On Aftercare

On Aftercare: For Portal, Connections Who Care Came Through

Evergreen Stables was a claiming partnership of individuals, friends, family and connections--not all of whom knew each other--with trainer Jordan Blair. On May 23, 2019, Blair claimed Portal (Arch), a late foal of 2014, at Churchill Downs for $40,000. "Portal was a super cool horse and he was being trained by a good friend Ian Wilkes," said Blair. "We had been watching him and he was running well. Plus, he is a beautiful, striking almost black horse and had a neat personality." Portal won the next two times out in...

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If Something Needs to Get Done, Ask A Busy Pre-Med Student

Peyton Skaggs is a junior in the Lewis Honors College of the University of Kentucky studying neuroscience and psychology. She was recently accepted into the University of Kentucky's College of Medicine Early Assurance Program. Somehow, she also found time to start The Working Cat Project (WCP), a nonprofit based out of Lexington, KY. The goal of WCP is to build a network of property owners willing to provide a safe haven for at-risk feral cats as barn cats. The program is nearing the 100 cats-placed milestone and has networked with...

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At Outside In, OTTBS Bring Needed Comfort

Jennifer McVoy is a Licensed Master Social Worker and the founder of Out Side In, located in Grand Haven, MI, who grew up riding and showing Arabians. Her first educational degree was in business and she began her work life in the corporate world, but, early on, she decided that it wasn't for her and went back to school to earn her Master's Degree in Social Work. For 15 years, she practiced traditional therapy in a public-school setting and was always aware that horses could make a difference for people...

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Second Chances Farm Manager Heidi Richards Made the Program Happen and is Awarded by CA

Heidi Richards is a lifelong horsewoman and rancher. She grew up riding, and at age 16, began working at a Thoroughbred training center. Since that time, Richards has re-trained and transitioned more than 100 off-track Thoroughbreds. When Richards moved to Coalinga, California, a city in Fresno County and the western San Joaquin Valley, for college, she began a 10-year career at Harris Farms where she worked in every aspect of the breeding and training of Thoroughbreds. Her career on the farm ended when Richards began to feel conflicted about the...

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On Aftercare: With Pardo At the Helm, Aftercare Charles Town Stays on Track

Aftercare of Charles Town (ACT) was founded in 2013 under the corporate name of Equine Encore Performance at Charles Town. ACT's stated purpose is the rehoming, repurposing and retirement of Thoroughbreds that have raced and trained at Charles Town Races located in Charles Town, WV. The program was started with a fund from the Charles Town Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association and is supplemented with a paddock fee (start fee) of $5 per start. Until last fall, the paddock fee contribution was $2 per start. In 2019, ACT assisted 43...

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If We Open It, Will They Come?

The scope and pace of how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected daily life, the national economy, and by extension, the Thoroughbred racing business, is dizzying. For so many, the hardest aspect of the pandemic-induced crisis is the uncertainty about if and when things will go back to the old normal. The pandemic is like nothing we have experienced before and therefore, we have no models on which to rely. With the delayed opening of most racetracks, and with others having no opening day in sight, many people are asking if...

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Serenity and Grace

In 2018, Wendy Cyr wasn't quite ready to get another horse but often scanned the available off-track Thoroughbreds on the Thoroughbred Adoption Network. This time was different. She came to a dark gray one-eyed mare named Cosmic Serenity (Cosmonaut- Gracefully Done) aka Serena, listed by ACTT Naturally. Cyr's last horse was a gray mare named Serena who had to be euthanized at age 20 and her childhood mount was an off-track Thoroughbred with one eye who took her through pony club. She showed the post to her husband. "My husband...

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Thoroughbreds Give Combat Veterans a New Lease on Life at Down The Stretch Ranch

Boone McCanna was one of the leading jockey agents in Northern California, and prior to that in Washington, having represented Kevin Krigger, Dennis Carr, and Frank Alvarado among others. A third-generation horseman, McCanna had a vision to combine the tranquility of the his family's horse ranch outside Spokane, where his father would rest his racehorses in the off-season, with off-track Thoroughbreds and veterans in need of relief from the effects of PTSD suffered while serving in combat. In 2014, with the help of Jerry and Janet Hollendorfer, Down The Stretch...

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On Aftercare: Square Peg Pairs Children On Autism Spectrum With Off-Track Thoroughbreds

The Center for Disease Control reports that in 2020 approximately 1 in 54 children in the U.S. has been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). April is Autism Awareness Month, so it is fitting that we visit with Joell Dunlap, founder of The Square Peg Foundation, which pairs off-track Thoroughbreds with children affected by an ASD and their families. Founded in 2004, Square Peg operates out of two facilities in the Bay Area of California with 19 horses in total. Of the 19 horses, 13 are off-track Thoroughbreds. Before...

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On Aftercare: FLTRAC

Florida Thoroughbred Retirement and Adoptive Care (FLTRAC) originated as an effort put forth, beginning in 2009, by the Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association (FHBPA), Calder Race Course, Gulfstream Park and professional jockeys, to find second careers and homes for horses that raced in South Florida. The non-profit organization itself was founded in 2010. When Thoroughbred trainer Jena Antonucci became the organization's vice president in 2016, there were an unmanageable 297 horses spread out between several locations in Indiantown, FL. One of the first changes she made was to consolidate...

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On Aftercare: United Pegasus Foundation Still Going Strong After 25 Years

The United Pegasus Foundation (UPF) was founded in 1994 by Helen Meredith. Meredith moved here from England in 1990 to work in the Thoroughbred racing industry as she had in the United Kingdom and France. Currently, UPF has two farms, one in Tehachapi with 46 horses, and the other in San Jacinto that holds the remaining of the 124 horses in UPF care. UPF was one of the first Thoroughbred sanctuaries to be accredited by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries and the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance. UPF and Meredith have...

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