Help us increase demand for Thoroughbred ex-racehorses and build the bridges to second careers. Thousands of people across North America are working on farms and racetracks to place these horses in second careers. RRP is working to build this community, promote these horses, and educate. Support us here.
How We Began
Retired Racehorse Training Project was formed in 2010 by myself and a small group of friends who felt strongly that Thoroughbred ex-racehorses were in need of advocates and educators in the sport and recreation riding world. We had conducted the Retired Racehorse Training Symposium in 2009 and were overwhelmed by the attendance and demand for more, both by nonprofit placement organizations and individuals who work to transition these horses to second careers.
Our first web site was launched at the end of 2011 with the announcement of our popular Trainer Challenge that drew thousands of fans to the Maryland and Pennsylvania Horse World Expos. The following year the 100 Day Thoroughbred Challenge provided a similar online and in-person educational experience, with the involvement of four top Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred farms.
Thoroughbreds For All Kentucky and Thoroughbreds For All Fair Hill were events organized in collaboration with local groups that continued to educate and to put horses in front of buyers. Other work with local groups spawned trainer challenges across the country.
The 2013 Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium at Pimlico was the organization's first national gathering of the farms, organizations, and individuals that transition these horses to second careers. Twenty-six trainers in ten riding disciplines chronicled their work online over four months with horses who knew nothing but racing at the start. The weekend included seminars, demonstrations, and a sponsor fair. It was widely hailed as a landmark event experienced by 800 in person, thousands online, and an estimated four million through mainstream media in the local market. Thoroughbred Charities of America awarded RRP its Industry Service Award in recognition for the success of this event.
The RRP Board of Directors made a major commitment to growth in 2014, believing that Thoroughbreds after racing remain at a disadvantage in the marketplace. Unlike other major breeds Thoroughbreds are promoted primarily as racehorses. Millions are spent promoting Quarter Horses, Arabians, European warmbloods of various breeds, and others for recreation and riding. With the expansion of our work came the decision to acquire and use the abbreviated trade name, Retired Racehorse Project.
This year's plan includes publication of a state-by-state Resource Directory to identify and connect the racetracks in America to the people, organizations, and business that provide the training and placement services. It also calls for an expanded Thoroughbred Makeover on October 4 and 5 at Pimlico, to include a Marketplace of horses and an invitational team competition for America's Most Wanted Thoroughbred.
Our work is having an effect. Our 48,000 Facebook fans, 75,000 web hits per month, and thousands attending events in person all tip the scales toward Thoroughbreds for lots of undecided horse people. Success can increase value, giving racing owners an incentive to retire horses sound. Success means more accomplished trainers giving horses the skills they need to secure their futures.
There are two million horse owners in America. Over 25,000 Thoroughbreds are born to become racehorses each year. Let's introduce them. Now.
To support RRP in its work as a sponsor, donor, or volunteer, click here.
President, Retired Racehorse Project