The newly created Lexington-based We Are Here Initiative (WAHI) has been launched to assist Thoroughbreds that have been retired from horse racing due to financial and economic strain brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The non-profit organization will serve as a layover point for Thoroughbreds before being placed in an approved aftercare facility, in an effort to ease the influx of horses on aftercare and adoption organizations. With limited racing opportunities as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many owners and smaller training operations were forced to retire some of their runners, so We Are Here Initiative has been proactively created to facilitate a horses’ journey after leaving the racetrack.
To be eligible, horses must be registered Thoroughbreds trained by a licensed trainer in the United States; horses must be located at a U.S .licensed racetrack or training facility, or verified to be eligible for the 2020 racing season; and horses will require a current Coggins, health certificate, and the completed “We Are Here” documentation.
“When racetracks closed down, I began to worry that the horses and their wonderful caretakers were going to need us at the very moment most aftercare facilities were either closed or dealing with severe financial strain,” said Dorothy Crowell, Deputy Director of We Are Here Initiative and Secretariat Center Board President. “The Kentucky Horse Park stepped up to the plate to offer 100 stalls, and a partnership was formed with the Secretariat Center to provide a place for these horses to go until such a time as space opens in the various Aftercares nationwide.”
For more information about the We Are Here Initiative, visit www.wahi.info. To contact the We Are Here Hotline, dial 833-WAH-OTTB (833-924-6882).