A new program for 2018 will allow Heart of Phoenix to hold 5 OTTBs from Charles Town Racetrack at any given time.
We are thrilled to partner with the track to find suitable new careers for these awesome athletes once they retire!
But the full story is a little more “kismet” than you might expect, friends. This type of “destiny,” if you will, seems to follow us about, and call it what you will, but I think it helps us know when we are working in the right vein, looking at the right needs.
As of September, I had reached out to the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance to see when HOP might be able to apply for accreditation should we find that West Virginia had a need for in state help with OTTBs.
We had wanted to offer a second career to Thoroughbreds for quite awhile, but we had just, as of last fall, felt we had the ability to expand and take this step.
The questions from of our team were: “Is there a need in our state for this?” and then, “Where will they come from?”
I had said, “I am going to contact the tracks to see if they really need our help,” but I had not done so, yet. We hadn’t publicly spoken of this plan at all, actually.
Out of the blue, I received an email from a former Animal control officer we’ve worked with, and she is now with the Charles Town Aftercare program. She wanted to know if HOP would generally have space or the ability to help with horses in OUR state that needed to transition off the track and into new careers in a routine way.
I was blown away. We had just been having this conversation. Literally, all our questions were answered in her first email. Yes, there is a need in WV. Yes, we know HOP. Yes, We have enough horses in need to make this a program.
Here is to moving into an area that is relatively new for us, as we’ve had many OTTBs over the years, and they are are of our favorite horses to work with, but we’ve not previously worked with many right off the truck.
And really. . .helping horses find new homes is what we do best, so I think “U-Turn” will prove a wonderful, successful program.
Should you want to become involved, partner with us in any manner in this pilot program for HOP, please do reach out.
If you would like to become a monthly sponsor for these horses or others that will come to HOP until they find the RIGHT home, PM us!
Reading your article gave me goose bumps.
Great job, and good thinking!