08/26/2016 9:46AM

King Congie to reside at Old Friends at Cabin Creek Farm


Grade 1-placed stakes winner King Congie will take up residence at Old Friends at Cabin Creek Farm: The Bobby Frankel Division in Greenfield Center, N.Y., just outside of Saratoga Springs. His former owner, West Point Thoroughbreds, will remain involved with the expenses for his care, according to Rosemary Farm, which recently rescued the horse from auction.

"Rosemary Farm Sanctuary, with the financial support of West Point Thoroughbreds, is happy to announce that King Congie will be transferring directly to Old Friends at Cabin Creek," Rosemary representatives wrote on the rescue's Facebook page. "At their beautiful facility, Congie will be cared for and available to meet visitors and friends for life. We are thrilled for him."

His permanent retirement brings to a happy conclusion a story that began a week ago, when Rosemary Farm, a horse-rescue operation in the Catskills region of New York, purchased the Thoroughbred from a livestock auction where kill buyers were shopping. Upon identifying him as King Congie, the farm reached out to former owner West Point Thoroughbreds, which was surprised to find him in such condition.

According to a statement West Point posted on its social-media channels, King Congie had been adopted by "a friend of reputable farm owner in Saratoga” after sustaining a career-ending injury.

King Congie was named for former West Point employee Congie DeVito, who died in February 2011, shortly after his namesake’s win in the Tropical Park Derby, of complications from osteogenesis imperfecta. He was 35. King Congie went on to finish third in the Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes, earning a start in the 2011 Preakness, where he was seventh.

In DeVito’s honor, West Point, a longtime leader in Thoroughbred aftercare, established the Congie Black and Gold Fund to provide for the rehoming, retraining, shipping, and daily care of former West Point runners. Beginning in 2012, financials for each new partnership formed by West Point included a $1,000 donation to the fund; $10 per start per horse is drawn from the partnership to be placed into a fund for that horse’s future, with West Point matching the amount.

Old Friends at Cabin Creek, which opened its doors to retirees in 2009, is currently home to 13 retired Thoroughbreds, including Travers Stakes and Whitney Handicap winner Will's Way and two-time Whitney winner Commentator.