Vicissitudes of Poor Kercheval: Misadventures That Have Befallen a Good but Misused Race Horse, Daily Racing Form, 1907-11-14


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VICISSITUDES OF POOR KERCHEVAL. Misadventures that Have Befallen a Good But Misused Race Horse. Kercheval, winner of the Burns Handicap, is back at Lalonia in the same stall that he occupied September a year ago, and thereby hangs a talc. Since Kercheval left the Latonja track a year ago he has achieved much fame on the coast, beating the best horses there, and was the medium of several killings. lie was brought back bore by his owner, Mr. II. C. Brlen, of Nashville, Tenn., who secured the horse from his former trainer, AA". V. .Conran, without a bitch, but bad a real lovely time getting him from Jersey City, and came close to being locked up on the charge of horse stealing, says the Enquirer of Sunday. Kercheval has been east for five months, and as Mr. Brlen got tired of waiting for results, he sold the horse on October 15, to Harry Holberg, a well-known merchant of this city. The horse at the time was said to be in splendid shape and ready to race. Mr. Holberg sent a man east to talk over the matter with trainer Conran, and he soon received a message that the horse had broken down and was out of training. Mr. Holberg at once notified Mr. Brien of this and the latter came here last Thursday to talk it over. Mr. Brien told him that he was reasonably sure that the horse was sound when he sold him, but if Mr. Holberg was dissatisfied he would return the money to him and take the horse back. This was done and after the papers were made out Mr. Brlen left for the east at once and secured the horse last Saturday. What happened there Is best told in Mr. Briens own words: "When I got to Gravesend I located the horse and turned tke order over to the man In charge of him," said he. "The man knew me and gave me the horse, though Mr. Conran was not about. The horse was taken to Jersey City, where I made all arrangements to ship him by express to Latonia. The horse was all bandaged up and the man told me that he had been fired, but I did not believe it. "In Jersey City my troubles began, for Conran had made up his mind not to give the horse up. He went to a magistrate and wanted me arrested for stealing a horse, and when asked to swear out a warrant to the effect declined and changed the charge to wrongfully taking a horse, but the magistrate would have nothing to do with the case. Then Conran called in a police captain and he went to the stable where I was with the horse and told me he would have to lay over until Monday until everything had been cleared up. That did not suit me, so I went to a lawyer and we called on the chief of police, and he at once gave the order to let me alone. Then I had some more trouble with the Adams Express Company, as it had been notified that Kercheval had been stolen, and not to accept him in shipment. It took me awhile to get that straightened out, but I got away on Sunday and the horse arrived in good shape. I took the bandages off at the track, and he shows marks of having been fired, but very superficially just about through the skin. AVhy he was fired I dont know, and its very strange to me, as I had a letter from Conran only a few days before I sold the horse that he was in fine shape and doing well in his work. Three weeks later I find him fired. He will be rested up for a while at my home, and I expect great things of him when he rounds to form again. I will stay here a few days to wait for Mr. Conran to conic on, as I understand he is going to sue uie for damages." Kercheval has certainly had a stormy career and he must be a wonderful horse to be able to do what he has shown after a lot of bad handling. Kercheval was brought to Latonia as a two-year-old by Joe Boyd, a colored trainer. The colt was rajsed by Mr. Brien, who was for years superintendent of the famous Belle Meade Stud. While in Boyds care he figured in one of the dark lantern races at Latonia. An assistant starter held him at the post and left a horse that was heavily backed a few feet olf in front, and Kercheval, which was the favorite, was beaten. The horse was taken east, and there he trained off a bit and was shipped back to Latonia, where he was turned over to Stanley Kunz, the Chicago ex-alderman. From that time on Kercheval got an awful drilling, and he got to looking like a hatrack when the following spring rolled arouud. Mr. Brien bad some other horses in Kunzs stable and they were also very much abused and finally a lawsuit or a series of lawsuits followed before Mr. Brien was able to get his property back. He did not get all of his horses, but that is another story. The horse was then turned over to Conran, who took him to the coast after winning a race at Latonia. Later he won the Burns Handicap and several other purses. He was shipped east last May, and since that time lias done nothing. If Charlie Patterson could have stayed for a while at Latonia Mr. Brien would have turned the horse over to him, but the well-known trainer will ship to New Orleans in a day or two and Mr. Brien did not care to take a chance of reshipping the horse for a week or so. The horse that Mr. Brien did not get back from Stanley Kunz was Dr. Burch, a fast horse and well bred, being a half-brother to Advance Guard. Mr. Brien turned the order for the horse over to Conran, but Kunz declined to give him up. He was then replevined, and Kunz got him back again on redelivery, giving bond. Then the lawsuits against Kunz were brought to a close, Mr. Brien getting judgment. When he sent after the horse he was not to be found at Latonia, Mr. Kunz in the meantime having shipped him to Chicago. Mr. Brien then took the case to the Federal courts and the judgment against Kunz reaffirmed and once again went after the horse. Kunz declined to give the horse up and defied Brien to find him. Detectives were employed, but up to the present time the horse has not been turned up. For fifteen months his whereabouts have bflen a mystery and there is little hope that he ever will be found. Mr. Brien will proceed agaiust the bondsman, but, as lie expressed it, "I wont gain much, for I have spent 500 trying to get hold of the horse and the bond is only for 300." Mr. Brien has had a couple of other experiences not calculated to make one feel like breaking into the ranks of the horse owners, especially to draw the raw deals Mr. Brlen has got.

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