Inside Aftercare

Inside Aftercare is a weekly feature in the BloodHorse Daily focusing on new aftercare initiatives and off-track Thoroughbred stories.

The Future of Aftercare Funding: An OTTB Subsidy

By: Erin Shea, @BH_EShea Two major questions arise when horses first retire from racing: where will they go, and who will fund the next chapter of their lives? For individuals not cut out for the breeding shed, welcomed home to a private farm, or placed into a program to be purchased for a second career, the future can be dicey, especially since these horses are no longer earning a paycheck. While... Read More

Western Riders Combat Stigma of Riding Thoroughbreds

By: Erin Shea, @BH_EShea "Thoroughbreds are too high-strung." "Thoroughbreds have horrible habits from being in so many places." "Thoroughbreds are too big and can't make tight turns." Those quotes are just a sample that riders of off-track Thoroughbreds have heard while revealing their mounts' former lives. But those who know the truth about riding OTTBs are trying to change that perception of the... Read More

Social Media Communities Fuel the OTTB Movement

With more than 54,000 members, OTTB Connect is one of the largest horse-related groups on Facebook. From something that started as a place to buy and sell off-track Thoroughbreds, the group's creator and current administrator has seen it transform into a large community where off-track Thoroughbred lovers share stories, educate one another, and even organize efforts to get horses out of bad situations.... Read More

CANTER PA Promotes Rider Education Through Scholarship

By: Erin Shea, @BH_EShea The Pennsylvania chapter of the Communication Alliance to Network Thoroughbred Ex-Racehorses (CANTER) recently awarded $500 scholarships to three off-track Thoroughbred owners in the Mid-Atlantic region to further promote their riding and training education. The awarded funds for the Becky Julian Scholarship are to be used for training purposes, including riding lessons, clinics... Read More

New Organization Connects Aftercare Dots in Maryland

By: Erin Shea, @BH_EShea If you're an owner or trainer in Maryland with a racehorse that needs to retire and you have no connections in aftercare or other equine disciplines, where do you turn? A new organization is aiming to be the answer. The Maryland Horsemen's Association, the Maryland Jockey Club, Maryland Thoroughbred Breeders Association, local jockeys, and other racetrackers saw a need to help... Read More

TRF Fundraising Initiative Gives Ownership Feel

By: Erin Shea, @BH_EShea An initiative launched by the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation gives donors an opportunity to help provide for the care of a former racehorse while getting the feel of horse ownership without the added responsibilities. If a donor chooses to become a sponsor, which starts at $250, the TRF will send regular updates on the horse and may allow visits as well, depending on the... Read More

Little Red Feather Expands Network into Aftercare

By: Erin Shea, @BH_EShea The Little Red Feather partnership has been at the forefront of innovation for Thoroughbred ownership groups. From launching in 2002, the group now has more than 300 active partners, has successfully crowdsourced a winner through their LRF Thoroughbred Fund , and now is stepping into aftercare. Through a new 501(c)(3) organization called Little Red Feather Cares launched in... Read More

Former Derby Runner, Former NFL Player Team Up

By: Erin Shea, @BH_EShea Just as most of us horse-crazy people have done, Jeff Tow-Arnett found himself enamored with an off-track Thoroughbred named "Noah" after seeing an online listing. "I read Noah's biography and I said, 'That's the horse I want. I don't need to read (about any others), that's the one that I want,'" Tow-Arnett said of Nowhere to Hide , an also-ran in the 2009 Kentucky Derby Presented... Read More

Arapahoe Claimer Takes to Dressage While Still Racing

By: Erin Shea, @BH_EShea Geno's Bambino is being fine-tuned by his owner Kate Anderson for the upcoming Arapahoe Park meet. But the 6-year-old Decarchy gelding is doing more than just breezing like a typical racehorse in training. Anderson and the Golden Creek Equine staff have been training "Geno" in classical dressage and even experimenting with some trail work when he's not at the track. "I took... Read More

Aftercare Orgs Hope Derby Donation Grows Legs

By: Erin Shea, @BH_EShea An hour after Always Dreaming crossed the finish line first in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1), the colt's trainer made an announcement about his Derby prize, a new Ram truck. "I will definitely take the truck because it has significant sentimental meaning to me," Todd Pletcher said. "But I'd like to donate the value of the truck to Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance... Read More

Former Derby Runners Have Varied Second Careers

By: Erin Shea, @BH_EShea On the first Saturday in May in 2006, crossing the finish line 8 1/2 lengths back from the ill-fated Barbaro , a grey runner ran across the wire of the 132nd Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1) at Churchill Downs . In Pennsylvania, Gail Thayer was watching the race, not knowing that one day the horse she saw run third would one day be in her barn. Around three years... Read More

