OTTB Adoption Program Spotlight: New Vocations

One day last month, I had the privilege of visiting New Vocations’ Lexington facility at West Wind Farm.

Located in the heart of the rolling, Bluegrass hills, it’s a beautiful operation and is currently home to 15 horses. Some of its residents have already been adopted and are waiting to transition out of the farm, while others receive daily, progressive conditioning under the guidance of facility manager and trainer Lisa Malloy.  ***update***  Lisa Malloy has moved and is no longer serving as New Vocation's trainer. The organization is searching for her replacement. 

Lisa Malloy with My Friend Ken, a winning son of Bowman's Band

New Vocations’ mission centers on rehabilitating and priming ex-racehorses for second careers. The organization has Thoroughbred facilities in Lexingotn, Marysville, Ohio and Hummelstown, Pa., as well as Standardbred farms in Ohio, Michigan, and Tennessee.

I have written a few blogs in the past about New Vocations horses (click here, here, and here) but I had never actually been able to see the farm in person, so this was a special treat. Executive director Anna Ford gave me a tour and I snapped some photos along the way with my iPhone, which I’d like to share.

Anna Ford with R Ranger, Discreet Cat's full brother and New Vocations' only pensioned horse 

I think it’s important to showcase retirement/rehabilitation farms such as New Vocations in order to garner more interest and support for these facilities. As many of you already realize, farms like New Vocations play a very important part in our industry, and I believe it’s our job to help them out!

New Vocations believes strongly in taking its time with each of its horses, which are all in different stages of rehabilitation. “As long as the horses are transitioning at a good rate and getting adopted, we let them develop at their own rate,” said Ford.

Upon This Rock, a very curious 3-year-old son of Rock Hard Ten

Oh, and in case you wanted an update on Advice, he is still doing just fine at New Vocations. The horse has not yet been adopted due to taking some extra time to settle into the facility. Ford said Advice had struggled with some weight issues, but had made considerable improvements in the last few weeks. He should be able to be transitioned into a new home very soon!  

Have you taken a tour of New Vocations or another Thoroughbred retirement or rehabilitation facility? What did you think?

Also, take a look at New Vocations’ brochure “What Your Newly Adopted Thoroughbred Wants You to Know.” It’s a cute pamphlet written by Malloy from the perspective of an OTTB. If you would like your very own copy, email me your address!

For more information about New Vocations, visit

One more thing, if you haven't seen the article I co-wrote with Ron Mitchell about the horses from Keith Asmussen's farm that were found at an auction known for its "kill buyers," check it out. Luckily, the mares are now in great hands at Donna Keen's Remember Me Rescue. One of the mares, Luxury of Time, will be shipped back to the farm of her breeders, the Mabee family's Golden Eagle Farm near Ramona, Calif. in about a month. I plan to write a blog about her once she arrives! 


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As a person who got my start in riding on OTTB's I have to say I am so GLAD when ANYONE puts them up front and gets more publicity for this cause.    I was 11 yrs old when I started riding and the stable I started with in NJ used to get horses that were coming off the track and retrain for lessons and show careers.   I am now 56 and can say I have NEVER had a bad experience with a "retired" racehorse and as show horses they try their hearts out for you once they know their jobs.    Before "imported" Warmbloods became the "fad" our Olympic Equestrians more often then not had Thoroughbreds as their team mates.   Just by virtue of the fact that they have the atheleticism to RUN, they can also do other things in OTHER sports as well.   There is nothing more ELEGANT than watching one of these graceful creatures performing Dressage, Jumping, etc.    Maybe if some of the "TB Breeders" would aim their sights on taking care of the products of their breedings from 'THE CRADLE TO THE GRAVE" then we would see a resurgence of the American Thoroughbred in ALL Equestrian sports.    Rather than sending our money overseas to buy some other country's breeds, we could pay a little more attention to finding that "diamond in the rough" who could one day be an Olympic mount.    It happened should be happening NOW!     If more competive riders would seek out these OTTB's we'd have fewer of them to worry about regarding their fates if they don't "do it" on the racetrack!

13 Jul 2012 8:51 AM

I've been a fan of New Vocations and have a cyberfriend who has adopted two NV "graduates." Positive publicity for the retired racehorse can only do good work, in my opinion. Thanks for the great writeups of NV over the years and glad you got to see firsthand what good things the teams are doing.

13 Jul 2012 10:11 AM


13 Jul 2012 4:07 PM

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