Racehorse Adoption: New Vocations Places 330-Plus in 2009

New Vocations racehorse adoption program placed more than 330 retired racehorses into new homes and careers during 2009. The program, which has facilities in Lexington, Ohio, Michigan, and Tennessee, has adopted more than 3,000 retirees into carefully screened and monitored homes in its 18 years.

"This is a very difficult time for unwanted horses," said program director Anna Ford in a release. "In order to find homes for our retirees, we must invest in their retraining. Anyone who has been around racehorses knows that they are truly athletes who love having a job. Once they retire from racing it is crucial that they receive proper handling and training so they may find a good home and excel in a new career."

Horses entering the program are professionally evaluated for temperament, soundness, and suitability while being transitioned toward a new career. Detailed descriptions, quality photographs, and videos are available to potential adopters on the Web site.

New Vocations receives horses from racetracks all over the country, with the top five states being Ohio, West Virginia, New York, Kentucky, and Florida.

"Our stats this year were interesting," said Ford. "Although we don't have facilities in all our top states, owners and trainers are willing to ship their horses to us just so they can go through our program. We are grateful to the many conscientious owners and trainers who support our efforts to give these horses a life beyond the track. We couldn't begin to assist this many horses without their help."

New Vocations places its horses throughout the Central and Eastern United States. Potential adopters need to have owned horses or have several years of documented experience. They must furnish personal and vet references, have approved stabling, and sign a contract that the horse will not be sold for at least a year. In return, adopters receive a well-mannered, athletic individual with a firm foundation for pleasure riding.

One of many success stories from 2009 was Frazee's Folly who won $537,602 in 90 starts and upon retirement was donated to New Vocations. He was quickly adopted by 14-year-old Megan Roland and less than six months later successfully competed at a horse show.

"One might think that at age 12 after competing in nearly 100 races that Frazee's Folly might need to retire to green pastures, but that's not the case," said Roland. "Folly loves having a job as much as I love riding him."

Read an Inside Track article written last January at the close of Frazee's Folly's eventful career.

New Vocations plans to expand to Indiana in 2010. Information on adopting or donating a horse.

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