Rehoming Agent Initiative Aims to Bridge Aftercare Gaps

By: Erin Shea, @BH_EShea Bridging the gap between racing and riding has always been a key component to successfully moving retired Thoroughbreds off the track and into new homes. Since not all racing owners and trainers have the ability and time to track down potential new owners for their former charges, and not every area is serviced by an aftercare organization, where can they turn? The Retired... Read More

Buyers Shouldn't Overlook OTTBs With Racing Injuries

By: Erin Shea, @BH_EShea Dreams of conquering a four-star course or cruising around a show ring aboard a stylish, square-kneed hunter, ending the day with a plethora of blue ribbons, are familiar for many equestrians. Of course, the ribbons and glory came from spotting the perfect diamond in the rough—a strikingly beautiful Thoroughbred who just didn't want to run and was retired sound and ready to... Read More

Ownership Group Makes Aftercare a Priority

By: Erin Shea, @BH_EShea While ending up in the winner's circle is ultimate goal for Thoroughbred owners, one partnership tries just as hard to find homes for former charges once their racing days are over. Ten Strike Racing—which is run by Marshall Gramm and Clay Sanders, plus 25 other partners—campaigns graded stakes placed Allied Air Raid and already counts more than 80 wins since officially combining... Read More

Blowen to Discuss Aftercare Economic Value at IFAR

By: Erin Shea, @BH_EShea For the first time, Thoroughbred aftercare will have a deserved spotlight in a part of the larger international racing conversation. Coinciding with the Pan American conference in Washington D.C., the newly established International Forum for the Aftercare of Racehorses (IFAR) May 17-18 hopes to highlight many topics including the promotion of Thoroughbreds in second careers... Read More

Racetracker Has Eye for OTTB Talent

By: Erin Shea, @BH_EShea When Thoroughbreds reigned supreme in the hunter-jumper ranks, the road from racetrack to show ring for horses was mostly through connections made with people who knew their way around the backside. As the dynamics of aftercare and sport horse purchasing changed in the age of the internet—and with the rise of many aftercare organizations participating in retraining—the path... Read More

Machmer Hall’s Brodgen Builds Bridges to Rehome OTTBs

By: Erin Shea, @BH_EShea Soon after multiple graded stakes winner Kid Cruz was pulled up in a claiming race at Aqueduct Racetrack March 19, his breeder, Machmer Hall's Carrie Brodgen tweeted : "Just got the call, Kid Cruz is coming home! He has a tendon, but will be fine. Gelding, vacation and 2nd career next!" Kid Cruz winning the Dwyer Stakes. Photo: Coglianese Photos/Chelsea Durand Brodgen, who... Read More

Secretariat Center Joins Horse Country to Promote OTTBs

Since launching tours in 2015, Horse Country has given the public an opportunity to see inside Kentucky's top breeding farms where Thoroughbreds are foaled and raised—but now they are adding another location to show what happens to Thoroughbreds once their racing careers are finished. Starting March 18 through the "Meet The Neighbors" tour, the Maker's Mark Secretariat Center (MMSC) will be opening... Read More

Ex-Racehorses Keep Racegoers Safe in Australia

A group of off-track Thoroughbreds in Sydney, Australia has found a second career not too far from their first one. The Australian Turf Club's Mounted Security Division, which was formed in 2010 to patrol race days and other events at the four area tracks, uses former racehorses as their mounts of choice. ... Read More

The Seal of Approval

If you're looking to make a donation to a charity, one of the biggest factors is finding out how that organization spends its money. Look at organizations who are accredited by the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance and are grant recipients from Thoroughbred Charities of America. Both organizations, although slightly different in their mission--TCA grants money, while TAA grants funds and gives accreditation--have lengthy application processes that require disclosure of everything from equine inventories and employees to spending and adoption policies. ... Read More

Q&A: The Makeover Effect on the Market

As the 2017 Thoroughbred Makeover is shaping up to be the largest in its relatively short history, Erin Shea of BloodHorse talked to RRP's president, Steuart Pittman, about the effect the event has had on the off-track Thoroughbred market throughout the last few years. ... Read More

Aftercare Buzz at the World’s Richest Race

By: Erin Shea, @BH_EShea The inaugural $12 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) Jan. 28 at Gulfstream Park created a whole lot of buzz with its unique set up, the rematch between California Chrome and Arrogate , the largest purse in the world, the Pegasus Win-Win Sweepstakes, and its own branding initiatives calling racegoers to "be part of history." However, it wasn't just the race or the sport... Read More

Building The Market for Ex-Racehorses

In the last few years Thoroughbred aftercare has evolved from a small handful of charities helping horses in need to a booming movement with its own large events, market for horses, and even off-track superstars. But those inside the aftercare industry say there is still a lot of work to be done. ... Read More

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