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TB Aftercare Organization CANTER Helps Ex-Racehorses Find Loving Homes

Our Rendezvous was adopted from CANTER's California chapter in 2016 and is now a successful Hunter. Photo provided by Wendy Schmitt.

About 20,000 Thoroughbred foals were born in the United States in 2018. That is 20,000 potential stars of the racetrack. However, most of those foals will grow up to perform poorly on the racetrack or to just simply not be fit for racing at all. Those who perform poorly on the track are highly unlikely to enter a breeding shed, meaning that they need a life and career outside of the horse racing industry. To prevent these horses from ending up in bad homes or at auctions, it is important that the horse racing industry supports rehoming and retraining groups. This is why Champions of the Track has partnered with CANTER (Communication Alliance to Network Thoroughbred Ex-Racehorses) USA.

Old Charade was purchased through CANTER West Virginia. Photo provided by Trina Gomez.

CANTER has been helping horses make the transition from the racetrack into new homes since it formed in Michigan in 1998. Through their work, CANTER helps hundreds of ex-racehorses find new homes each year. In total, CANTER has helped more than 25,000 ex-racehorses find new homes. CANTER offers two types of listings on their websites. The first type of listing, called “Phase 1 Listings” are owner/trainer listings. These are horses available for direct purchase through CANTER’s website. The other type of listing, called “Phase 2 Listings”, are horses that were donated to CANTER. These horses enter rehab and retraining at the nearest CANTER chapter across the United States and will later be available for adoption. For CANTER to accept a donation of a horse, they must ensure they have the resources to accommodate and retrain that specific horse. They have to look at things such as available funds for surgical candidates, available stalls, and the age and current health condition of the horse. They hope to get the horse rehabbed and adopted within 90 days.

Manhattan Striker was purchased from CANTER Michigan. He participated in the 2018 Retired Racehorse Project with his 12 year old rider. Photo provided by Sara Anderson.

In order for CANTER to help keep our Thoroughbreds out of auctions, it is important for this organization to receive support from the horse racing community. They are a 100% volunteer organization. Adoption fees only help to cover the cost of caring for these horses as they make their transition.

Horse racing is a sport that revolves around breeding and using animals for sport and entertainment. Those involved in the sport love these horses and care a lot about them. However, there will always be bad eggs and people who cannot afford to keep horses that cannot win or do not like to run. CANTER helps these people keep their horses safe by offering them multiple ways to get them into new homes.

Ensuring good homes for ex-racehorses is the least the horse racing industry can do. These horses deserve to enter a loving and stimulating home once their time on the track is done. A horse performing poorly on the racetrack certainly does not mean they will perform poorly in jumping, dressage, barrel racing, or anything else.

Off Track Thoroughbreds are useful animals who deserve to have their talents displayed. Supporting these horses helps and supports the sport of horse racing as a whole.

Geoni was purchased through CANTER PA in 2011 and is now a 4 star Eventer. Photo provided by Tracey Bienemann.


Champions of the Track has partnered with CANTER USA. 5% of all monthly profits made from merch sales will be donated to CANTER. In addition to this, Champions of the Track will be sharing the stories of some of the horses that CANTER has helped in the past.

Purchase one of these products to show your support for Champions of the Track and CANTER USA.


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