all in Aftercare

After months of searching, you’ve found the perfect horse. There’s only one problem … people are telling you not to buy him because he’s a “war horse.”

Perhaps one of the biggest debates when it comes to buying off-track Thoroughbreds is if buying a war horse (those with 50 starts or more) leaves you a horse with soundness issues. Not surprisingly, buyers are leery about taking that risk but New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program’s Anna Ford says the opposite is true about soundness issues.

If you follow the Retired Racehorse Project’s (RRP’s) Thoroughbred Makeover, chances are you’ve often seen Isabela De Sousa’s name at the top of the results. The young rider has quickly made a name for herself, winning the show jumping division at the Makeover for three years running among her long list of accomplishments.

If you attend this year’s Retired Racehorse Project (RRP) Thoroughbred Makeover from Oct. 4-7 at the Kentucky Horse Park, odds are you saw a graduate of Amy Paulus’ Paulus Racing and Performance Thoroughbreds program.

In recent years there has been a rise in the number of organizations and individual therapists who have turned to horses to help veterans heal. Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) as a professional practice only dates back to the mid-1990s, when there were only a few people who were testing out ideas for how to use horses in their social work and theraputic practices. That number grew steadily over the years until 2013, when the Obama administration made federal funds available for groups doing EAP work with veterans returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

When The Jockey Club launched the Thoroughbred Incentive Program (T.I.P) and committed $100,000 to its development in 2012, it’s unlikely anyone expected it to become as popular as it has.

Six years on, the program has seen major growth in its numbers both in what it offers to riders and in terms of how many people are taking part. The program had 150 shows give out TIP awards in 2012 and over 1,200 are scheduled to give out the awards this year, with the number of Thoroughbreds joining T.I.P jumping from 2,140 that first year to over 8,300 in 2017.

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