Have you ever dreamed of owning your own horse? How about a champion racehorse? Because of a partnership between Mountaineer Racetrack and Casino and the non-profit organization Canter, you can make that dream a reality.
Canter stands for the Communication Alliance to Network Thoroughbred Ex-Racehorses and works to ensure racehorses at the end of their career will be given a new home with a purpose.
“Thoroughbreds are a very talented breed. They need a job to do. They were bred to do a job. They were bred for racing, and they can’t just be let out to pasture,” said Executive Director of Canter Ohio Pam Cleverly.
Owners and trainers decide when a racehorse should retire and then are put in contact with Canter to start the re-homing process.
Many people buy the horses and use them to train young riders, like Julie Mcelhaney, the owner of Four Star Sport Horses.
“It’s a good way to get the horses back into society, and the nice thing is they’re affordable. I have a lot of clients that don’t have a lot of money, so it’s a good way for me to purchase a nice animal that’s athletic and capable and can go on and do a lot of good things for someone,” said Mcelhaney.
Prices for the horses range from a few hundred dollars to around 5,000 depending on things like the size and breed of the horse.
They are sold in an auction style, and 10 percent of the horse’s sale price goes directly to Canter. But organizers say the excitement from people and the horses when they know a new friend is coming home is priceless.
“It’s really exciting to see these horses who have been racehorses and suddenly they meet their young girl or their person, and it’s just heartwarming to see this,” said Pam Cleverly.
This was Mountaineer Racetrack’s first retired racehorse auction, but they hoping to hold more in the future.
If you would like more information on how to adopt a horse from Canter or would like to donate, you can visit their national website at CanterUSA.org.