Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Standardbred Retirement Organizations
I recently conducted a Google search to view Standardbred retirement/rescue foundations and organizations. I have to admit I have been slow to warm up to harness racing, and Standardbreds. However, they (the horses) are no different than my beloved Thoroughbreds. These horses find themselves in the same predicaments as other racers, they need to be protected, retrained and re homed whenever possible. Here are a couple organizations that I discovered and wanted to share with you the reader:
Raising The Standards (Australia)
THE new program to support retired standardbred horses, Raising the Standards, aims to save as many retired harness horses as possible from the knackery.
Hundreds of standardbreds are slaughtered each week.
"The publicity jumps racing horses received due to sporadic race deaths is amazing, yet the plight of harness horses isn't publicised at all," organiser Nicole Jovanovic said.
"These horses deserve a second chance and Raising the Standards has the facilities to save many horses from death.
"We are now focused on informing trainers. Most don't bother to search for alternatives, because there are so few.
"The horses in the program live in a family environment and are offered their own rug, and fed daily. All farrier, dental and veterinary care is also provided.
"Horses are given the chance to sample various riding disciplines and go to long-term, loving homes," Ms Jovanovic said.
The Standardbred Retirement Foundation, Inc. (SRF)
The Standardbred Retirement Foundation, Inc. (SRF) is a private, non-profit, tax exempt organization created to care for, rehabilitate and secure lifetime adoption of non-competitive racehorses, to ensure their proper care with follow up, and combine the needs of youth at risk and these horses in therapeutic equine programs to benefit both.
The SRF was created in 1989 by Mrs. Judith Bokman, wife of a prominent Equine Practitioner in New Jersey, Dr. Stephen Bokman DVM, when realizing what was happening to the Standardbreds that could no longer be competitive as racehorses. She contacted Mrs. Paula Campbell, wife of Hall of Fame Standardbred Driver John Campbell, who also realized the need and joined Mrs. Bokman in the development of the SRF. Later in the development process, the Youth Programs were incorporated into the SRF. It was granted exemption from Federal Income Tax status as a 501 (c) 3 non-profit Foundation in 1991.
Although the horse racing industry is a multi-billion dollar industry, the Standardbred racing industry had made no provisions to support these grand horses when their racing careers came to an end. Some horses end their careers at a young age with injuries or lack of racing ability, but with rest and rehabilitation provided by SRF, these lovely animals become wonderful riding, driving, eventing or trail horses. But some retire from racing not healthy enough to be transitioned to a new career. As a result, the SRF steps in to provide the adoption and rescue services necessary to ensure that these noble horses are retired with the dignity and care that they deserve and with the intent of finding them permanent homes. Many are never adopted due to physical condition or age and remain under the SRF’s care in various boarding farms. www.adoptahorse.org
New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program
New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program was founded in 1992 to offer retiring racehorses a safe-haven, rehabilitation, and continued education through placement in experienced, caring homes. Most of the horses arriving at New Vocations are injured and thin, suffering the normal occupational hazards of racing. Without a useful skill to offer their previous option was often a one-way ticket to the local livestock auction. New Vocations provides a safety net for these horses matching them with qualified individuals and following up on their rehabilitation and vocational training to ensure a successful transition. Additionally, the Program acts as an outreach to disadvantaged youth challenging them through the equine experience and motivational teachings to set worthy goals.
Over 2,000 retiring Standardbreds and Thoroughbreds have been placed in qualified homes through the New Vocations effort since 1992 with an anticipated 200 this year. These horses have come from 18 states and been adopted by families throughout the country. The Youth Outreach is coordinated through the West Central Ohio Juvenile Delinquent Center.
New Vocations has two scenic Ohio locations. The Laura facility is 25 miles NW of Dayton and encompasses 32 acres of rolling, creek fed pastures with multiple paddocks and barns. In Hilliard, New Vocations leases paddocks and stabling at the Sid Griffith Equestrian Center, a manicured showplace that is also home to a commercial boarding, lesson, and training operation.
American Standardbred Adoption Program, Inc. (ASAP)
American Standardbred Adoption Program, Inc. was founded in 1994 by a small group of dedicated individuals and professionals who saw a need for a placement service for non-racing Standardbreds. This placement service honors and serves the people and horses within the harness racing industry around the country, with special emphasis on Standardbreds in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. The American Standardbred Adoption Program also serves as a rescue facility and sanctuary for abandoned, abused, or neglected horses of all breeds, and is listed by the Humane Society of the United States as a humane equine rescue organization. Horses of all other breeds are accepted into placement by ASAP, Inc.
A great deal of the American Standardbred Adoption Program's efforts center around educating young people about horsemanship and harness racing. Youth programs focus on youth at risk and youth with disabilities, offering ASAP's facilities on an ongoing basis for community service or schooling involving horsemanship and riding or driving.
The American Standardbred Adoption Program seeks only the most qualified homes in the hopes of obtaining permanent placement for each horse in its care. A contract must be signed by potential adopters as a prerequisite to acquiring a horse through our program. An adoption fee is required. www.4thehorses.com
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