Helping Lost and Found

Kelly Young, the director of Lost and Found Horse Rescue near York Pa. really needs our help.

Young, who buys and rehabilitates horses at local auctions from which she believes the animals are often sent on to slaughter, has been told by the people who helped her start the rescue 13 years ago that she has until July to come up with the funding to purchase the facility, or she will be forced to close her operation.

Young, who grew up showing horses, transitioned into the rescue and rehabilitation side of the industry in 1990. She had begun buying horses to retrain as hunter ponies and stumbled upon auctions at which she had reason to think many of the horses were slaughter-bound.

“When I started going to sales where I would see the absolute atrocities of horses and ponies that were being sold for slaughter, it changed my whole perspective on how I viewed horses,” said Young. “I decided I wanted to do to be part of the solution and help the horses and ponies that I could help."

When Young recently passed a junkyard where cars were being sold as parts, she immediately made the connection with the horses that she buys at auction.

“I started thinking about all the new cars that are washed, look spiffy, and maintained," she said. "At the (major) horse sales, (horses) are all slick and pretty and it’s a beautiful place to go, but no one wants to go to the ‘junkyard’ sales and save those horses that could have a second chance.”

Ironically, attending those junkyard auctions is a now part of Young’s everyday life.

“We actually sometimes buy horses and ponies at the sales that are in such deplorable conditions they can’t be rehabilitated, but we bring them back to our farm and have them euthanized here so they don’t have to endure a trip on a truck to Mexico or Canada and so they have a good final ending,” said Young. “Unfortunately, there aren’t many that get that opportunity.”

A few years ago, Young met prominent trainer Nick Zito and his wife, Kim at a fundraiser for the Central Kentucky-based Thoroughbred equine retirement facility Old Friends.

“Kim loves rescue…since then, she and I have become very good friends,” said Young. “One year, Kim came to the sale after the Preakness with some of their winnings and rescued some of the horses out of the meat pen. They are real people who genuinely care about and love the horses that make them a living.”

What are some of your favorite equine rehab/rehome organizations and why? Do you know anyone that has adopted a retired or unwanted Thoroughbred? Feel free to leave a comment and share your story! And to make a donation to help Lost and Found Horse Rescue continue in its mission, visit

Young’s favorite part of her profession is hearing all the stories of joy and happiness that the more than 1,000 horses she has placed in new homes have brought to other people’s lives. So please enjoy some photos showcasing some of the many success stories that have resulted from Lost and Found:

Conrad, winner of hunter jumper shows for his new owner

"He is an amazing horse with so much talent and an even bigger heart. He is one of the sweetest most gentle horses I have ever been around. He has gone from winning in the jumper ring to being ridden by a 6 year old in lead line at the same show. He's just that smart and level headed. Conrad has taught me so much about horses and life. He has truly been a blessing in my life." --Kelly Hudyman

Above: Doc, former racehorse, now a hunter/jumper champion

"Doc is now being leased by a young student of the woman who adopted him, Erin. They were champions in beginner hunter at their first show together a few weeks ago. Erin is a nice young woman with a huge heart for rescue." 

Above: Ming Toy, a Thoroughbred who earned more than $80,000 on the track, but was neglected and suffering of starvation when Young rescued him from his former owner

Ming Toy has now been rehabbed by Young and is awaiting adoption at Lost and Found


Leave a Comment:


i think a small percentage of each purse even if its 1 or 2% should be dispersed to these rescue groups

01 Jun 2010 8:36 PM
Robin from Maryland

Wonderful work and compassion to give back to so many that gave us enjoyment.  What we need is more folks like the Zitos.  God Bless everyone.

01 Jun 2010 9:45 PM

Send them a donation.I did. We owed the horses a happy life after giving us so many exiting moments in their racing careers.

01 Jun 2010 10:09 PM

They need our help.  Let's all send some help and good wishes to Lost and Found.

02 Jun 2010 8:38 AM

I have adopted a retired Thoroughbred in October after 22 years without a horse. I thought at the time that I probably needed my head examined...if I wanted to get back into horses why not a well trained older horse to get my feet wet I take a horse almost right off the track.  He is wonderful and it is the best decision I have made in a while.  He is like a 1200 pound puppy now. When I brought him to the barn most people did not want to approach him because of the bad reputation that off track Thoroughbreds have, he has won everyone over with his personality. In my opinion, anyone that can and is willing and able to put the effort in, should adopt one, while it takes time and sometimes they can be a bit hard on you, the rewards are endless.  

02 Jun 2010 9:08 AM
LouAnn Cingel of Union, Missouri

Please donate and help save the horses if you can financially afford to.  People need to keep all horses from the horrendous hell of a meat pen.  All humans deserve life as everyone no matter what their situation has something to offer and horses are no different.  Horses that have given so much don't deserve to be tossed away.  PLEASE HELP THE HORSES if you can.  God bless everyone who touches the life of a horse with love.

LouAnn Cingel of Union, Missouri

02 Jun 2010 9:15 AM

I will get in touch with Kelly as I live not far away and have a small farm that I would like to turn into a TB rescue operation.  I have 2 exracers and THEY ARE WONDERFUL!  Last nite I watched Truth gallop the pastures whinnying his head off, doing his airs above the ground and just being happy to be alive.  He's 20 now and still going strong.  Wish I HAD THAT MUCH ENERGY!!  Ollie is more layed back, but even he was galloping with Truth last nite.  If you have the place and a little money, get an OTTB, they are WONDERFUL and guaranteed to make ya feel young again!

02 Jun 2010 11:46 AM

Horse Racing as we know it could return as The Sport of Kings if only a small portion of each purse was provided for thoroughbred retirement and new careers.  That being said, I will donate and do what I can as a fan of horse racing and love of all horses.

02 Jun 2010 2:52 PM
morris dale stiles

i keep hearing about this program, but never hear or see any guide lines about, how to adopt a horse.i might be interested in a horse to retrain for barrel racing &pole bending.

02 Jun 2010 3:11 PM

I learned how to ride on many horses from LFHR, as my home barn is one of the retraining centers for many horses that they rescue. This is an excellent organization -- thank you for posting this!

02 Jun 2010 8:37 PM
Esther Marr

morris dale stiles: if you go to there is an application that you can fill out to start the adoption process. Good luck!

03 Jun 2010 2:16 PM

When an owner submits a receipt to the Jockey club. Why can't there be a clause included in the signed contract. That when an owners  horse is retired from racing. He/she will provide financial care for the horse for the rest of it's life? If the breeders aren't going to cut back the stallions books. Perhaps by legally binding owners to take financial responsibility will help reduce the number of foals born each year.    

04 Jun 2010 5:41 PM

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