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Mickey, Jr. and Ronnie Burke at the 2015 Jugette. Photo credit: Raymond Lance

New Vocations at Mereworth Farm Receives $100,000 from Foundation Donors

Lexington, Ky – December, 15 2016 – New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program announced today that  leading harness racing owner Burke Racing Stable and an anonymous Thoroughbred donor have become the newest $50,000 Foundation Donors for the New Vocations Capital Campaign. To date the campaign has raised over $1.6 million of the $2 million goal needed to build the country’s premier racehorse aftercare facility on historic Mereworth Farm.

“New Vocations has been close to my heart for the past 24 years.  Ronnie and I both feel this is a great way to show our support for the wonderful work this organization does for the many horses entering the program and getting adopted each year,” said Mickey Burke, owner with son Ronnie, of Burke Racing Stable.

“We are blessed to have leaders in both the Thoroughbred and Standardbred industry supporting our Capital Campaign. New Vocations at Mereworth Farm is already proving to increase our ability to get more horses transitioned into new homes,” said Anna Ford New Vocations’ Thoroughbred Program Director.

The New Vocations Capital Campaign was launched in May of 2015 and the first group of horses moved into the Whirlwind Poppy barn on April 15, 2016.  The Lexington team has been able to carry on the aftercare operations as usual in spite of being in the middle of a constant construction zone.  As of December, 110 horses have come to the new facility and 80 have already been adopted. Once the project is complete, the new facility will double the number of horses New Vocations is able to take at its Lexington operation.

To follow the campaign’s progress and learn more about the naming and giving opportunities visitwww.newvocations.org/capital-campaign.

About New Vocations

Founded in 1992, New Vocations has grown into the largest racehorse adoption program in the country. Its mission to rehabilitate, retrain and rehome retired racehorses has led to the placement of over 6,000 individuals, with over 400 retirees entering the program each year. With six facilities in Kentucky, Ohio and Pennsylvania, New Vocations serves over 40 racetracks, working directly with owners and trainers in need of equine aftercare options.

About Mereworth Farm and the Susan S. Donaldson Foundation

Mereworth Farm, a 1,200-acre tract of bluegrass used for generations as a nursery for over 170 stakes-winning Thoroughbreds, was founded in 1924 by Walter J. Salmon, Sr. and now serves as a sanctuary for unwanted equines and retired racehorses.  Susan Salmon Donaldson acquired Mereworth Farm in 1986 upon the death of her father, Walter J. Salmon, Jr.  In 1989, she established the Susan S. Donaldson Foundation to preserve Mereworth after her death as a home for unwanted animals into perpetuity. Donaldson passed in 2011, and her Foundation has worked tirelessly to restore the farm to its original glory, installing new fence lines, seeding pastures, rehabilitating barns and clearing brush. With 153 horses on the property, 141 of which are Thoroughbreds plus six Standardbreds, Mereworth is fulfilling Donaldson’s mission to provide a safe haven for horses in need.


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