Study Looks at Racehorses’ Transitions to Second Careers

The study indicates indicates a large percentage of horses are acquired from their owners, not auctions.
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A study on former racehorses transitioned to second career indicates a large percentage of them are acquired from their owners, not auctions.

The Retired Racehorse Training Project (RRTP) released the results of the study Jan. 9. It stemmed from a 2013 survey of the owners of 4,200 ex-racehorses in 47 states and Canada, the RRTP said.

The study shows 34% of retired horses were acquired directly from owners in racing and 31% from non-racing private owners. Another 13.5% were acquired from nonprofit placement or rescue operations, 9% from professional training or sales, and 2.3% from auctions.

"The public believes racing owners dump their retiring horses into auctions, and that a lucky few get rescued and adopted," RRTP president Steuart Pittman said in a release. "Our survey tells a different story. Most of these horses were not rescued. They were sold or donated through networks of people both inside and outside of racing who work very hard to transition these animals

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Tom LaMarra, a native of New Jersey and graduate of Rutgers University, has been news editor at The Blood-Horse since 1998. After graduation he worked at newspapers in New Jersey and Pennsylvania as an editor and reporter with a focus on municipal government and politics. He also worked at Daily Racing Form and Thoroughbred Times before joining The Blood-Horse. LaMarra, who has lived in Lexington since 1994, has won various writing awards and was recognized with the Old Hilltop Award for outstanding coverage of the horse racing industry. He likes to spend some of his spare time handicapping races.

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