Old Friends and New Vocations partner to help Thoroughbreds

PJMIII
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Thu Apr 03, 2014 5:01 pm

Old Friends and New Vocations have entered into an agreement to benefit Thoroughbreds in their post-racing and post-breeding careers.

http://www.brisnet.com/cgi-bin/editoria ... i?id=43637
WarBiscuit
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Thu Apr 03, 2014 6:15 pm

Great idea. Let them remain active and have some fun for as long as possible. Hopefully, there will be plenty of time down
the road to enjoy their paddocks and soak up the sun. I'll bet Gameday News is happy about this as well!

WarBiscuit
"One horse-laugh is worth ten thousand syllogisms. It is not only more effective; it is also vastly more intelligent." H.L. Mencken
BlindLucky
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Fri Apr 04, 2014 11:50 am

This is a great partnership. Makes a lot of sense.

I remember asking to see Smokey Stover at Old Friends a few years ago after his retirement, and they said he wasn't at the farm, he was off at a hunter/jumper show. Not sure who took over his training after he was retired or how they worked out his adoption, but he didn't hang around the farm long :)

Old Friends is a great place for those that really are in their retirement years, but for healthy young horses, I think this is a great idea.
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lurkey mclurker
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Sun Sep 13, 2015 5:48 pm

Via Twitter today:
Donna Brothers ‏@donnabbrothers 10m 10 minutes ago

Kudos to Repole & Starlight/StarLadies Racing! Prominent Racehorse Owners Donate $100,000 to New Vocations: http://www.thehorse.com/articles/36414/ ... -vocations
Here is the article:
Prominent Racehorse Owners Donate $100,000 to New Vocations
Edited Press Release Sep 13, 2015

New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program announced that prominent racehorse owner Mike Repole and leading syndicate Starlight Racing, along with StarLadies Racing, each donated $50,000 to become Foundation Donors of the program’s capital campaign. New Vocations hopes other owners and syndicates will follow to complete the project.

In May, New Vocations launched its capital campaign to build the nation’s premier racehorse adoption facility in Lexington, Kentucky, on the historic Mereworth Farm. Once complete, the new facility, which will include two 15-stall barns, an indoor arena, outdoor arena, office, and multiple pastures and paddocks, will double the program's Lexington capacity, allowing them to help more retiring racehorses each year.

"Aftercare of retired racehorses is very important to me and should be for any owner,” said Repole. “I encourage other owners to consider donating to the New Vocations Capital Campaign. The program's efforts will be greatly expanded by the new facility, and ultimately more horses will be helped into second careers."

Starlight Racing managing partner Donnie Lucerrelli said, “We’re happy to support the work that New Vocations is doing and are excited to see them expand at Mereworth Farm. They've been rehabilitating, retraining, and rehoming retired Thoroughbreds for a long time, and our contribution to their program is an acknowledgment of the great work they’re doing.”

To date, the New Vocations Capital Campaign has raised $950,000 of the estimated $2 million needed to fund the project. The official ground-breaking took place in June, and to date the Fasig-Tipton-sponsored outdoor arena has been completed, with the construction of the first barn underway. The focus in September is to find four additional Foundation Donors to fund the site work, excavation, building pads, seeding, driveways, and pathways for the 85-acre property. Foundation Donors receive a custom lawn jockey in their choice of name and silks positioned near the New Vocations office at Mereworth Farm that will be seen by hundreds of visitors and adopters each year.

“Thousands of retired racehorses will benefit from the new facility at Mereworth Farm,” said New Vocations Program Director Anna Ford. “We are truly grateful for Mike Repole’s, Starlight Racing’s, and StarLadies’ generous donation to the project. All three have been staunch, ongoing supporters of our mission to rehab, retrain, and rehome retired racehorses.”

Follow the campaign’s progress, make a donation, and learn more about the naming and giving opportunities by visiting the capital campaign’s website at http://www.newvocations.org/capital-campaign.
Sheepish
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Mon Sep 14, 2015 8:57 am

Pretty cool!
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Catalina
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Wed Sep 16, 2015 8:40 pm

WarBiscuit wrote:Great idea. Let them remain active and have some fun for as long as possible. Hopefully, there will be plenty of time down
the road to enjoy their paddocks and soak up the sun. I'll bet Gameday News is happy about this as well!

