In the horse racing world, horses all have one thing in common – their birthday. For documentation purposes, all racehorses have the birthday of January 1st.
This year, retired racehorse Waco Hanover celebrated his 40th birthday. That’s about 120 years in human years, which is nearly unheard of in racehorses.
Folks who know the 40-year-old retired racehorse, say that he owes his longevity to his caregiver Donnie MacAdams. The two share an incredible bond. Both MacAdams and Waco have what some would call a moody disposition. Neither shows much affection towards one another, but in their own way, they care for each other deeply.
MacAdams lives above the barn and says he thinks of horses as “hay burners.” Yet for some reason, he feels differently about Waco. His job is to take care of the horses on the farm, specifically Waco. Like Waco, you could describe his personality as grumpy. But, his no-nonsense attitude fits in nicely with Waco’s, and there’s no denying the bond he shares with him.
You can see a bit more about their unique friendship in this video.
Waco’s longtime owner, Everett Kettler, says the horse has always had the same personality. He first came in contact with Waco back in 1983, when he was just six years old. At the time, he paid $1500 for him.
Unfortunately, Waco wasn’t that great at being a racehorse. He raced for the first four years of his life, started in 57 races, and only won four of them. Kettler told CBS Sunday Morning that he immediately knew what Waco’s problem was.
“He had a real attitude problem,” Kettler says, “Sour. He was very sour.”
But Kettler still took the time to train with the horse and went on to race him a few times. Eventually, he and Waco started racing horse-drawn carts, which wound up being quite the adventure for the two. Surprisingly, Waco didn’t wind up being too bad at these races. Kettler went on to race him in several races every year for over a decade. Each year, the pair won at least one race.
Eventually, Kettler settled down and bought a farm. Waco went from race-horse to teacher of the young horses. Today, Kettler still owns that farm and Waco is a big part of it. In fact, even though other horses live with him, they call it “Waco’s Barn.” When Waco does pass, Kettler says he will sell his share of the farm. One thing’s for certain, the farm definitely won’t be the same without Waco on it.