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ASPCA Celebrates Five Years of the ‘Rescuing Racers’ Initiative

The special grants program has provided $1.7 million to equine rescue groups across the U.S.
July 29, 2014

NEW YORK—The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today announced that it has granted over $1.7 million to equine rescue groups assisting retired racehorses since launching the ASPCA Rescuing Racers Initiative in 2010. A major grants program, the ASPCA Rescuing Racers Initiative aids in the rescue and rehabilitation of retired racehorses to save them from slaughter. The program repurposes the horses for other equine functions and gives them a new lease on life for events or pleasure riding. Now in its fifth year, this total includes this year’s grants: $250,000 to 25 equine rescue organizations as part of the 2014 ASPCA Rescuing Racers Initiative.

“The ASPCA Rescuing Racers Initiative began with an anonymous donation of $1 million, and we’ve been fortunate enough to carry on this much-needed grants program thanks to the continued generosity of that donor and many other animal advocates,” said Jacque Schultz, senior director of the ASPCA Equine Fund. “We’re grateful to have the resources to assist these rescues, which provide sanctuary and after-care to retired racers, saving them from ending up at livestock auctions and slaughterhouses.”

The organizations joining the list of rescues and sanctuaries as part of the ASPCA Rescuing Racers Initiative for 2014 are:

  • Akindale Rehabilitation & Land Conservation, N.Y.
  • Brook Hill Retirement Center for Horses, Va.
  • CANTER/National
  • CANTER, Mich.
  • CANTER, OH
  • Equine Outreach, Inc., Ore.
  • The Exceller Fund, Ky.
  • FL TRAC, Fla.
  • Friends of Ferdinand, Ind.
  • Hidden Acres TB Rescue, Fla.
  • Hooved Animal HS, Ill.
  • Kearney Area Community Fdtn/Double R ER, Neb.
  • Kentucky Equine Humane Center, Ky.
  • Makers Mark Secretariat Center, Ky.
  • MidAtlantic Horse Rescue, Md.
  • Neigh Savers Fdtn, Calif.
  • New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program, OH
  • Red Bucket Equine Rescue, Calif.
  • Rerun Inc., Va.
  • Second Stride, N.Y.
  • Southern California Thoroughbred Rescue, Calif.
  • Standardbred Retirement Foundation, N.J.
  • Thoroughbred Athletes, Okla.
  • Thoroughbred Placement and Rescue, Md.
  • United Pegasus Foundation, Calif.

The selected recipients include a wide range of equine rescues from 14 states, and will each be awarded a grant ranging from $1,500–$25,000.  The grant funding helps the groups increase capacity for rescuing more horses and this year primarily focused on training and rehabilitation costs such as veterinary care, therapeutic shoeing, and boarding to recover from career-ending injuries.

“We received 45 applications this year – the highest number of applications to date – and with so many strong candidates, it was difficult to select recipients knowing that lives hang in the balance,” said Schultz. “We are thrilled to provide this opportunity to these rescues to help them in their work to transition ex-racers out of the racing stable and into someone’s show barn or farm paddock.”

“Rescuing is only the beginning,” said Susan Peirce, president and founder of Red Bucket Equine Rescue, one of the grant recipients. “With deep appreciation to the ASPCA Rescuing Racers Initiative, we will be able to continue to rescue, rehabilitate and train deserving equines.”

In 2013, the ASPCA awarded $1.4 million in grants to support equine rescues and sanctuaries in 43 states and the District of Columbia. The grants were primarily awarded as part of the ASPCA Equine Fund, which provides grants to non-profit equine welfare organizations in the U.S. for purposes in alignment with their efforts to protect horses. The grants program seeks to award equine organizations who strive to achieve best practices, including sound horse care, maintenance of updated websites and robust fundraising practices. Since 2008, the ASPCA Equine Fund has awarded a total of approximately $5.5 million to over 450 organizations.

The ASPCA has an extensive history of equine protection around the country and continues to assist domestic and wild horses through legislation, advocacy and targeted grants. To learn more about the ASPCA, please visit www.aspca.org