November 15, 2017 – Lexington, KY – New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program is halfway to its goal of rehoming 50 retiring racehorses with United States Pony Clubs members. This rehoming effort is part of the New Vocations Pony Club Challenge program. The program is a unique partnership between the nation’s oldest and largest racehorse adoption program and the United States Pony Clubs, an organization focused on developing character, leadership, confidence and a sense of community in youth through a program that teaches the care of horses and ponies, riding and mounted sports.
This program brings together United States Pony Clubs members, Horse Masters or Riding Centers in good standing who have achieved their C-1 certification or higher with retired Thoroughbred racehorses. The Challenge is designed to showcase the versatility of retired racehorses and provide Pony Club members with an educational tool to enhance their learning experiences.
Adopters of Challenge horses receive a free horse, an $1,800 stipend and the ability to compete against other Challenge members for $10,000 in cash and prizes at Pony Club Championships East in Tryon, N.C., in 2018. Competitors can ride in one of six disciplines: dressage, eventing, games, polocrosse, showjumping or western. The stipend has no restrictions; it can be used for veterinary expenses, training, transportation, entry fees or anything else pertaining to the care of the Challenge horse.
Once the Challenge is completed, adopters of Challenge horses are able to keep, sell or lease their horses. It is hoped that this innovative program will allow New Vocations to place even more retiring racehorses into caring, qualified homes each year.
“Placing horses into loving, qualified homes is at the heart of New Vocations’ mission, and partnering with Pony Club has allowed to expand our efforts and reach. We’re looking forward to adopting even more horses to Pony Club members and watching them compete at Champs East in 2018,” says New Vocations Program Director Anna Ford.
Of the 25 horses that have been placed in new homes, 16 of them plan to compete in Tryon in Eventing; three plan to compete in showjumping and six plan to compete in dressage. New Vocations is looking to place an additional 25 horses into approved homes by Jan. 31, 2018.
Funding for the New Vocations Pony Club Challenge is generously provided by the WaterShed Animal Fund, which invests in innovative programs with exemplary institutions and individuals to better the lives of companion animals. More information can be found at arnallfamilyfoundation.org
Interested in adopting a Pony Club Challenge horse? Visit newvocations.org or email Lindsay at Lindsay@horseadoption.com
About New Vocations – New Vocations first opened its doors to retired racehorses in 1992. Starting with a single farm in Dayton, Ohio, the program has grown to six facilities in Kentucky, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Serving over 40 racetracks, the program works directly with owners and trainers in need of aftercare for their horses. New Vocations leads the nation in racehorse adoptions, taking in over 450 horses a year. The focus is on adoption verses retirement as the solution for a large number of horses leaving the track. Through education and adoption, each horse gets a purpose and a home.
About Pony Club – The United States Pony Clubs, Inc. (Pony Club) was founded in 1954 as a nonprofit national youth organization to teach riding and horsemanship through a formal educational program. There are approximately 9,000 Pony Club members in over 600 clubs and riding centers throughout the country. Many of the nation’s top equestrians, including several of our Olympic team members, business professionals, government leaders and career military officers, have roots in Pony Club. Youth members range in age from as young as 4 through age 25. Pony Club also offers educational opportunities to a growing number of adults through Horsemasters membership.