Lady Finds a Home: 50th Thoroughbred Adopted Through Service recently got word that a Thoroughbred formerly en route to slaughter had found a home via's Thoroughbred Adoption Services, sponsored by Gainesway Farm. She was the 50th Thoroughbred to be placed through the service. See a list of horses placed.

Lady, whose registered name is Wheels of Stars (Greggie's Wheel--Kate's Golden Star, by Son James), originally was rescued from the New Holland Sales Stable auction by MidAtlantic Horse Rescue (MAHR) based in Chesapeake City, Md., said Beverly Strauss, co-founder and executive director of MAHR. The group was founded in 2002, and it buys Thoroughbreds from the kill pens and--after quarantine and evaluation--places them into homes as riding and sport horses.

It's ironic that Lady's rescue from New Holland was made possible by the death of another Thoroughbred filly--Eight Belles. When that filly died immediately following the 2008 Kentucky Derby, a group of racing fans from owner Rick Porter's Fox Hill Farm's Web site and forum wanted to do something to memorialize Eight Belles. Porter and his racing manager, Victoria Keith, created Eight Belles wristbands and sold them, with the proceeds going to MAHR for the purposes of saving more horses.

Saving Lady

MAHR representatives went to New Holland with room at the farm--and in their finances--for two rescues. Keith had asked the organization to look for a gray mare, if possible. "Fate played its hand, because present that day was a pretty, gray, 7-year-old mare," recalled Strauss. "She was clean and sound, and she had been off the track for awhile. Because she was acting difficult with the Western saddle, and because she was a Thoroughbred, she sold to kill. We then bought her from the kill buyer, along with a young bay gelding, and brought them both home."

Lady, 50th horse adopted

Lady when she first arrived at MAHR. She recently became the 50th horse adopted through's listing service.

Lady, as she was nicknamed, was taken to MAHR, where her tattoo allowed workers to know her real identity. The New Jersey-bred foal of 2001 had raced four times at three in 2004, and once at age 4, with no earnings. What happened to her between her last start on Feb. 4, 2005, and her sale at New Holland, is anyone's guess.

"She was very forward and anxious to please, but tough," said Strauss. "It took some time to get on her from a mounting block, and she always wanted to go a gear faster than what we wanted. But she always kept her head and never was dangerous. We knew we had our work cut out for us, and she would need a special home. We thought we had found that home in September (2008) when a local woman had her vetted and adopted her, but a couple of months later she was returned. At this point, we heard about's site for advertising Thoroughbreds and posted her on there for $1 with our signed adoption contract.

"We got a lot of e-mails about her, but most did not seem to be the right home ... until Stephanie from Virginia e-mailed us," said Strauss. "She was a talented and committed young rider with experience with difficult horses. She was looking for a project and contacted us. After e-mailing back and forth and several phone calls, we knew we had found the right home. Stephanie and her dad drove up to Maryland with trailer in tow, met Lady, and took her home. Stephanie has contacted us since then to say Lady is doing well; she will be a real project, but is smart and coming around nicely.

"We are thrilled with the response we got from our listing--and to top it off, another woman from Florida who originally called us about Lady flew up to Maryland and adopted one of our other Thoroughbreds, a nice mare named Sneaky Love! We appreciate the exposure that has given our wonderful Thoroughbreds for adoption!"

Mid-Atlantic Horse Rescue is a divison of Paws for Life, Inc., a Federal 501(c)(3), that buys slaughter-bound ex-racehorses and adopts them into good homes where they can start a new life. For more information visit  

Other Horses Adopted

What has been wonderful about the Thoroughbred Adoption Services is similar to Sneaky Love's story; one horse is listed, and other horses needing homes on that farm or at that rescue organization also find homes. Two more horses off the list have been adopted since Lady found a home.

Here is what some of the others who used the Thoroughbred Adoption Service had to say:

"I have had hundreds of responses (for Call Me Guy) to this. What a great service! Someone came out and looked at him today and wants to take him for a dressage horse. I will be checking her references, and then he will probably go to her, although there are several others that are waiting to see him that are so interested and are hoping she doesn't take him so they will get a chance. I want a forever home for him and am being as careful as I can be that he will be well taken care of and as loved as he was here by me. Thank you for starting this service to give us a place to connect with people who have the time and experience to take on a young horse and bring it to its full potential in a second start in life."--Ginny

"We had rescued the Dude ourselves after we saw him being passed from one owner to the next at the track. He always gave 110% of himself, and although we had not seen him in several years, we were interested in his well being since he was our first foal. We went to Penn and saw him run, and he was going as hard as he could on three legs. We purchased him and brought him home and hospitalized him for the treatment of his legs. After a year of rehab he was in great shape, but we did not want him to go back to the track. He had won a considerable sum of money, and we felt he would make a great stud. We tried for months to place him, at no cost, to a good farm without success. Just when we had about given up we saw the advertisement for your site the first week it was available and put the Dude in on a Thursday. By Monday I had offers from California, Canada, New York, Florida, Oklahoma, and Tennessee. He is now in his new home and hopefully will be a great stallion."--Run Aweigh Stable

And from the person who adopted him: "Hello there! I adopted my stallion, One Tough Dude, using your site. He is wonderful, and I couldn't be happier. I am so grateful to you for offering this service. I also used it to place a mare that I had taken in as a rescue. There are so many unwanted Thoroughbreds right now. Offering this free service is a great way to help people find homes for them. I definitely plan on using your service in the future."--Sarah

"I had a lot of responses to my ad. Most were really interested, but some just didn't read the ad. When I received the e-mail from Beverly in Lexington, I knew that was the place. She made it clear exactly what she wanted and what my horse would be used for. After the first contact, Biker was gone in less than a week. She made all the arrangements to have a reputable carrier take him. She is a wonderful person, and he has the best home! His new digs are spectacular! Thank you for your help."--Sandi

And many others who just wrote to say the horse found a home, and thanks:

"This is to let you know that Treasure Speed from South Carolina has been placed. Thank you so much for your help in finding her a new home."--Jane

"Beeper has found a new home, please remove him from the listing. He is now at a rehab facility in Maryland getting all the love and attention that he needs. Thank you."--Kimberli

"Please remove D Lish Bells from the listing. She went to a fabulous new home on Saturday! She was a feedlot rescue, and I'm an official nonprofit rescue."--Faye

"Grumpo, aka Harvey, has found a wonderful home through this service! Please remove him from the available list and put him on the Success Stories list. Thank you so much for this service!"--Lisa

If you are looking for your next equine athlete, or if you have room at your farm and in your heart (and budget!) for another horse, please visit the Thoroughbred Adoption Service listing.

If you have a registered Thoroughbred that needs a home, you may place the description of the horse on the service for free. Just visit the home page of and click on Thoroughbred Adoption Service.

About the Author

Kimberly S. Brown

Kimberly S. Brown was the Publisher/Editor of The Horse: Your Guide To Equine Health Care from June 2008 to March 2010, and she served in various positions at Blood-Horse Publications since 1980.

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