ASPCA Grants $273,000 to Equine Rescue Groups Assisting Retired Racehorses

23 groups join ASPCA Rescuing Racers Initiative, now in its fourth year
August 12, 2013

NEW YORK—The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today announced that 23 equine rescue organizations from across the nation have joined the ASPCA Rescuing Racers Initiative, now in its fourth year. The ASPCA Rescuing Racers Initiative is a major grants program which aids in the rescue and rehabilitation of retired racehorses to save them from slaughter, repurposing the horses for other areas of the equine world and giving them a new lease on life for events or pleasure riding. 

“Thoroughbreds frequently end up at livestock auctions—or worse, are sent to slaughterhouses—when their racing days are over, and it is through organizations like these recipients that retired racehorses are cared for,” said Jacque Schultz, senior director of the ASPCA Equine Fund. “These rescues are committed to after-care for retired racers, and we are thrilled to provide this opportunity to help them as they work to transition ex-racers out of the racing stable and into someone’s show barn or farm paddock. Additionally, they provide sanctuary for horses who are no longer physically fit for riding or adoption.”

The organizations joining the list of thoroughbred rescues and sanctuaries as part of the ASPCA Rescuing Racers Initiative for 2013 are:

  • Brook Hill Retirement Center for Horses, Va.
  • CANTER/National
  • CANTER, Calif.
  • CANTER, Mich.
  • CANTER, Ohio
  • Equine Outreach, Inc., Ore.
  • The Exceller Fund, Ky.
  • FL TRAC, Fla.
  • Humanity for Horses, Calif.
  • Friends of Ferdinand, Ind.
  • Glen Ellen Vocational Academy, Calif.
  • MidAtlantic Horse Rescue, Md.
  • New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program, Ohio
  • Oklahoma Thoroughbred Retirement Program, Okla.
  • Racer Placers. Wis.
  • Red Bucket Equine Rescue, Calif.
  • Second Chance Ranch, Wash.
  • Second Chance Thoroughbreds, N.Y.
  • Southern California Thoroughbred Rescue, Calif.
  • Standardbred Retirement Foundation, N.J.
  • Thoroughbred Placement and Rescue, Md.
  • Thoroughbred Retirement Network of Louisiana, La.
  • 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 $2,500–$25,000.  The grant funding helps the groups increase capacity for rescuing more horses and primarily focuses on training and rehabilitation costs such as dental care, therapeutic shoeing, and boarding to recover from career-ending injuries.

“There was a strong pool of candidates for this year who submitted compelling, well-documented requests,” said Schultz. “With so many good applicants, it was difficult to select recipients knowing that lives hang in the balance.” 

“We are profoundly grateful to be awarded a grant for our fencing repair project,” said Katie Merwick, president of Second Chance Ranch in Rainier, Wash. “Second Chance Ranch is an organization committed to excellence, with a clear vision for achieving optimum care for our horses. This grant makes it possible for us to continue our work and better serve both horses and youth in our community.”  

In 2012, the ASPCA awarded $1.8 million in the form of over 250 grants to equine welfare groups throughout the U.S. 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.

The ASPCA has an extensive history of equine protection around the country and continues to assist domestic and wild horses through legislation, advocacy, targeted grants and enforcement of the carriage horse and cruelty laws in New York City. To learn more about the ASPCA, please visit