Randolph Center’s super senior horse
RANDOLPH CENTER, Vt. -
Donnie MacAdams has had many jobs over the years, and has spent the past 29 years working for the state at this welcome center in Randolph. But it’s the barn job he started in 2008 that he loves the most.
He gets to work every day with his best friend, Waco, a retired Standardbred racehorse. He admits they got off to a rocky start when his friend who owns the horse offered him the job. “The first time I met him he put his nose into the corner of the stall and showed me his butt,” MacAdams said. “You know if you have had horses -- that is the ultimate insult you can have.”
But over the weeks and months MacAdams won Waco over. The two have a very special bond. MacAdams says its a labor of love -- he doesn’t get paid. He gladly volunteers his time even though this senior equine can be a bit picky, especially when it comes to his special wet mash he gets at mealtime. “If it is too wet he stares at me. If it is too dry he stares at me. It’s like, you know, I work for him,” MacAdams said.
In fact Waco has thrived under his owner’s care, and this year turned 40 years-old.
Reporter Judy Simpson: That’s old!
Donnie MacAdams: It is. I believe the equivalent of 120 in human years, so he is ancient.
So old in fact, a racing magazine did a spread on the former racehorse and his human buddy.
Reporter Judy Simpson: So he really is a Super Senior?
Donnie MacAdams: Yes.
And that set off a chain of events MacAdams could not have even imagined, including a story on theCBS Sunday Morning News.
And with all this attention Waco has become an internet sensation. MacAdams says they get calls and emails from all over the world. “We have gotten thanks, likes congratulations, happy birthdays to Waco from -- anywhere from Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Germany -- all over the states. It’s been insane,” he said.
And while people seem surprised that the two have a special bond, MacAdams says it all comes down to a very simple fact. “I made a vow to him that I would take care of him, and it doesn’t matter, anybody else can say what they want but I made a vow to the horse,” he said.
And sometimes in life, it is just as simple as that.