PROSPECT, Ky. — Thoroughbred horses get plenty of attention when they are on the racetrack, but many need a place to live out their lives after their careers are said and done.
Second Stride is a non-profit organization that provides professional rehabilitation, retraining, and placement for retired thoroughbred racehorses in qualified homes.
Second Stride is based on volunteers who are active in other areas of the racing industry such as owners, partnership managers, handicappers, and trainers. They need volunteers to help in many capacities like equine mane pullers and fundraisers.
While the horses are being retrained, Second Stride networks to ensure a timely transition into new and loving homes. Susan Brown, the program manager, said they have adopted out over 1000 since 2005.
“They come off the racetrack typically showing up around here anywhere from 3 to 7 years old,” said Brown. “Horses can live anywhere from 25 to 30 years old, that’s quite a long time for a second career.”
In order to donate a horse, the current owners have to submit a donation form and follow the requirements for a horse to enter the Second Stride adoption program.
Applicants to adopt a horse are carefully vetted once an application is submitted. Brown said it is because they want to make sure where a horse winds up is a good fit for them and their new family.
“We just want to care for them in the elder years. We want to make sure they are happy and getting the life they deserve after they’ve given so much,” she said.