Giving Retired Racehorses a New Chance at Life

With this retired racehorse project, thoroughbreds are given a second chance.

A woman is hugging a retired racehorse.

(TamaraLSanchez / Shutterstock.com)

When most people think of retirement, they may imagine selling their home and cruising the country in an RV, or perhaps spending more time with loved ones. Retired Thoroughbred horses all across North America are also realizing their own retirement dreams, thanks to a charity called After the Finish Line.

Going by the motto of “Rehab, Retrain, Rehome, Retire,” After the Finish Line raises money to award monthly grants to aftercare facilities across the US, Puerto Rico, and Canada. Since 2007, this retired racehorse project has raised money so that these beautiful animals find a good home and receive medical treatment to keep them in good health after their racing days.

Most Thoroughbred horses finish their racing careers by the age of 7, often due to injuries. When they retire, racetracks sometimes have trouble finding the horses a home. Some even face early demise due to slaughter or euthanasia, according to NBC Washington

Fortunately, with the help of charitable organizations like After the Finish Line and their donors, thousands of horses get their chance at a new life, not only surviving, but thriving! Many of them even transition into second careers as a hunter, jumper, dressage, eventer, western, trail, therapy, or companion horse. (It’s never too late to start over!)

Organizations such as After the Finish Line provide lifesaving support to thousands of horses. Take Kelley Stobie for example, who runs a horse rescue on her farm in Puerto Rico called Caribbean Thoroughbred Aftercare

Many horses are bred on the mainland and brought to the island for racing. But when they can no longer race, they need to find homes. Racetracks in Puerto Rico resort to euthanizing horses once they retire, or release them into the wild with no reliable food or water source. 

Stobie told The Paulick Report, “We simply don't have the resources down here (in Puerto Rico) to rehome so many horses. If there is a way to get them [back to the US mainland] we will try. If not, we find them homes [in the Caribbean] or they stay with us.” 

Thankfully, this year, Stobie received a $3,000 grant from After the Finish Line to help feed and rehome these horses, she tweeted. That money helps horses like All Hundreds, a former Tampa Bay racehorse that relocated to the Camarero Race Track in Puerto Rico. The gelding finished his career with a 7-7-7 record from 42 starts and $93,400 in earnings, as written on Caribbean Thoroughbred Aftercare. 

After the All Hundreds retired in March 2020, Stobie’s Caribbean Thoroughbred Aftercare went to work helping the horse find a home — even in the middle of a pandemic — arranging for him to travel back to the mainland and quarantine.

So where did All Hundreds end up? Right back at his first home on the mainland. Heather Wiley, who delivered the foal back in February 2013, caught wind of his retirement and gladly welcomed the horse back to his home.

This was all possible due to the support of Caribbean Thoroughbred Aftercare and After the Finish Line. “He is doing wonderful, a real sweetheart as always,” Heather Wiley told Thoroughbred Aftercare. 

After The Finish Line welcomes volunteers. They seek professionals from a range of backgrounds, including fundraising, graphic design, social media, writing skills, and photography. 

It seems that everyone can play their part to ensure that horses like All Hundreds finally find their forever home and live a joyful, healthy retirement. 

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