The ASPCA Grants $185,000 to Help Retired Racehorses

December 1, 2017

two horses in a pasture

Horses have a new reason to be happy!

On November 29, the ASPCA announced $185,000 in grant funding to 10 equine rescue groups to assist their efforts to rescue and rehabilitate retired racehorses. The grants were awarded as part of the ASPCA Rescuing Racers Initiative.

Launched in 2010, the ASPCA Rescuing Racers Initiative supports equine rescues and sanctuaries that provide retired racers with medical rehabilitation and re-training, which keeps them from falling victim to the cruel slaughter industry. Although their racing careers are over, these horses still have much to offer and their transition into new homes often requires significant time and resources. To date, the program has awarded over $2 million to prepare retired racers for life after their careers have come to an end.

Horses have been central to the ASPCA’s mission since the organization’s founding over 150 years ago. The ASPCA’s Equine Welfare department focuses on ensuring equines nationwide have good welfare by working collaboratively in both the rescue community and equine industries to help at-risk horses safely transition to new careers and homes, increasing safety net support for horse owners, and enhancing anti-cruelty efforts. In 2016, the ASPCA Equine Fund awarded over $1 million in grants to support 171 equine groups across the country.

Recipients of the 2017 ASPCA Rescuing Racers Initiative were each awarded a grant ranging from $10,000 to $36,000. This year’s recipients include:

  • CANTER (National)
  • Friends of Ferdinand (IN)
  • Kentucky Equine Humane Center Inc. (KY)
  • MidAtlantic Horse Rescue, Inc. (MD)
  • New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program (KY and OH)
  • Old Friends Inc. (KY)
  • ReRun Inc. (NY)
  • The Exceller Fund Inc. (KY)
  • Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (KY)

The ASPCA is also working to pass the Horse Racing Integrity Act of 2017 (H.R. 2651), federal legislation that would improve conditions for horses currently racing. The bill would establish an independent, non-governmental body to test for doping and enforce racehorse doping standards, and encourage consistent enforcement of doping regulations across state lines. It would also prohibit the use of pain-relieving and performance-enhancing medications 24 hours before a race. These drugs are often used to mask underlying health issues, allowing horses to over-exert and injure themselves on the track.

If you’d like to stay up to date on our efforts to protect horses and be alerted when they need your help, join the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade today. Already a horse advocate and want to take the next step? Please consider joining the ASPCA's Horse Action Team, a special group of dedicated animal advocates who are willing to use their voices to help at-risk horses.