Fourteen rescue groups in the United States have joined an initiative to help thoroughbred racehorses retired from the track.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) said the groups were part of its Million Dollar Rescuing Racers Initiative, now in its third year.
The grants program aids in the rescue and rehabilitation of retired racehorses to save them from slaughter, retraining the horses for other equine endeavours and giving them a new lease on life for events or pleasure riding.
“Too often, thoroughbreds end up at livestock auctions — or worse, are sent to slaughterhouses when their racing days are over,” said Jacque Schultz, senior director of the ASPCA Equine Fund.
“There has been some emphasis on increasing the industry’s commitment to after-care for retired racers lately, but the sad truth is these non-profits are still constantly struggling to find the funding to save more horses.
“We are thrilled to provide this opportunity to help those organizations working to transition ex-racers out of the racing stable and into someone’s show barn or farm paddock.”
The organizations joining the list of thoroughbred rescues and sanctuaries as part of the ASPCA Million Dollar Rescuing Racers Initiative for 2012 are:
- The Communication Alliance to Network Thoroughbred Ex-Racehorses (CANTER), with affiliates in Ariz., Calif., Ky., Mich., Middle Atlantic, New England and Ohio;
- Equine Encore Foundation in Ariz.;
- The Exceller Fund in Ky.;
- Finger Lakes Thoroughbred Adoption Program, Inc. in N.Y.;
- Harry A. Biszantz Memorial Center for Thoroughbred Retirement DBA Tranquility Farm in Calif.;
- Illinois Equine Humane Center;
- Kentucky Equine Humane Center, Inc.;
- MidAtlantic Horse Rescue, Inc. in Md.;
- New Vocation Racehorse Adoption Thoroughbred Program in Ohio and other locations;
- New Vocation Racehorse Adoption Standardbred Program in Ohio and other locations;
- Oklahoma Thoroughbred Retirement Program LTD;
- ReRun, Inc. in N.J. and N.Y.;
- Southern California Thoroughbred Rescue; and
- TROTT USA (Training Racehorses off the Track) in Calif.
The selected recipients will each receive a grant ranging from $US5000 to $US35,000.
The grant funding helps the groups increase capacity for rescuing more horses, and primarily focuses on training and rehabilitation costs such as dental care, therapeutic shoeing, and boarding to recover from career-ending injuries.
“While some grants will help those horses being cared for in sanctuaries, we focused on placement programs that can accommodate more retirees in the long-run,” said Schultz. “The ASPCA is proud to help them responsibly build their capacity to save more racehorses.”
“The ASPCA’s support has truly helped push our marketing efforts forward for our thoroughbreds,” said Bev Strauss of MidAtlantic Horse Rescue, one of six organizations selected in the first year of the initiative to receive larger grants over a two-to-three year span.
“There is a real groundswell bringing back thoroughbreds in the sport and pleasure horse world, and in my opinion, the ASPCA’s Million Dollar Rescuing Racers Initiative provided the impetus for this movement.”
Last year, the ASPCA Equine Fund awarded nearly $US1.5 million in grant funding to 165 non-profit equine welfare organizations in 38 states whose focus and expertise is concentrated on reducing the suffering of equines who have lost their homes or been cruelly treated.
The ASPCA Equine Fund grants program seeks to award equine organizations who strive to achieve best practices, including sound horse care, maintenance of updated websites and robust fundraising practices.