Ex-Race Horse, Tissy Fit, earner of $ 230,000 adopted out by The Second Race, relaxing in his forever home. Photo: Kim Ruzich
The Second Race was formed to assist in the placement of ex-race horses and those bred to race in adoptive homes after their racing careers have ended.
The reason for the ending of the career does not matter to The Second Race, only that the horse has a soft place to land, a chance at rehab, training for a new career, or the ability to lie in the sun all day long as Tissy Fit does here. In the short existence of The Second Race, several horses have successfully made a transition off the track by their former owners with varying levels of assistance provided by our services.
This Open Letter will serve as a one time explanation, in print and out to the virtual universe of the services that are provided by The Second Race, who we are, and what we do. The hope of the Open Letter, is to clarify our purpose in a very open forum.
The Second Race chose a niche for itself in assisting current owners, trainers, lay up farms, breeders and others associated with racing to help find homes for horses. The Second Race in doing so hopes to protect a owners wish that a good home is found for their horse after it's career is over and not to find itself in harms way. The Second Race is contacted about an available horse, information is shared about the horse, pictures taken and the process begins to assist the legal owner (or authorized agent) of the horse. At any time during this process a horse can be given away by the very people that have asked The Second Race to help. So far, this has happened about 35 percent of the time. The owner is in fact the legal guardian of the horse, and has the right to do whatever they want with the horse including no longer asking The Second Race to assist by placing the horse on their own. There is not a Broker contract between The Second Race and the person requesting our assistance to find a home, nor is their a fee associated at any time with finding a home for a horse.
The Second Race chose as part of it's business plan to use social media as an effective tool to network for the horses. Using the Internet has it's advantages and disadvantages, however the advantages (being the sheer numbers of individuals that can be reached at once) makes it a powerful resource. The Internet is just that an entity, it is nothing without people behind it. For the most part The Second Race has been blessed to find outstanding individuals to assist in placement and support of the horses. There is inherent risk involved with dealing over the Internet and not meeting everyone face to face. Because the Internet and our marketing efforts literally reach around the world, there is no way to 100 percent guarantee that the person who presents themselves in a manner, is in fact who they are. Character is character and that can't be measured but by experiences, over time. The Second Race is developing it's public character and finds itself in a position for the first time in defending its practices. Hence our perceived need for this Open Letter to the public.
Once a horse and a potential adopter are found, The Second Race provides an adoption application for completion by the person/group willing to adopt the horse. A vetting of the person is performed including calling references (personal, professional, and current veterinarian), Google Searches are performed, review of websites associated with the person if applicable, pictures of where the horse will be going to (if not local), among other considerations taken into account to determine if the adopter is a good match. An application fee is not charged.
If The Second Race determines from the information that it has gathered, that there is a suitable future home for the horse, the current owner (or authorized agent for the horse) is notified. The owner is given the information and makes the determination if additional information is required, if a phone call or email exchange between the two parties is requested etc. The Second Race always allows the current guardian of the horse to make the final determination that the horse is going to be adopted by the person applying for adoption. If it's a go, the adopter is sent an Adoption Agreement which outlines several itemized statements that are individually signed off on; including that the horse will not be sold, will not be raced, will not be bred unless arrangements or exceptions have been made prior to the signing of the agreement. The Second Race asks for a first right of refusal should a horse find itself in need of a home after the adoption has taken place. The Second Race provides for a fourteen day "out" where the adopter can return the horse to The Second Race. Again, an adoption fee is never charged. In fact often times The Second Race is able to secure transportation that the adopter does not have to pay for, truly making the advertisement of a free horse, a free horse.
Once the Adoption Agreement is signed, the horse transported and safely at the adopters, The Second Race has successfully done what it states in it's Mission, which is to successfully network for a placement of an ex-racer to a new home. The adopter legally obtains the horse using The Second Race as a conduit.
There are two other situations in which The Second Race will be involved in homing a horse. That is when a home is not successfully found in a time period and a horse has to move off the race track, a lay up farm or another situation fraught with a time frame, The Second Race may choose to take in that horse as foster stalls and monies are available to assist that particular horse. The Second Race will require a Surrender Agreement and will take ownership of the horse. These horses will continue to have networking done on them. At this present time The Second Race is not requiring an adoption fee, or a donation once they are adopted. These practices for our Foster Horses (The Second Race does not have its own property at this time, but is the legal guardian of the horse) may change in the near future; when our non profit status is established.
The last situation is when funds are available to assist an established rescue group in removing an ex-race horse, or broodmare from an auction lot bound for slaughter. We have successfully helped to remove horses in this manner, and as early as today another ex-racer was purchased in partnership.
The Second Race will continue on its mission and will not waver. This business, is just that a business not an idle past time or hobby. Decisions are made in a business like manner to the best of our abilities. Emotions can run high and at times; despite our best efforts to be transparent, someone or something will try and derail these efforts. Its part of business. Any store owner knows that they can post a sign "We Reserve The Right To Deny Service", there will be times when The Second Race will have to post that same sign in the best interests of the horse. These decisions will make The Second Race unpopular at times, it's okay, we can handle it.
What we do could present the opportunity for ridicule, slander and attacks, its the nature of the business. But for any "bad" that may come our way there are many more of bliss like this one below, and that far outweighs the inconvenience of having to post an Open Letter to dissuade any doubts about The Second Race, Sharla Sanders and those associated with us, and one person's attempt at libelous intentions.
I'vefigureditout, "Figgy", bonding with his foster, after three days in his new home.
Open Letter Signed 1/21/2010 by Founder, Sharla Sanders