Hagyard Teams Up with Four Star Sales and New Vocations to Give Former Kentucky Derby Contender a Bright New Future  

Brings American Lion back from the brink of pneumonia, then demonstrates their passion in a personal way.

For 6 years, Hagyard Equine Medical Institute and Hagyard Pharmacy have been strong supporters of the New Vocations mission – to stand in the gap for noncompetitive, often injured racehorses, and provide a skilled, loving transition to a brighter future. Typically, that support has come in providing veterinary care, pharmaceuticals and supplements to get the horses back on their feet from varying levels of injury or health.

But for American Lion, a 23-1 odds midfield finisher in the 2010 Kentucky Derby, Hagyard took their support to another level.

American Lion had entered Four Star’s consignment for the 2018 Keeneland November Sale when he fell sick.

“He came in with a little bit of a temperature, which is not unusual for horses shipping a distance, but very soon he was going downhill very rapidly,” recalled Tony Lacy of Four Star in a January 14, 2019 Thoroughbred Daily News article. “We called Hagyard [Equine Medical Institute], and Luke Fallon and his staff came out. The horse had severe pneumonia, with some really significant side-effects. We knew, at that point, we had to get the horse into the hospital. He was very ill, very quickly. The conversation was no longer will the horse be able to return to the sale. It was basically will he make it?”

The staff at the barn was very concerned. How American Lion carried himself and his demeanor made quite an impression on the team at Four Star, so taking care of him became a combined effort from the entire crew. The Hagyard team came together as well, with Dr. Barry David taking primary care in conjunction with Dr. Fallon.

After 5 days, the treatment care and concern began to bring American Lion back around. At that point, the focus happily changed from “would he make it?” to “what’s next?” WinStar Farm took him in for recuperation. In the meantime, Lacy contacted New Vocations Thoroughbred Program Director, Anna Ford.

“For such a cool horse, we thought it a perfect scenario,” Ford said. “…A way of giving him a chance to flourish at something different.” American Lion took to his retraining with the champion’s attitude that led him to a post in the Kentucky Derby. Within a few days under tack, he was comfortable with his new routine even after being off the track for nine years. So, New Vocations was comfortable posting him for adoption, applying their vigorous screening process.

That’s where the story took another turn.

Hagyard’s Dr. David had become enamored with American Lion while caring for him, and decided to adopt him. While reticent to talk about it himself, Dr. David’s wife Dr. Joan Gariboldi, said there must have been something special about American Lion that led to the adoption.

“He [Dr. David] treats a lot of horses, but somehow this boy affected him,” she said.

Hagyard leadership would say the outcome is in perfect alignment with their vision: “We become an industry leader when we understand we can change these animal’s lives.”

Click to view the complete Thoroughbred Daily News article referenced in the release.

About Hagyard Equine Medical Institute: With more than 50 veterinarians and 142 years behind it, Hagyard Equine Medical Institute is the oldest and one of the largest private equine veterinary practices in the world. Based in Lexington, Kentucky, the facility, located across the street from the Kentucky Horse Park, boasts superior ambulatory services, the world-renowned Davidson Surgery Center, McGee Medicine and Fertility Centers, Hagyard Laboratory, Hagyard Sports Medicine & Podiatry Center, and hyperbaric medicine facilities. For more information, visit hagyard.com.

 About Hagyard Pharmacy: Hagyard Pharmacy is a full-service equine pharmacy located in Lexington, Kentucky. It is affiliated with the Hagyard Equine Medical Institute and its 140+ years of equine veterinary experience, making it the number one name in equine health. This affiliation gives Hagyard Pharmacy a unique perspective in providing compounds, over-the-counter pharmaceuticals, and supplements to the equine industry. This has led to the development of innovative products, such as the Resolvet line products that is inspired and developed by pharmacists to address specific needs for equine supplements and performance aids. The Resolvet line includes RelyneGI for gastric support, ReflexHA (all natural) and Reflex200 for joint support, Revyve digestive support, RelyteHA electrolyte paste, Relieve antidiarrheal paste, and Repair hoof oil. For more information, visit hagyardpharmacy.com and resolvet.com .

Nicole Tomlinson
Marketing Manager
Hagyard Pharmacy


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