CANTER Sets Up Herd Health Reports

The Communication Alliance to Network Thoroughbred Ex-Racehorses (CANTER), which helps find homes for retired racehorses, has established a "Herd Health Report" in an effort to provide transparency for donors and the horse buying public.

According to a news release from CANTER, every six months CANTER chapters will have their horses evaluated by an equine veterinarian, who will complete and sign a CANTER "Herd Health Report" that details:

  • Number of horses in the herd (broken down by sex of the horses);
  • Diet;
  • Comments on overall health, body and hoof condition, and dental health; and
  • Suggestions for improvement (if needed).

CANTER said the herd health reports will be mailed to the CANTER national office and posted on CANTER chapter websites.

"The thoroughbred owners and trainers have entrusted us with their ex-racehorses and our supporters have entrusted us to spend funds wisely." said Allie Conrad, executive director of CANTER Mid Atlantic and a CANTER national board member. "We take that trust and responsibility very seriously. It is our mission to treat these horses as they rightly deserve and provide every opportunity for them to move onto productive careers."

CANTER chapters are volunteer organizations that offer free sales listings on its website to horse racing trainers and owners to help them find non-race homes for their retiring racehorses. According to the release, CANTER volunteers regularly visit participating racetracks in its chapter areas to meet with trainers and owners of horses that are ready to retire from racing but are capable of beginning a second career.

Although horses donated to CANTER are evaluated upon intake and sent to the appropriate equine facility to meet their needs, the herd health report will help in monitoring any changes in the horses that may require them to move to a facility that focuses on special cases, according to the release.

"If, after examining a herd, a veterinarian makes a recommendation to change a horse's care, we will comply," said Conrad.

"I am very comfortable that our horses have a lifetime of commitment from CANTER when they become our charges, even after they leave our care," said John Stick, DVM, a board member of both CANTER and the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP). "CANTER and the AAEP are dedicated to the welfare of the horse, and continue to actively pursue means to achieve this goal on a daily basis."

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The Blood-Horse is the leading weekly publication devoted to international Thoroughbred racing and breeding. Since 1916, the staff of The Blood-Horse has served the Thoroughbred community with the highest standards of journalistic excellence to provide comprehensive and timely editorial coverage and analysis.

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