Saturday, October 1, 2016
Retired Racehorse Project
Maryland is horse country and is particularly known for the sport of kings, horse racing and the state is the home pf the second jewel in racing's Triple Crown, the Preakness.
But what happens to racehorses once they retire from racing? The best are selected for breeding, some are sold off, but many are euthanized. Some are sold for slaughter, since race tracks will ban owners from racing if they are found to have sold Thoroughbreds for slaughter.
All Thoroughbreds are tattooed on the inside of the upper lip. Concerned groups monitor auctions and large sales for horses with such tattoos and can find out the horse's entire history within minutes from that number.
That still leaves a lot of horses, most still young, that are put down simply because they don't make money running for their owners anymore. Steuart Pittman, of Dodon Farm in Davidsonville, helped create the Retired Racehorse Project (RRP) to offer a different solution for these horses – retraining for a new career.
Thoroughbreds are exceptionally good at running fast. But they are also bred to be intelligent, easily handled and trained by many people, and to have calm temperaments. That makes them great for all sorts of equestrian sports, such as riding and trail horses, as polo ponies, and for jumping, dressage and three-day eventing (a combination of show jumping, dressage, and a timed run over a course of jumps, water hazards and other obstacles).