For these reasons, the Glenneys, who have since been out of the horse racing game for over a decade, retired Bear. He was suffering from a bout with EPM and had to spend months getting costly EPM medication and treatment before he was healthy enough to be given away to a new home, Glenney explained.
"We always gave our horses away to trusted vets, trainers and people we interviewed and thought they would give them the right kind of home," Glenney said. "We interviewed the people we gave [our horses] to."
In Bear's case, and in the cases of many other former racehorses, what began as a well-intentioned adoption went horribly wrong. Additionally, the circumstances of Bear's life between his retirement from the Glenney's care and his rescue by Kunz are quite murky.
In an email acquired by Kunz, sent on July 10, 2013, by Kim Glenney to an unknown person creating a memorial for Bear's mother, Lady's Secret, Glenney wrote that Bear Witness had died of EPM. However, Bear was found by Kunz at auction on July 24, 2015.
"I had heard that one of our horses had died of EPM at some point and I just assumed it was Bear because he'd suffered from it for so long," Kim Glenney told The Dodo. "When I learned the truth, recently, I just can't even think about what he must have gone through. It breaks my heart."
"If I had known what was happening to him, I would have given [Kunz] any money she needed for his comfort," she said.
"Bear Witness had suffered from EPM for years and we treated him off and on, but when my wife sent that email she didn't really have any firsthand knowledge of his death," said John Glenney, who is a biologist. "After he retired, we kept treating him and when he was sound and healthy, we found a good home for him. These were not just horses we bought and sold, they were members of the family with names and personalities."
Bear Witness as a babyKim Glenney