New Vocations celebrates 20 years, nearly 4,000 racehorse adoptions

by | 02.22.2012 | 11:38am

New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program celebrates 20 years of rehabbing, retraining, and rehoming retired racehorses. The program continues to lead the nation in racehorse adoptions placing a record 429 horses into carefully screened homes in 2011 and nearly 4,000 through their doors since its inception in 1992.

New Vocations currently operates out of six locations including partnering with the Pennsylvania HBPA on their new facility at Hummelstown. The program takes retired Thoroughbreds and Standardbreds from over 40 racetracks across the country with the majority of the horses coming directly from tracks in New York, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida.

“Rising costs have been tough in this economy.  Hay, grain, bedding, vet and farrier care have all gone up dramatically in the last few years.  New Vocations is very fortunate to have wide support from individuals which allows us to increase the numbers of horses we can assist,” shared Program Director Anna Ford.  “All of our facilities, other than Pennsylvania, are primarily supported through private donations from owners and trainers. I believe this says a lot about our industry.”

“I applaud New Vocations on their continued success in finding new homes for so many retired racehorses,” said Kim Zito, wife of Hall of Fame Trainer Nick Zito and advisory board member. “The program's focus on placing each horse into a home has allowed them to take in a large number of horses each year. The bottom line is the more money we can raise the more horses they can help.”

New Vocations continues to seek ways to expand and rehome more horses.  Over the past 20 years it has developed a rehabilitation and retraining program that focuses on making sure each horse has successfully transitioned to life beyond the track and is equipped with the necessary skills to ultimately be successful in a new career.  This has been the key to getting large numbers of horses into homes.

“The majority of horses are retired due to some type of injury. Even lack of competitiveness is often due to soreness somewhere,” explains Ford.  “Over 60% of those entering New Vocations require rehabilitation of a few weeks to five months. If rehabilitated properly, most of the injuries will not limit the horse from a riding career.  Not all retiring racehorses will be suitable for high level performance, but almost all of them can be useable in a lower level discipline as a pleasure mount.”

In order to reach more horses in the coming years New Vocations is actively seeking individuals and industry partners who want to support their efforts by raising additional funds and awareness.  The program has several fundraisers throughout the year such as the New Vocations Charity Horse Show in July, the New Vocations Breeders' Cup Pledge in November, and the Year End Giving Campaign in December; however, they hope to develop more partnerships and possible fundraising events.

Any interested parties should contact New Vocations at 937-642-3171 or [email protected].

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