Old Friends, a retirement sanctuary for horses who will never be ridden again, and New Vocations, a re-training and re-homing organization geared to find racehorses second jobs, will work together to ensure that horses in their care get on the right path, according to directors of both horse charities.
By sharing responsibilities, the two organizations have enhanced their capacity to offer a retiring horse more options. If a horse admitted to New Vocations for re-training as a sport horse proves to be better suited for sanctuary retirement, that same horse, under the auspices of the new partnership, would now have the option to move to Old Friends to enjoy full retirement.
And, by contrast, if Old Friends gets a young retiree with the potential to become a sport horse, that animal now has the opportunity of folding in to the New Vocations training program.
As was the case for injured ex-racehorse Gameday News. Owned and trained by D. Wayne Lukas, Gameday injured his ankle in an allowance race and was retired to Old Friends. After two years of care and paddock rest, a veterinary check revealed that Gameday was good to go for a new career.
So, Gameday was sent to New Vocations to begin working under saddle.
“It’s a clear case of doing what’s best for the athlete,” said Old Friends president Michael Blowen. “He’s a beautiful, energetic, kind horse who is adored by the staff and visitors. But he’s too young and healthy to be retired.”
He added that he is grateful to both New Vocations for accepting him into their program, and to the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance, which is helping to fund both charities, and to both for inspiring a new spirit of collaboration among charities.
Anna Ford, New Vocations program director, states the new partnership will foster more opportunity for retired racehorses.