Groundbreaking for New Vocations Facility Slated for June 24

The New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program is inviting the community to celebrate the initiation of construction on their new retired racehorse adoption facility at Mereworth Farm, in Lexington, Kentucky, on June 24, at 11:00 a.m.

The ceremony will take place at the construction site on the corner of Dolan and Bethel Roads in Fayette County. Boyd Browning of Fasig-Tipton, Elliott Walden of WinStar Farm, and Hall of Fame jockey Pat Day will speak during the short program. A light lunch will follow.

The project comes as a response to the number of retired racehorses in need of rehabilitation and training for second careers. Last month, New Vocations launched a $2 million capital campaign in an effort to build a premier Thoroughbred retraining and adoption facility on the historic Mereworth Farm, under the direction of the Susan S. Donaldson Foundation. The program’s relationship with the foundation includes a free long-term lease of 85 acres on which they will build two 15-stall barns, an indoor arena with viewing area, an outdoor arena, an office, and ample paddocks and pastures. The foundation will donate all grain for the New Vocations horses, cover water expenses, and mow all green spaces. An additional 20-stall barn and paddocks will be provided for horses in need of rehabilitation before they begin retraining.

“We are very excited to get the construction started,” said Anna Ford, New Vocations program director. “New Vocations, in combination with Mereworth Farm, will be the largest rehabilitation, retraining, rehoming, and retirement facility in the nation. The relationship is the first of its kind, ultimately helping hundreds of horses each year and greatly impacting the racing industry. Once complete, the farm will showcase all facets of equine aftercare and will be a destination for the public, as well as for the racing and equestrian communities.”

To date, New Vocations has raised just over $800,000 for the capital campaign. Early supporters include Elise Durbin, Fasig-Tipton, Jim and Therese Faulconbridge, and Mike Repole. New Vocations will work diligently over the next year to raise the remaining funds needed to complete the project by seeking support through a variety of naming and giving options.

The public is invited to attend the ceremony and light lunch immediately after, but must RSVP by June 18 to anna@horseadoption.com. More information on the New Vocations Capital Campaign can be found at www.newvocations.org/capital-campaign/.

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