WarBiscuit
I like it, but am also confused. Maybe this was addressed somewhere, but if so I didn't catch it. How exactly does this work? A former racehorse is rescued from auction, the previous owners make arrangements for the horse to be retired to Old Friends (and I feel sure that a certain amount of money, call it a dowry is involved/comes with the horse). Is Old Friends then free to have the horse headed to a different career, with or without retraining at New Vocations, or is that something for which Mr. Blowen needs to seek prior approval from the (previous?) owner? Or did the (previous?) owner relinquish ownership along with handing over funds that I (and maybe they, too) always thought were meant to ensure the horse's retirement?
Catalina
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Thu Sep 17, 2015 1:42 pm

Catalina wrote:
WarBiscuit wrote:Great idea. Let them remain active and have some fun for as long as possible. Hopefully, there will be plenty of time down
the road to enjoy their paddocks and soak up the sun. I'll bet Gameday News is happy about this as well!

WarBiscuit
I like it, but am also confused. Maybe this was addressed somewhere, but if so I didn't catch it. How exactly does this work? A former racehorse is rescued from auction, the previous owners make arrangements for the horse to be retired to Old Friends (and I feel sure that a certain amount of money, call it a dowry is involved/comes with the horse). Is Old Friends then free to have the horse headed to a different career, with or without retraining at New Vocations, or is that something for which Mr. Blowen needs to seek prior approval from the (previous?) owner? Or did the (previous?) owner relinquish ownership along with handing over funds that I (and maybe they, too) always thought were meant to ensure the horse's retirement?
Hello folks, anybody care to respond??? Much as a like the idea of retraining for a second career, when a horse is bought into a program like Old Friends (meaning that the owner/breeder/former connection hands over money to OF to provide a safe retirement), retraining the horse and throwing it back into the market, is IMO a questionable solution. Shouldn't the horse stay there? I presume that ownership passes over to OF, but does the... sponsor have any say about retraining? After all, we all know (or should know) that getting the horse back from its second career - once the new owner needs or wants a different horse - is problematic at best and sometimes just results in the horse getting back on the slaughter trail, or starving, or whatever. Example of this - not too long ago - even with an OF horse, about which OF promised to put out an official statement - and if anyone did see one, please do provide a link. "Official statement soon" all too often these days seems to be the new immediate response to shut up unwelcome subjects.
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Curtis
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Thu Sep 17, 2015 8:35 pm

Catalina wrote: Hello folks, anybody care to respond??? Much as a like the idea of retraining for a second career, when a horse is bought into a program like Old Friends (meaning that the owner/breeder/former connection hands over money to OF to provide a safe retirement), retraining the horse and throwing it back into the market, is IMO a questionable solution. Shouldn't the horse stay there? I presume that ownership passes over to OF, but does the... sponsor have any say about retraining? After all, we all know (or should know) that getting the horse back from its second career - once the new owner needs or wants a different horse - is problematic at best and sometimes just results in the horse getting back on the slaughter trail, or starving, or whatever. Example of this - not too long ago - even with an OF horse, about which OF promised to put out an official statement - and if anyone did see one, please do provide a link. "Official statement soon" all too often these days seems to be the new immediate response to shut up unwelcome subjects.
I'm sure once the official statement regarding Bluesthestandard--a statement I've asked Old Friends to follow through with directly--is issued they'll get right on this. But then again I've been told I have no right to ask.
BlindLucky
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Thu Sep 17, 2015 8:48 pm

But then again, Bluesthestandard had nothing to do with the New Vocations partnership, so it may be an entirely different thing. An actual contract stating the second career intentions. It's only a guess though, which is probably why there haven't been more responses.

If someone suggests retiring their horse to Old Friends, and they say there's the option of retraining/rehoming with New Vocations if it's a young, sound horse... might be a mutual agreement thing. I don't see them doing this for big name horses--you'll never see Game on Dude up for adoption--but it gives them another way to assist, especially to people with fillies/mares. With so many stallions on the farm, they can't take in many of those. The ones they have are in a paddock in the back corner that visitors never see.
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Catalina
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Fri Sep 18, 2015 8:46 am

