12/11/2013 4:37PM

Spooky Mulder enjoying retirement on the farm


Friday’s feature at Aqueduct is named the Spooky Mulder, honoring a fan favorite known for his speed, tenacity, and consistency. Spooky Mulder retired in 2009 at age 11 after a career in which he won 34 of 85 starts, with 17 second-place finishes and 4 thirds. Racing for nine different trainers – some of whom claimed him more than one time – Spooky Mulder earned $950,548, winning just one minor stakes at Delaware Park.

Now 15 years old, Spooky Mulder is enjoying life on a farm in Harwood, Md., about 15 miles south of Annapolis, cared for by Sally Rohrbach, more an animal lover than racing fan. She was sent Spooky Mulder by Scott Lake, who was the last trainer to have campaigned the gelding. Lake’s wife, Jennifer Stisted, and Rohrbach are lifelong friends.

“When it was evident Spooky couldn’t run any more they were looking for somewhere to give him a home,” Rohrbach said in a phone interview this week. “They got in touch with me. I said ‘I don’t need a horse.’ Scott said, ‘You need this one.’ I’ll never regret taking him, I’m delighted to have him.”

Due to various physical issues, which included a suspensory problem and a broken bone in his foot, the early prognosis for Spooky Mulder wasn’t bright.

“When he came to me, I think he was 11, the vets told me he wouldn’t live long,” said Rohrbach, who has four ex-racehorses on her farm. “But he’s in fabulous shape. I bet you he’ll be here longer than I am.”

Spooky Mulder gets turned out with another horse, Older But Smarter, and occasionally Rohrbach will ride him. She has no plans to train him for any type of second career as a show horse or jumper.

“My goal is for him to have a happy retirement with lots of pasture and friends,” she said. “I don’t expect anything else of him. I ride him occasionally. Basically, I think he’s earned retirement. He gets piles of attention.”

Chris More than 1 year ago
bless you all. Its nice to here something like this about a horse that ran hard all the time. Lake and Rohrbach thank you. Spooky mulder deserves it.
michael More than 1 year ago
Saw Spooky run many of his races. What a great competitor he always dug in.
Holly Young More than 1 year ago
11 years old? I thought it was bad that my Stormy Seas was on-track until 9. Still, no matter how I feel about it, those horses who love to run do so as long as they can. Stormy met his first real equi-friend here, and we are all happy to have him. He doesn't have to do much here, but what I ask he does willingly. God bless our Off Track Thoroughbreds. There are no other horses like them.
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Spooky found heaven. Merry Christmas to Rohrbach and "family."