CANTER Transitions 1,000+ Ex-Racehorses in 2012

CANTER Transitions 1,000+ Ex-Racehorses in 2012

Tracks Protege, an OTTB who retired from Deleware Park, is owned by Allie Conrad and ridden by Liza Horan.

Photo: Allie Conrad

CANTER chapters are celebrating a milestone year for transitioning ex-racehorses into second careers through their free online sales listings. The 10 CANTER chapters online sales websites served 596 trainers at 30 racetracks nationally in 2012 and successfully transitioned 1,015 racehorses nearing the end of their racing careers.

"Our horses try hard for us on the racetrack so our loyalty to them goes beyond their race careers," noted Bob and Marcia Wolfe, trainers at Penn National Race Course, Grantville, Pa. "We feel very fortunate to work with CANTER to find great homes for our horses. It's the best program we've come across to display our available horses for buyers who are knowledgeable and sincere about their interest. We've had tremendous success placing horses and continue to stay involved in their futures through regular updates from buyers. It's a great feeling to see our horses excel in secondary careers and we sincerely appreciate the efforts of all CANTER volunteers."

In 2012, CANTER volunteers made over 600 trips in total to racetracks in Ohio, New England (Massachusetts), Colorado, Arizona, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Pennsylvania, California, and the Mid-Atlantic region (Delaware, Maryland, and West Virginia) to meet with trainers and owners of horses that were ready to retire from racing but are capable of beginning a second career.

"CANTER is a 100% volunteer organization," said CANTER Executive Director Nancy Koch. "Our volunteers are dedicated to helping the Thoroughbred racing community find appropriate homes for their horses when they are ready for second careers."

During racetrack visits, CANTER volunteers meet with trainers and owners to photograph, write descriptions of their sale horses and post that content along with the trainer's contact information on the CANTER sales website. The CANTER sales listings website receives between 35,000 and 55,000 visits each month. In 2012, the site received a total of 651,783 visits. Of those, 455,647 were returning visitors, 196,136 were new visitors, and 142,000 visitors accessed the site through their mobile device.

The success of ex-racehorses turned show horses along with exciting new programs such as The Jockey Club's Thoroughbred Incentive Program (TIP) that has committed $100,000 for Thoroughbred classes and high point awards is proving that ex-racehorses have more to give after the finish line.

"The response to the Thoroughbred Incentive Program has been immensely gratifying," said Kristin Leshney, legal associate for The Jockey Club and TIP administrator. "For 2013, we have approved 375 horse shows from 37 states (and) Canadian provinces for participation in T.I.P. That means thousands of ribbons and over 1,000 prizes will be available for Thoroughbreds in horse shows across the country."

Stay on top of the most recent Horse Health news with FREE weekly newsletters from Learn More