give him a permanent soft landing. (or maybe can persuade them to make an exception this time?)

Also wanted to bring awareness to how, even when a horse is very valuable, they can still fall through the cracks. Over and over again, even. :anguished: AND to put a spotlight on the individual who caused all this! :face_with_symbols_over_mouth:

news story about the original seizure: https://www.wrbl.com/news/local-news/georgia-suspect-turned-herself-in-after-13-severely-malnourished-horses-were-seized/

There are also several stories about the case on the GERL website. (https://gerlltd.org/) Just look for ones mentioning “The Baker’s Dozen”, as they came to collectively be called.


Super heartbreaking. Here he is in his younger days:

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Do you know what happened to Cobra One and if he was part of this case? He and High Five were being marketed a few years ago by a young Eventing rider, with initials RH. She seemed to be out of her depth when it came to handling stallions, and both horses seemed potentially at risk. There was some controversy, and they moved with RH from a farm in Oklahoma (a well known Trakehner breeder operated that farm, and she does have a good track record when it comes to caring for her horses and caring for stallions… it just seemed like an unfortunate situation related to the young rider)… and then landed in a very questionable situation in the Midwest… Iowa or Indiana… I can’t recall. There was more controversy from there, and allegations of mishandling stallions, mismanagement of broodmares, etc. Eventually RH got out of the situation, and a “private investor” apparently bought High Five and Cobra One, and was supposedly going to give both stallions a soft landing at a farm in NC.

Quick social media research revealed the person who bought those stallions had very limited experience with sport horse stallions, and only a small personal farm that did NOT appear to be a good setup for mature breeding stallions.

Some of the stories from High Five’s time in Oklahoma made it sound like he was not the easiest stallion to manage, and needed an appropriate farm with adequate individual turnout, sufficient fencing, and a knowledgeable handler.

It is incredibly sad to hear that he has yet again been placed in an inappropriate situation and suffered for it. This has been going on for years with this particular stallion. He seems to have had fertility issues for years as well… I have never heard of any offspring resulting from shipped semen. It just seems like he keeps on landing in bad spots with problematic people.

I really hope Cobra One landed in a better spot. He apparently was fertile and rideable, and hopefully that helped save him from this sort of starvation situation.

Ugggh. Poor horses.


It looks like this is him? https://cobraonefund.com/


You are correct! Looks like good breeders and ethical horse people came together to give him the soft landing he deserved.

Unfortunately High Five slipped through the cracks. Hopefully he will finally get a soft landing from here on out.

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He’s was ridden/owned by 2 big names. Sad neither could offer him some sort of retirement.

It reads like he was supposed to be a breeding stallion, not retired. So it seems weird to blame his riders during his career for this.

He’s been retired from competition for a long time. I think he had a bowed tendon at some point.

There have been rumors about fertility issues for years… I don’t know for sure though. But he certainly has changed hands over and over and over again while he has been a “breeding stallion.”

Poor horse.