If whoever "foots the bill" to get their horse into OF is willing to the OF stay being of limited time and the horse then either trained or otherwise passed to somebody outside of OF for that somebody's use, then obviously there is nothing wrong with it. Discounting of course that once the horse leaves OF they are essentially dependent on that new person living up to their end of the deal and returning the horse if no longer desired. As we all know, that doesn't always happen, and by the time OF or whoever finds out, the horse may have died or long since gone to slaughter - which to my mind was what the original connections probably thought they kept from happening by retiring the horse to OF. So it's not a clear cut black or white thing, it's many gradations of gray.
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Curtis
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Fri Sep 18, 2015 11:40 am

Catalina wrote:If whoever "foots the bill" to get their horse into OF is willing to the OF stay being of limited time and the horse then either trained or otherwise passed to somebody outside of OF for that somebody's use, then obviously there is nothing wrong with it. Discounting of course that once the horse leaves OF they are essentially dependent on that new person living up to their end of the deal and returning the horse if no longer desired. As we all know, that doesn't always happen, and by the time OF or whoever finds out, the horse may have died or long since gone to slaughter - which to my mind was what the original connections probably thought they kept from happening by retiring the horse to OF. So it's not a clear cut black or white thing, it's many gradations of gray.
I'm with you on this. There is no reason to not want this to be wildly successful. If it is caulking that helps fill in those cracks that a horse like Bluesthestandard fell through, I'm all for it. Most of the information seems to be coming from New Vocations which for Old Friends seems to be business as usual. Sometimes it seems backward to me. A gelding like Game On Dude seems a victim of his own notoriety. He'll never go anywhere because he's an attraction yet he's an eight-year-old gelding who is turned out to pasture for life. If he wants to be ridden and likes showing, couldn't he be publicized by showing under his racing name for a few years before returning to Old Friends?
BlindLucky
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Fri Sep 18, 2015 12:03 pm

But then he wouldn't be around the farm to bring in the visitors and fundraising that helps support the rest of the horses, so it's a double-edged sword sometimes.
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Curtis
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Fri Sep 18, 2015 2:47 pm

BlindLucky wrote:But then he wouldn't be around the farm to bring in the visitors and fundraising that helps support the rest of the horses, so it's a double-edged sword sometimes.
I think you're putting too much responsibility on one gelding. There are enough aged stallions there to take up the slack for him. This is rhetorical anyway. I know Baffert sent him there with the agreement that he never leave. But then again Kristin Mulhall sent a gelding there under the same premise.....
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Fri Sep 18, 2015 3:33 pm

Curtis wrote:
BlindLucky wrote:But then he wouldn't be around the farm to bring in the visitors and fundraising that helps support the rest of the horses, so it's a double-edged sword sometimes.
I think you're putting too much responsibility on one gelding. There are enough aged stallions there to take up the slack for him. This is rhetorical anyway. I know Baffert sent him there with the agreement that he never leave. But then again Kristin Mulhall sent a gelding there under the same premise.....
I don't really mean Game on Dude specifically (or ONLY him), I mean that if they open themselves up to lending out big-name retirees for a second career, kinda like Icabad Crane--essentially finding them a temporary new home--then they aren't on the farm to draw visitors, and you're kinda rehoming them anyway.

Old Friends is basically a network of volunteers. I don't think they have the manpower to keep track of adoptions and "loaners", hence the NV partnership. They have 3 paid employees, which includes Mr. Blowen himself. They're not set up to run around keeping track of horses not on the farm--a lesson they learned the hard way.
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Catalina
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Fri Sep 18, 2015 4:45 pm

I'm not sure just what is New Vocations' current way of checking up on their graduates. I recall a mare that went missing less than a year after being adopted from New Vocations. NV had received, I think, one or maybe two written updates with a photo, but then nothing further, and by October 2008 (about when I heard about it) the mare had vanished, and the trail to the adopter had gone cold.
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Curtis
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Fri Sep 18, 2015 5:16 pm

BlindLucky wrote:
Curtis wrote:
BlindLucky wrote:But then he wouldn't be around the farm to bring in the visitors and fundraising that helps support the rest of the horses, so it's a double-edged sword sometimes.
I think you're putting too much responsibility on one gelding. There are enough aged stallions there to take up the slack for him. This is rhetorical anyway. I know Baffert sent him there with the agreement that he never leave. But then again Kristin Mulhall sent a gelding there under the same premise.....
I don't really mean Game on Dude specifically (or ONLY him), I mean that if they open themselves up to lending out big-name retirees for a second career, kinda like Icabad Crane--essentially finding them a temporary new home--then they aren't on the farm to draw visitors, and you're kinda rehoming them anyway.

