Kept True wins the Broadway Stakes
The sale of the horse Kept True, who campaigned as a successful stakes mare, is at the heart of an unusual civil lawsuit in Kentucky.
Kept True, registered as a daughter of Yes It’s True and the Henny Hughes mare Well Kept, was a homebred for Jeff Treadway’s Treadway Racing Stable and ran for three seasons in New York. Kept True won the Broadway Stakes and placed in the La Verdad Stakes. When Kept True retired, the horse was entered into the 2021 Keeneland January sale as a racing/broodmare prospect, where Crawford Farm bought Kept True from the Hidden Brook consignment for $150,000.
In June last year, Crawford filed a lawsuit against Treadway, Hidden Brook, Keeneland, Dr. Karen Wolfsdorf, and Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, demanding the sale contract be rescinded and Crawford be refunded.
After the purchase of Kept True, Crawford said in a complaint filed in Fayette County Circuit Court that it removed the horse from the Keeneland grounds and had its own veterinarian, Dr. Jeremy Whitman do a basic exam of the horse — that’s when they realized there was something wrong. Whitman said he observed “obvious abnormalities” during palpation of Kept True, including that he could not find the horse’s ovaries. After a genetic test, veterinarians discovered that Kept True was genetically XY, meaning that although the horse appears outwardly to have a vagina and does not have a penis, the horse is genetically male and does not have normal reproductive anatomy internally.
In its complaint, Crawford indicated Kept True had a certificate of breeding soundness on file with Keeneland at the time of the auction, which was signed by Wolfsdorf. According to Crawford, that certificate indicated the horse was a mare who was anatomically correct and suitable for mating.
Previously, other Hagyard veterinarians have admitted to misdating radiographs that were part of required pre-sale documentation as a means of dealing with heavy workloads ahead of public auctions.
Crawford claims to have contacted Treadway, Hidden Brook and Wolfsdorf in May 2021 with this information and alleges the trio refused to rescind the sale and refund Crawford. The lawsuit was fined June 22, 2021.
Hidden Brook has since been dismissed as a defendant with prejudice by Judge Kimberly Bunnell — a decision that has been appealed by Crawford. Hidden Brook also filed its own cross-claim against Crawford. Keeneland was dismissed from the suit based on conditions of sale that state a purchaser is required to raise objections to a sale within 24 hours of purchase and before the horse leaves the grounds. The remaining defendants have denied liability.
Cases of true hermaphroditism, in which an animal possesses both male and female sex organs, is extremely rare.
Pseudohermaphroditism, in which the animal possesses the external genitalia of one sex and internal genitalia of a different sex, is more commonly seen. (It remains unclear from legal documentation whether Kept True has been found to have any sort of testes and is therefore a pseudohermaphrodite.)