New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program has announced that it has opened a satellite facility near Ocala, Florida, as it continues to expand its aftercare efforts. The new facility will focus on rehabbing, retraining and rehoming retiring Thoroughbred racehorses.
The nation’s oldest and largest racehorse adoption charity now has nine facilities in six states.
The newest facility is based at Trillium Sport Horses, in Anthony, just a few miles from Ocala. Erin MacDonald, an international three-day eventing rider with years of experience restarting off-track Thoroughbreds in new careers, will oversee the horses’ rehabilitation and training.
New Vocations’ Thoroughbred Program Director Anna Ford said there’s been a need for a Florida facility for several years.
“On average, 60 horses each year are shipped more than 700 miles from Florida to our Lexington facility,” Ford said. “Horses coming from Florida racetracks and training centers will now have a much shorter travel distance and duration as they start their next chapters.”
MacDonald said, “It is so gratifying to help a Thoroughbred smoothly transition into a second career after the races. I am honored to be working with such an outstanding aftercare organization and to join in their efforts to provide Florida-based horses and their connections with a quality rehabilitation and retraining program.”
Ford said an Ocala-area facility has been part of New Vocations’ strategic plan for the past couple years, but it has been delayed by the pandemic.
“As the need for our aftercare services continues to grow we will do our best to expand and accommodate more horses,” she said.
The first horses arrived at the Florida facility in late 2021. Thus far, three have been adopted into experience, loving homes. Several more horses are making progress in various stages of rehab and training and will be available for adoption soon.
New Vocations Press Release
Photo:Erin MacDonald (right) with the first horse to arrive to and depart from the Florida facility, Ranger Up and adopter Melissa Lundberg (New Vocations)