Capping off a successful December promotion that resulted in 51 ex-racehorses finding new homes, the New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program announced a new partnership that will further enhance its abilities to place deserving horses into loving homes.
On Jan. 13, New Vocations Director Anna Ford announced that the Gallop On Riding Program in northeast Ohio has made 11 stalls available to New Vocations, and will collaborate with the re-homing organization to train ex-racehorses in field foxhunting and other disciplines, and help re-home them.
“With the new partnership, the Gallop On program will serve as a New Vocations facility … helping us better serve the horses in northern Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia,” says Ford, noting that the new facility is ideally situated near the Thistledown Racino and Beulah Park, and is just over an hour away from the Mountaineer Race Track.
In deciding to partner with New Vocations, Gallop On Director Heidi Van de Motter says it was a natural fit.
Noting that she has had great success with seven talented Thoroughbreds she previously adopted from New Vocations, Van de Motter says demand is high for talented foxhunters, and that Thoroughbreds are, hands down, the best.
“I have hunted a Thoroughbred for 42 years, I’ve never been on anything else,” she says. “The breed makes the best field hunter.”
And the proof is in her recent success training and adopting out four New Vocations OTTBs this past month!
Gallop On, which was founded in 2011, strives to provide equestrian and educational opportunities for underfunded young riders, while providing rehabilitation and retraining for noncompetitive Thoroughbred ex-racehorses.
The partnership comes at the conclusion of a very successful month at New Vocations.
Following its annual December promotion, which offers half off the adoption fee of a horse, the racehorse adoption program adopted out 51 ex-racehorses to new homes. This number broke the previous monthly adoption record of 41 horses, according to a press release.
And a young Kentucky student of Murray State University was among those fortunate to find a dream match at New Vocations.
Cortni Volkman adopted Pleasant Spring, a racemare she renamed Singing In Spring, after a Walt Whitman poem.
She met the mare in her stall, and knew almost instantly that the plain bay with a crooked star was her perfect match.
“As soon as I walked into her stall, she put her nose on me and started breathing on me,” Volkman says. “And I thought, ‘This is my horse!’ ”
After watching a rider put the mare through all three gaits, in both directions, and noting that Pleasant Spring easily picked up her right-lead canter, the deal was struck, she says.
“She’s one of those horses who is solidly built, but is so quiet, and such a fluid mover that you don’t hear her when she trots,” Volkman says, noting that she plans to train her as an Eventer.
Volkman’s satisfaction with her new mare, the happiness of other adopters and their horses, and the new partnership between New Vocations and Gallop On all add up to a promising new start to 2014.
Says Ford, “New Vocations has had the privilege of working with Heidi Van de Motter for several news now, and we are honored to be working with her program on a formal basis. The partnership is a natural fit, as Gallop On shares a similar mission and philosophy in working with retired racehorses.”