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Fostering hope for unwanted horses

At facilities across New England there are barn owners who ‘leave a stall open’ for that moment when an unwanted racehorse needs to find safe place. And when the call for help comes, sometimes unexpectedly, activity inside a weathered structure gears up to welcome a horse nobody else wants. Bedding is put down, buckets are filled, and a plan is devised to get the ex-racehorse settled in and prepared for a new life. It’s these foster volunteers who account for the successful transition of about 10 percent of ex-racehorse Thoroughbreds who pass through the CANTER New England program, says volunteer […]

Woodbine exerciser gains ground re-homing TBs

At the Woodbine Race Track in Toronto works an exercise rider who wears two hats. By day, April LeBlanc gallops Thoroughbreds for trainers who shoot for big winnings; by night, she re-homes equines who didn’t earn very well as racehorse, but who pay dividends in other ways. With her careful oversight and training, many become gentle school horses for students as young as nine. Competing for and winning ribbons as hunter/jumpers and eventers, they prove their worth. And in spite of an often underserved reputation as being ‘flighty’ or ‘hot,’ these Thoroughbreds are often the most cool-headed and lovable creatures […]

And ‘Justice’ for all, a stable for everyman

Working 22 years for the Kentucky Department of Corrections wasn’t always easy, and it certainly wasn’t the type of career John C. Nolley ever imagined would lead to Thoroughbreds. Or racing. The Kentuckian grew up just a few miles from Churchill Downs, but in other ways, he lived quite a distance from the ‘sport of kings.’ He spent five years in the Marine Corps before going to work in administration for the Kentucky Department of Corrections. And after a chance meeting with a barn manager, he found his way to horses. And more specifically, the fields and barns of the […]