Old Friends is basically a network of volunteers. I don't think they have the manpower to keep track of adoptions and "loaners", hence the NV partnership. They have 3 paid employees, which includes Mr. Blowen himself. They're not set up to run around keeping track of horses not on the farm--a lesson they learned the hard way.
There are other ways that Game On Dude or a gelding of his ilk can get work. I'm sure UK or some other local school has an Intercollegiate Equestrian Team (IET). Once retrained, via New Vocations, a horse could be housed at Old Friends and used for the IET horse shows. These is a fairly low-key club team atmosphere. Think 4H for college kids. Also they could partner with pre-vet programs at the local school or schools. The kids would get the hours they need for credit for their degrees and the school would do most of the monitoring. If the three employees and current volunteers can't monitor the activity, then they have too much activity and need to scale back.
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Fri Sep 18, 2015 5:29 pm

Then send your ideas to Old Friends. I can't argue on their behalf with everyone, when I have no clue what they actually do on the back end, how they handle contracts, etc. I'm just guessing. I don't know that three people can't handle whatever it is you want them to do. But if they can help scores of other horses get adopted out via programs like NV, I don't see why they need to come up with complicated scenarios to loan out fan favorites that everyone wants to see when they come to the farm :(

And on the New Vocations front, it sucks that a mare fell through the cracks, but one case doesn't mean that the hundreds of horses they've placed should not have been adopted out. Again, I don't work for them, so I don't know what they do to follow up on adoptions, but I know they do have policies on each adoption and contracts enforceable by law.

I don't know what the solution is, but at least they're all trying.
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BlindLucky
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Fri Sep 18, 2015 5:31 pm

Curtis wrote:Also they could partner with pre-vet programs at the local school or schools. The kids would get the hours they need for credit for their degrees and the school would do most of the monitoring.
I do know that Old Friends does this with the farrier school, probably others.
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Catalina
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Fri Sep 18, 2015 6:56 pm

BlindLucky wrote:Then send your ideas to Old Friends. I can't argue on their behalf with everyone, when I have no clue what they actually do on the back end, how they handle contracts, etc. I'm just guessing. I don't know that three people can't handle whatever it is you want them to do. But if they can help scores of other horses get adopted out via programs like NV, I don't see why they need to come up with complicated scenarios to loan out fan favorites that everyone wants to see when they come to the farm :(

And on the New Vocations front, it sucks that a mare fell through the cracks, but one case doesn't mean that the hundreds of horses they've placed should not have been adopted out. Again, I don't work for them, so I don't know what they do to follow up on adoptions, but I know they do have policies on each adoption and contracts enforceable by law.

I don't know what the solution is, but at least they're all trying.
Re New Vocations, back then (2008) I got the impression follow-up was strictly on the honor system, with too many horses passing through NV to do anything more. Adoption contracts are obviously a must, but when the adopter sells the premises and moves to parts unknown, a contract and threat to sue are for the birds. The horses need better safeguards than that. Maybe a small group of field staff that actually goes and inspects the horses' situations, vets potential adopters and their references. I don't know either, I wish I did.
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Curtis
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Fri Sep 18, 2015 7:21 pm

BlindLucky wrote:Then send your ideas to Old Friends. I can't argue on their behalf with everyone, when I have no clue what they actually do on the back end, how they handle contracts, etc. I'm just guessing. I don't know that three people can't handle whatever it is you want them to do. But if they can help scores of other horses get adopted out via programs like NV, I don't see why they need to come up with complicated scenarios to loan out fan favorites that everyone wants to see when they come to the farm :(

And on the New Vocations front, it sucks that a mare fell through the cracks, but one case doesn't mean that the hundreds of horses they've placed should not have been adopted out. Again, I don't work for them, so I don't know what they do to follow up on adoptions, but I know they do have policies on each adoption and contracts enforceable by law.

I don't know what the solution is, but at least they're all trying.
Blowen doesn't seem to answer his emails. Maybe they'll put in a suggestion box. It really isn't that complicated. As stated, the name horses aren't going to be adopted out via New Vocations anyway. Some horses are perfectly fine with being a pasture ornament and some are not. I don't think their resume should dictate what they do. What I'm proposing is just a way to put the horses first and not the people. I thought that was the point.
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