ASPCA Celebrates Five Years of 'Rescuing Racers'

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) announced July 29 that it has granted over $1.7 million to equine rescue groups assisting retired racehorses since launching its Rescuing Racers Initiative in 2010. Now in its fifth year, the program awarded $250,000 to 25 equine rescue organizations as part of the 2014 ASPCA Rescuing Racers Initiative.

The initiative aids in the rescue and rehabilitation of retired racehorses to help transition them from life on the racetrack to other functions, such as pleasure or show mounts.

“The ASPCA Rescuing Racers Initiative began with an anonymous donation of $1 million, and we’ve been fortunate enough to carry on this much-needed grants program thanks to the continued generosity of that donor and many other animal advocates,” said Jacque Schultz, senior director of the ASPCA Equine Fund. “We’re grateful to have the resources to assist these rescues, which provide sanctuary and after-care to retired racers.”

The organizations joining the list of rescues and sanctuaries as part of the ASPCA Rescuing Racers Initiative for 2014 are:

  • Akindale Rehabilitation & Land Conservation, New York
  • Brook Hill Retirement Center for Horses, Virginia
  • CANTER, National
  • CANTER, Michigan
  • CANTER, Ohio
  • Equine Outreach, Inc., Oregon
  • The Exceller Fund, Kentucky
  • FL TRAC, Florida
  • Friends of Ferdinand, Indiana
  • Hidden Acres TB Rescue, Florida
  • Hooved Animal HS, Illinois
  • Kearney Area Community Fdtn/Double R ER, Nebraska
  • Kentucky Equine Humane Center, Kentucky
  • Makers Mark Secretariat Center, Kentucky
  • MidAtlantic Horse Rescue, Maryland
  • Neigh Savers Fdtn, California
  • New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program, Ohio
  • Red Bucket Equine Rescue, California
  • Rerun Inc., Virginia
  • Second Stride, New York
  • Southern California Thoroughbred Rescue, California
  • Standardbred Retirement Foundation, New Jersey
  • Thoroughbred Athletes, Oklahoma
  • Thoroughbred Placement and Rescue, Maryland
  • United Pegasus Foundation, California

The selected recipients include a wide range of equine rescues from 14 states, and will each be awarded a grant ranging from $1,500 to $25,000. The grant funding helps the groups increase capacity for rescuing more horses and this year primarily focused on training and rehabilitation costs such as veterinary care, therapeutic shoeing, and boarding to recover from career-ending injuries.

“We received 45 applications this year—the highest number of applications to date—and with so many strong candidates, it was difficult to select recipients knowing that lives hang in the balance,” said Schultz. “We are thrilled to provide this opportunity to these rescues to help them in their work to transition ex-racers out of the racing stable and into someone’s show barn or farm paddock.”

Susan Peirce, president and founder of Red Bucket Equine Rescue, added, “Rescuing is only the beginning. With deep appreciation to the ASPCA Rescuing Racers Initiative, we will be able to continue to rescue, rehabilitate and train deserving equines.”

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