New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program — Anna Ford

Wasabi Ventures Stables recently did an interview with Anna Ford at the New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program. Learn more about them at http://newvocations.org/.

Q: Where is New Vocations based?

A: We have two locations in Ohio and also are in Kentucky, New York, and Pennsylvania. We also just opened a location in Louisiana in March.

Q: How long has your group been active?

A: We were formed in 1992. Over 6,000 horses have been rehomed via our program. We retire both Standardbreds and Thoroughbreds. The majority of our retirees, over 75%, are Thoroughbreds.

Q: What happens when a horse is accepted into your program?

A: We try to have as much info as possible before. Every horse is evaluated: what sort of rehab does it need, does it need letdown time, is there an injury, how long of a transition to the new pace will it need. Once the horse is physically/mentally sound, we transition it to being ridden. We learn who/what the horse is with the goal of promoting it accurately. Rehab can be 30 days to 1 year.

Q: What is next?

A: We put the horse on our website. Some might have their new owner hand-selected. Most owners are via our website. It typically takes 60 days to rehome a horse once it’s ready.

Q: How many farms do you work with to retrain your horses?

A: We do the retraining ourselves. The biggest farm is in Lexington, which we own. We have trainers at all of our farms to work with the horses.

Q: Do you have a story about a horse?

A: There are a ton of success stories on our website. One story that comes to mind is Sam P. He was a contender in the Kentucky Derby in 2007 and came through the program. He went on to be a successful dressage horse. Many people don’t think about horses at this level needing another career, but it happens to many horses.

Q: What makes your program unique?

A: We are unique due to the fact that we’ve been around the longest and are the largest. We aim at not just flipping horses. We are with them for a great bit of time. We take pride in having horses assessed and getting what they need. We track retirees for the first year and require 3 updates (3rd,9th,12th month). Applicants are screened by the veterinarian (needs vet reference). We also will take horses back if the pairing doesn’t work.

Q: If people want to help your program, what can they do?

A: Funding is number 1, so we’d love it when people make a donation. We also appreciate social media promotion of what we’re doing and spreading the word on available horses.