“I’d like to thank everyone for the love and appreciation they’ve shown for Moonist,” Hartley said. “My grandson was telling me about all the messages he was getting and seeing on social media about Moonist, and it’s quite overwhelming and touching to see how much this horse was liked and enjoyed by so many people. Moonist has been a member of our family and loved by so many in the horse racing family as well. Bonnie Vessels, who bred Moonist, was one of the first call me this morning after she heard the news. We’ve heard from so many people from all over the country. It’s been touching. There’ll never be another one like him for me. He’s one in two million.
"I talked to the veterinarian last night at about 11:30 p.m. and he told me what he would do and he asked what I wanted to do," Hartley added. "It hit me like a rock. He wasn’t doing well and we didn’t want him to suffer."
“We would go to the track and so many people would come up to us and ask us about Moonist. After his races, we’d have so many people coming by to tell us how much they loved Moonist. They all seemed to know him. At home people would call us to talk about Moonist from all over the nation. They would say ‘I’m going to mark my calendar so I can watch Moonist on TVG.’ It’s overwhelming to know that so many people thought so kindly and so much about this horse. John Cooper took such excellent care of this horse. Moonist is the greatest thing that ever happened to me in racing. I’ll always remember the sight of Moonist walking towards us in the winner’s circle after a race. He was amazing.”