Thursday, January 21, 2010

An Open Letter Regarding--- "The Second Race"

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.
Respectfully Submitted,
Open Letter Signed 1/21/2010 by Founder, Sharla Sanders


  1. Sharla, I find it necessary to give your readers the "rest of the story." The reason why you suddenly felt the need to write an open letter is to cover up the stunt you pulled recently regarding the adoption of General Buffet and Sunshine is Mine. I want all of your readers to know that after finalizing an adoption on General Buffet, the original owner had cold feet and tried to bully, intimidate and even threaten police action against the adoptor you were supposed to be assisting with the placement. When the new owner resisted your attempts to retrieve the horse, both you and the original owner went so far as to call local police against your adopter. Next you cancelled the placement of Sunshine is Mine out of pure vengence against the adoptor who simply tried to hold on to a horse she legally adopted through your inexperienced agency. I want to confirm that today, Texas law enforcement investigators determined that the horse is in the possession of the adopter legally and they will take no further action against her. I sincerely question your true motives which seems to cater to those who you view may be prospective wealthy donors while you abandon one who truly loves and is commited to retraining the horses. Your actions have been snakey to say the least. Just my observation.

  2. From what I understand, it is not the Second Race's mission or intention to assist "the adopter" in any way, but in fact, is an agency designed to assist the horse first, and the original owner in safely placing said horse, second. I think that is an important distinction. The Second Race bears no burden of responsibility to the adopter in any way, and if they ultimately feel that a situation needs remedying, for whatever reason, their obligation to the horse requires they do so. That being said, I would like to hear both sides of the story, because as it stands now, The Second Chance is sadly being cast in a bad light, where an explanation might alter some perceptions.

  3. Devorah,
    Further posts and responses will not be forthcoming, I am sure that you would not like me to comment on this in a public manner.

    We both have the right to free speech, but not the right to shout "FIRE" in a crowded theatre putting someone's safety in danger irresponsibly. Using this analogy, I would appreciate your refraining from your continued "shouting", to everyone's benefit.

    Thank you.


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