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Equine Death - Sheriff Gaines

Sheriff Gaines was foaled on May 5, 2002, and originally was named The Champagne Pirate. He was a big bold flashy chestnut with a white blaze and four white stockings, sired by Champagne Fizz and out of Shamrock's China Moon. He was later renamed Sheriff Gaines in honor of his former trainer's best friend, Sheriff Jerry "Peanuts" Gaines of Bowling Green, Ky. In May 2008, the horse suffered a ruptured cranial cruciate ligament, detached meniscus and severely damaged cartilage in his left stifle joint, all of which were permanent injuries that brought his show career to an end. Despite efforts to rehabilitate him to at least pasture soundness, his condition further deteriorated and he had to be euthanized on Sept. 1, 2009.

In his short life, Sheriff Gaines had an amazing and very promising show career. In 2005, as a three-year-old, he placed third out of nine in the Five-Gaited Three-Year-Old Stallion/Gelding class at the World's Championship Horse Show in Louisville. Later that same year, Sheriff Gaines won the UPHA Five-Gaited Classic at the St. Louis National Charity Show and was the UPHA Five-Gaited Reserve Champion at the American Royal in Kansas City, Mo.

His success continued into 2006. He was the Novice Five-Gaited Champion at the Pro Am Benefit Show in Georgia and the Junior Five-Gaited Reserve Champion at the Indianapolis Charity Horse Show. He "wowed" the crowd at the Mercer County Fair in Harrodsburg, Ky., where he was the Junior Five-Gaited Champion before winning a reserve world's championship title at Louisville in the Junior Five-Gaited Stallion/Gelding division.
His owners, Allison and Betty Pullin, considered themselves very fortunate to have had the opportunity to obtain this wonderful show horse in December 2006. Allison earned several nice ribbons showing him at the West Virginia State Fair and ASHAV in 2007, and at the Raleigh Spring Premier in 2008. Allison was looking forward to showing Sheriff Gaines at Lexington Junior League and Louisville in the junior exhibitor five-gaited division in 2008 until those hopes were dashed by his devastating leg injury.

Sheriff Gaines will always be remembered as the big, flashy chestnut gelding with the white blaze and four white stockings whose gameness gave him so much promise for the show ring. He was more than a show horse to the Pullins. He was a member of their family and will be loved and deeply missed for many years to come.
The Pullin family would like to thank Dr. William Baker, DVM of Woodford Equine Hospital, Versailles, Ky., and Dr. Christie Boyd DVM of Wytheville, Va., for their expertise in diagnosing and subsequent treatment of Sheriff Gaines’s injury; to James and Lisa Lawrence of Coventry Woods Stable, Charleston, W.Va., for taking Sheriff Gaines into their barn and caring for him and providing him a place to attempt rehabilitation during this past year, and for their constant faith and support; and especially to Sheriff Jerry "Peanuts" Gaines, the horse’s namesake, of Bowling Green, Ky., for his never-ending support, hope and faith that the horse would return to the show ring.

Anyone wanting or needing more information on this rare but devastating leg injury, please contact owner Betty Pullin at (304) 744-6094.

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