The Economy May Be Down, But OTTB Adoption Is Up

The global market has collapsed, the economy is in shambles and bad news is flooding the front page of your newspaper. What better time to buy a horse?

The New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program is scratching its chin at why, in the face of a pandemic that is wreaking havoc on the human race, OTTB adoptions have suddenly shot through the roof. The organization sent 60 retired Standardbred and Thoroughbred racehorses into new and loving homes last month, the largest number of April adoptions the program has ever accomplished since its inception in 1992. The program also received 225 applications from potential adopters, which is a 100 percent increase from months prior.

“I’m very proud of our entire team for pulling together to ensure our mission is moving forward during the lockdown,” said Thoroughbred Program Director Anna Ford. “This has been a very stressful time for all of us, as there are concerns that funding will decrease due to the long-term effects of COVID-19. However, seeing the uptick in adoptions has given us great hope and we continue to have faith that the funding needed to keep our doors open will come.”

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The reason for the increase in adoptions is still being reviewed, but the program has seen a major increase in viewership on all their social media platforms as a result of many people staying home across the country. New Vocations noticed the trend early on and turned their attend to finding creative ways to showcase adoptable horses, like offering daily Facebook Live meet-and-greets with available horses. Adopting a horse sight unseen is not a new concept for the program, as nearly half of New Vocation’s adoptions are done this way.

With most racetracks closed entirely or open only for training, the program anticipates there will be a significant increase in horses needing their aftercare services soon. Currently, New Vocations is not at full capacity; the program only received 25 new retirees in April, which is a rare scenario. More horses are scheduled to arrive in May.

“The increase in adoptions puts us in a good position to take in more horses,” Anna says. “For the first time in years, we have open stalls, so we’re well prepared for our intake to increase. We are here to serve the racing industry and the true stars of the show, the horses. We plan to do as much as we can with the resources we have.”

For information on adopting a horse, donating a retired racehorse or supporting this important mission, visit

About New Vocations: Founded in 1992, New Vocations has grown into the largest racehorse adoption program in the country. Its mission to rehabilitate, retrain and rehome retired Thoroughbred and Standardbred racehorse has led to the placement of over 7,000 individuals, with 500 retirees entering the program each year. With facilities in Kentucky, Louisiana, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania, New Vocations serves over 40 racetracks, working directly with owners and trainers in need of aftercare options.


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