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  • Clare Long

An Update on Mama Janka: some very special new information, photos and videos!


A final word and fond farewell from Clare:

A message from Mama Janka's previous human about how he came to own her:

I owned her dam "Herkimer Zajac." My friend and her father are from Herkimer N.Y. their last name is Zajac.

Shirley McQeeney trainer and breeder wanted to breed Herkimer Zajac so I said ok. I had bred her twice and both time did not come up with a running. I leased her for free because at the time I had run out of money.

Mama Janka was the 3rd foal Shirley had bred to Herkimer Zajac. When I went to visit her I said to Shirley, thinking she would say no, "would you like to make a trade?" Herkimer Zajac for her foal.

I couldn't belive that the foal who I thought was beautiful would be mine but Shirley said yes.

What a miracle.

And that's how I got Mama Janka.

And a message regarding Mama Janka's Dam, Herkimer Zajac:

This is Herkimer Zajac, Mama Janka's dam.

I bought her at Fairplex auction for yearlings. I was there looking for a horse for a friend to bid on. He got what he wanted. But I had seen this filly early in the day and thought she was just right.

The bidding started at $500. I didn't have that much money but I figured, what the heck, I will stop bidding if it goes too high.

I bid $550. Then it went to $600. I took a deep breath and stretched my budget and bid $650. 1,2,3, sold to me for $650.

When she was 2 years old, I sent her to Blooming Hills in California for breaking and training.

When I went to visit, the owner said to me I got a bargain for $65,000. I said no, $650. He said $6,500? NO $650!

She raced at Golden Gate race track for a new trainer at the time: Mike Puype. She was 9 out of 10 times in the money.

I sent her to trainer Kent Jensen at Turf Paradise where Herkimer Zajac broke her maiden by 16 lengths on the turf. Her jockey was the great Scott Stevens, brother of Gary Stevens.

Mama Janka's Sire, Dam, and Offspring on the racetrack:

A message from Mama Janka's new humans:

Thank you for everything. She is just amazing and we love her so much already!

I just think it ALL was meant to be. She is a special horse and has been loved and cared for by special people. Her sweet disposition and confidence clearly shows how loved she has been.

Thank you both and also I am grateful to Jin for her care and Renee for having the strength to surrender her. She is so lucky to have been so loved. NONE of that was easy for any of the humans and yet, here she is happy, calm, and ready for more love!

She is such a gift! She is so sweet it makes me cry! We are so happy!

Now that I am not so tired I am realizing I didn’t include the incredible support you all have provided to us even after the adoption and the incredible commitment you all have to these animals. What you all are doing is just incredible. She was a mess and now is like a giant puppy that comes for cuddles when we call her. That is priceless and brings tears to my eyes every day. I will never forget or take for granted the incredible work you all have done and the love you gave her in her darkest days. There are not words that can thank you enough for that!!!


November 2021


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