RRTP Releases First National Study of Thoroughbred Racehorse Placement

A report released today by Retired Racehorse Training Project (RRTP) is the first nationwide study of how Thoroughbred ex-racehorses are transitioned into second careers. It is based on a survey conducted in late 2013 titled Exploring the Bridge To Second Careers in which owners of 4,200 ex-racehorses from 47 states and Canada responded to 23 questions.

“The public believes that racing owners dump their retiring horses into auctions and that a lucky few get rescued and adopted,” said RRTP president Steuart Pittman.“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.”

  • 34% percent of these horses were acquired directly from racing owners.
  • 31% were acquired from non-racing private owners.
  • 13.5% were acquired from non-profit placement or rescue organizations, although that share increased from 11% to 19% over the last ten years.
  • 9% were acquired from professional training or sales businesses.
  • 2.3% of horses came through auctions.

The survey also revealed that prices for horses increased with training, but are still far below what it costs to transition racehorses to new careers.

  • The average adoption fee at nonprofit placement organizations was $1001 (22% were free). These organizations were most likely to have horse protection terms in contracts.
  • Horses acquired through racing owners were purchased for an average price of $1,265 (30% were given away).
  • Horses sold through private non-racing owners had an average price of $2,618 not including the 19% that were free.
  • Horses sold through professional training or sales businesses had an average sale price of $4,646, not including the 4% given away.
  • The average price at public auction was $839.

The survey respondents identified the sport of eventing as their primary riding discipline most often (37%). Hunter/jumper was second at 27%, dressage third at 13%, and then trails and recreation (English) at 9%.

The following conclusions are taken from the full survey report:

  • Racehorses are placed in second careers with long-term owners through a marketplace that lacks networks and forums through which the sellers, trainers, and buyers can find one another.
  • Prices and adoption fees are depressed to a level that makes subsidies for those providing transition services essential until demand rises significantly.
  • The financial incentive to retire horses sound from racing does not exist until increased demand raises prices for retiring horses.

Retired Racehorse Training Project (RRTP) will respond to the results of this study with a major expansion of its work in 2014, including:

  • A second Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium at Pimlico Racecourse on October 4 and 5 that will include more horses, more trainers, and more racing stables;
  • Contracts for professional services that will re-launch its heavily trafficked web site, develop partnerships with racing and riding institutions, explore the feasibility of a publishing venture; and
  • Compile, print, and distribute the first state-by-state resource directory for Thoroughbred placement..

A full copy of Exploring the Bridge to Second Careers is available through RRTP and found below.

Media Contact:

Heather Benson

Retired Racehorse Training Project

Phone: 605-660-6599

Email: heather@backfortymarketing.com

Additional photos or interviews may be granted upon request.

Click on the image below for a PDF version of the full survey report.

OTTBSurveyReportCover

The Retired Racehorse Training Project (RRTP) is a 501(c)3 charitable organization working to increase demand for retired Thoroughbred race horses as pleasure and sport horses through public events, clinics, training publications, videos and internet tools. Our mission is to facilitate the placement of retired Thoroughbred racehorses in second careers by educating the public about the history, distinctive characteristics, versatility of use, and appropriate care and training of the iconic American Thoroughbred. More information may be found at www.retiredracehorsetraining.org .

 

How To Use RRTP

Brag About Your TB

Bloodline Brag

This is our wikipedia of Thoroughbreds in second careers. Enter your current and past Thoroughbreds with sire and dam. We will link the full pedigree. Include ratings and commentary on suitability and success in various disciplines. It takes a few minutes per horse, but allows breeders and buyers to make informed decisions in the future... Read More

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If you believe that the work of this organization is effective and want it to continue, please click through to make a donation now. The Thoroughbreds thank you.

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Free Listing

Present your horse here with photos, video, description, and price. We will post him on the RRTP Facebook page as well. You will need to create an account to post your listing... Read More

Trainer Directory

If training would increase marketability of your horse, consider a professional trainer from among the hundreds listed here, including rates, credentials, and facilities in your area... Read More

Sources For Horses

See if one of the nonprofit placement organizations in this database will take your horse in and offer you a tax write-off. Or contact one of the farms that sells on consignment... Read More

Find Your Next TB

Horse Listings:

Search by state, sire, price, or whatever you like. Each listing includes a map of location and direct contact information. Let us know when your new horse arrives...Read More

Sources For Horses:

Organizations and farms in your area where you can see multiple horses and get some good advice from people in this business...Read More

Bloodline Brag:

Search for the relatives of horses you are considering, and see what their owners say about them in second careers...Read More

Succeed With Your TB

Trainer Directory

Hundreds of professional sport horse trainers who love OTTBs are listed here and can help you with lessons or take your horse in for some education... Read More

Educational Resources

Scroll through this list of articles, videos and web sites that offer tips on training and care of your OTTB... Read More

Events

Expos, symposia, Thoroughbreds For All! Each one includes sessions on training and care. Look for one near you, or let us know you'd like to organize one...Read More

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The RRTP is a charitable organization  under Section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code. Donations are tax deductible pursuant to applicable laws. Our mission is to facilitate the placement  of retired Thoroughbred racehorses in second careers by educating the public about the history, distinctive characteristics, versatility of use, and appropriate care and training of the iconic American Thoroughbred.

Funding is needed to maintain and expand our internet services, conduct our Throughbreds For All events, produce educational videos, and finance our presentations at horse expos and other high visibility public events. We do not use donated funds to care for individual horses. That work is done by the farms and organizations that we serve.

Click the button to donate, you will be able to enter the amount on the next screen and pay with your credit card or Paypal account. We thank you for your support!