Dr. McDonald and Dr. Magnesian did a full work up on Val at UC Davis Vet School. They diagnosed him with neurological issues and tested him for EPM - a protozoa infection that can cause those symptoms. They also took X-rays of a problem area on his neck and found 2 injured vertebrae that may be causing spinal injury. In the later case he would be a "Wobbler" - a horse that has injuries causing him to lose track of and control of his limbs. This is a condition that is not really amenable to surgery or medication. It can be very slight or severe.

Val's tests for EPM came back negative. So he is a Wobbler and cannot be ridden. Val was diagnosed a 3 on a scale of 1-5 but he has almost no symptoms when at home and not under stress (such as being trailered to the vet and spending the day in the hospital). He may very well live happily for years in the proper home but it would have to be one that is knowledgeable or willing to learn about his limitations. A horse with neurological injuries may not progress at all or it may be a very fast or slow progression. We pray that someone might come forward that would love to have such a fine companion for themselves or their other horse. He is an excellent horse as a companion or in a herd. Other horses love him and according to his foster Mom he is a very calming influence.

If such a home cannot be found SAFER will have Valentino put down within a couple of weeks.


Contact SAFER at 707-824-9543 for Valentino

Katie M - his foster Mom - confirmed the tattoo for Valentino. He is "Polkatime," a 1996 Maryland-bred horse. He had 21 starts in his racing career and earned $22k. He was born February 28, 1996 ---- so he just turned 14.  He raced at Arlington Park in Illinois.

Winner's circle and race photos should be easy to come by for this guy.

He's a great grandson of both Northern Dancer and Buckpasser.

His training and behavior would indicate that he has had a second career as a performance horse in some discipline.

Val prepares for his Sonogram. He is a very good boy!

Dr.Julie Wilkins and Dr. Grant Miller (on his day off) work to prepare Val for his Sonogram.