Ten Standardbreds with collective earnings of more than $1 million are in trouble. The horses are: All American Daddy, who has earned $489,000; Big Money by Western Hanover; Chuckie Two; Desired Goal by Malabar Man; Third Down Delight, formerly named Spensor Hanover; 8 year old Barretts Toy by Playful Toy; Evil Grin by Die Laughing; Second Thought by Mr. Vic (who may be in foal); and 12 year old Dusty Lane Ralph and Windsong Fortune, with earnings of $272,000.
The tagging for a trip to slaughter has already begun as they stand in pens in New Holland, PA. While it appears that at least 2 will need full retirement based on photos of their worn legs, particularly All American Daddy, others may also. The Standardbred Retirement Foundation (SRF) desperately wants to help them, but taking on the risk of having to retire all the horses for life is a huge undertaking, financially and otherwise.
SRF recently took in seven from the same situation and another ten from similar circumstances in 2014; of these, only one was adopted and one humanely put at peace. Fifteen remain in need of homes, now bringing SRF's financial commitment to paying for the full care of 188 horses every day.
"We are struggling to meet our budget this year already," explained Judy Bokman, SRF's Executive Director. " We will be putting all the horses at risk if we were to take in more at this time. This is how organizations turn good intentions into starving animals. Being involved in the day to day and looking these horses in their eyes makes it so very difficult to say we do not have the funds to do the right thing. Caring for these ten horses until they pass could turn into a lifelong commitment of more than $40,000 annually should they all need full retirement or are not adopted."
The cost to take in one horse and to provide all the necessary steps of paying their fees, shipping, quarantine, rehabilitation, veterinary care, and blacksmith and dental care is approximately $1500. But then what? That is where SRF hits the wall.
SRF is not giving up and is looking for other options for the ten. Their deadline is tonight, and SRF is asking the breeders and owners of these horses to step up and provide a home for their horses in order to keep them from this horrific end. One particular gelding had 23 owners in his career, so chances are 150 people have been involved with these horses during their racing and breeding days. Think about the money earned. And with several states providing Breeders Awards, perpetual monies were enjoyed by the breeders throughout their careers. It didn't matter who the owner was or how many times the horse changed hands. Here's an opportunity to give back, to do the right thing, and it is urgent.
In addition to asking those who owned and bred these horses, SRF is also asking anyone with an interest in helping but do not have a farm, to consider that for a mere cost of a cup of coffee and a donut a day they can provide one horse with a life in pasture. SRF is familiar with retirement farms offering reasonable rates and will facilitate all offers of help.
Today, for the next 12 hours or so, this situation needs attention. To offer a home, or for information on retiring one at a farm, please contact SRF at 732 446-4422, or email firstname.lastname@example.org before this evening, Wednesday, Sept. 3. (Standardbred Retirement Foundation)