ASPCA Rescuing Racers Initiative Request for Proposals

Now in its tenth year, the ASPCA Rescuing Racers Initiative has granted over $2 million to support former racehorses
April 22, 2019

NEW YORK–The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today announced it is requesting proposals aimed at increasing the number of horses placed in new homes and careers by organizations providing rescue and rehabilitation for retired race horses.

“The ASPCA is dedicated to ensuring horses nationwide have good welfare, and through the Rescuing Racers Initiative we are able to provide much-needed grant funding to the many groups around the country that provide critical resources to former racehorses,” said Dr. Emily Weiss, vice president of Equine Welfare for the ASPCA. “While their racing careers may have ended, these retirees still have much to offer as they transition into new homes.”

Funding is available to support the increase in capacity and efficiency of programs adopting out retired racehorses. Grants will be awarded for 12 months and range generally from $10,000-$25,000. Grants of up to $50,000 will be considered for innovative, potentially high impact programs that will substantially increase an organization’s capacity to rehome horses.

Eligible Applicants

  • Organizations that are established 501(c)(3) equine service organizations located within the United States, in good standing with the ASPCA, including no overdue progress or other reporting requirements from previous grants
  • Must participate in the rehabilitation and placement of 10 or more retired race horses (of any breed) annually
  • Must take back their returns when adoptions fail for whatever reason
  • Must transfer ownership to adopters within a reasonable period of time
  • Must be accredited by TAA and/or GFAS. Waivers will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • Must meet these additional organizational requirements.

Eligible Programs for Support

Funding under this program can be used for the following:

  • Training programs and other innovations including programs involving foster placements that increase capacity, decrease length of stay and/or improve adoption rates
  • Lay-up grants to allow injured retirees time to heal
  • Medical make-ready to include support for items such as gelding, therapeutic shoeing, surgeries to repair racing-related injuries and collaborative programs with veterinary colleges.

Applicants will be evaluated on the potential of their proposal to decrease the average length of stay, decrease average cost of care, and/or increase the number of horses their organizations can rehab, train, and place in the 12 months after funding.


  • Letters of Inquiry (LOIs): LOIs will be accepted until Friday, May 10, 2019 at 5 pm ET.
  • Candidates will be notified via email if their organization has been selected to complete a full proposal.
  • Full Proposals: The deadline for finalists selected to submit a full proposal via the ASPCA Grants Portal is Monday, June 10, 2019 at 5 pm ET.
  • Final Decisions: Full proposal applicants will be notified of final decisions by Monday, July 15, 2019.

Additional information on completing the LOI is available here.

The ASPCA is focused on ensuring horses nationwide have good welfare, which includes working collaboratively with stakeholders in both the rescue community and equine industries to help at-risk horses, as well as supporting humane legislation and advocacy, field rescue and targeted equine grants. Launched in 2010, the ASPCA Rescuing Racers Initiative has awarded over $2 million to prepare retired racers for new homes and second careers after their racing careers come to an end. For more information about the ASPCA’s efforts to help horses, visit