The Next Chapter for Off the Track Thoroughbreds
There is something about the heart of a Thoroughbred that captures the love of so many equestrians. At first glance, you just see the outer shell of muscle rippling with power to overtake the ground underneath his feet, and bone structure that is so perfect that it takes your breath away. As you take up their gaze, you find passion for partnership and a heart so determined to succeed that it is almost intimidating. It is a Thoroughbred that makes all impossible, possible by carrying you with such strength, but so delicately as to not risk losing you. It is a Thoroughbred that will find you when you feel as though you are lost. It is a Thoroughbred that will give you their whole heart in exchange for nothing.
WHAT IS THE PROGRAM?
Help us retrain more thoroughbreds retiring from the race track by investing in their future. By purchasing a thoroughbred from the racetrack, through us, you open up a whole new chapter for them. These horses are still in their prime at 3-7 years old when they retire, so there is still so much life left for these horses to live. Retired race horses go on to be very successful in many different disciplines; they are just waiting for someone to give them a chance. You could be that person that opens the doors into the Next Chapter of these horses’ lives.
There are thousands of Thoroughbreds every year that go to the racetrack and are retired because they don’t have the qualities needed to win races, but this does not mean that they are not talented in another discipline. Many go on to be successful in Eventing, Dressage, Hunter Jumper, Jumpers, Fox Hunting, Pony Club, Barrel Racing, Polo, Competitive Trail, Working Ranch, and many make great companions for hobby riding. We want to help Thoroughbreds find their next passion through retraining. We want to bring more people into the world of Off the Track Thoroughbreds, and to help these amazing athletes find their forever homes. Thoroughbreds have so much drive and passion that they deserve to have someone on their side who is ready to open new doors for them.
Step 1: We help you find and purchase a Thoroughbred Racehorse ready to leave the racetrack.
Step 2: The horse is then delivered to JH Farms, evaluated, and either put into training or given some down time.
Step 3: When the horse has a solid foundation in a desired discipline, roughly 3-6 months, the Thoroughbred is then put up for sale with the agreement that JH Farms receives a 25% commission of the sale price. During the sale process, Thoroughbreds will not necessarily be sold for the first offer. References will be required along with a No Auction, No Racing, No Slaughter contract, and in the case of resale, you have the first right to refusal. This allows us to keep track of the horses to insure that they don’t end up in the wrong hands.
The reputation of Thoroughbreds is that they are hot-tempered, high energy, and only for an experienced rider, but I have found that often Thoroughbreds can make the best lesson horses for any level of rider. They are incredibly versatile due to their athletic abilities and personal drive. Thoroughbreds have an incredible work ethic and strive to please their riders. When they enjoy what they are doing, they put their whole heart into being successful. Their personalities can vary, just like people, but mostly they are kind- hearted and social. They love the attention of their owners, whether that would comes from grooming, riding, or simply hand grazing. Thoroughbreds are typically between 15.2 and 17.2 hands tall with some exceptions and are built leaner than your typical Quarter Horse.
It is not always the breed of the horse that determines their personality, but the way in which they have been raised or trained. Through retraining, we can refocus their minds onto a new discipline, which makes them more versatile for a variety of riders and also gives the horse purpose.
The most difficult stage for a racehorse is the transition from being an “on-the-track” Thoroughbred to being an “off-the-track” Thoroughbred. The racetrack is an exciting environment where horses are worked regularly and fed high energy diets to be at their peak performance. Although we provide excellent care, it is hard for some racehorses to transition into the more relaxed lifestyle of your standard boarding facility. Through our program we work to make it a smooth transition for them from one life to another. We have extensive knowledge and experience in caring for and working with Off the Track Thoroughbreds in various stages of transitioning and in a range of riding disciplines.
Based on an individual horse’s needs, some horses need some down time to relax before beginning their retraining for another discipline. Some prefer to stay in work mode and can immediately start exploring new disciplines once they come off the track. We strive to listen to the individual horses as to what they enjoy. We expose them to various experiences such as trail riding, dressage, stadium jumping, cross country jumping, western riding, etc. and then continue in the direction in which they seem to most likely to succeed. Once each Thoroughbred has a strong foundation in their chosen discipline, we work to find new homes where they can continue to succeed. Off the Track Thoroughbreds typically need 3 – 6 months of retraining before finding their new homes.
We are looking for individuals or companies who would like to invest in these amazing athletes to help them in their Next Chapter of life.
The investor purchases the OTTB for a price between $500 and $2,500 (plus shipping if the horse is out of state.) The investor is responsible for all farrier and vet expenses while the horse is at JH Farms.
Training at JH Farms is free with a 50% commission at the time of sale.
If the investor decides to keep the OTTB instead of selling, $900/month back training is due before the horse leaves the premises. At this time a separate agreement will be signed which voids the original agreement.
Racehorses that are trained at JH Farms typically sell for $5000-$10,000. The more that is invested in exposing the horse to the public, such as through horse shows and clinics, the more the value goes up, especially if they place high in their classes. Horses entered in the Retired Racehorse Project may sell for a higher price as they are exposed to a very large audience at the competition.
In the case that an OTTB is diagnosed with a limiting injury, the committed training is void and the horse is put up for rehoming or sale. The 50% commission still applies.
Not the situation for every horse. This is an average calculation.
Purchase: $1500 (horses can be purchased for less and more)
Initial Vet Check $100
Front Shoes for 3 months: $300
The more that is invested, the more the horse is worth. Horse shows can range from $100-$300 each, but can increase the value of the horse by $1,000+ depending on performance.
RETIRED RACEHORSE PROJECT
The Retired Racehorse Project is a great organization that was set up to increase the demand for OTTBs, and offering new careers by involving trainers, farms, and organizations across the world. It was originally formed in 2010 by a handful of people who wanted to expand the public’s knowledge on the beauty of the Thoroughbred racehorse. It first started with a 100 day training challenge and has now grown into a long term retraining challenge for OTTBs. The challenge includes $100,000 in prize money, vast exposure of your horse, and educational clinics. There are 10 different disciplines in which OTTBs can compete, giving OTTBs a lot of options for their Next Chapter in life.
JH Farms will work hard to find sponsors for these horses, which can include farrier care, veterinary care, feed, and equipment. If a horse is purchased for the RRP in December or prior to December of upcoming RRP, the training fee is $650/month with all entry, hotel, and participation fees being covered by the owner. Minimum of $500. If there are multiple horses going with multiple owners, some fees can be split among owners, such as hotel and tack stall.
WHY JH FARMS?
JH Farms is located on 80 acres of pasture in Middle Tennessee. The staff has years of experience working with Thoroughbreds, from weanling sale prep and starting under saddle, to retraining for multiple disciplines. The head trainer, Aelin Herrington, has a Bachelor’s Degree in Animal Science with a focus on Equine, and is a certified instructor in both English and Western disciplines through the Certified Horsemanship Association. She also runs her own lesson and training business. In 2010, Aelin also completed the Kentucky Equine Management Internship for five months in Lexington, Kentucky at Dell Ridge Farm doing sale preparation and rehabilitation of race horses in training. Over the years, Aelin has developed a large network of people across the country through sales, training, travel, and shows.
JH Farms prides itself on providing a smooth transition for OTTB’s through proper diet, turnout, and exercise. We believe the more turn-out the better for our horses, with most horses getting 12+ hours a day. Our holistic approach to training and care helps us prevent pain or soreness while horses are in training. We commonly use acupuncture, massage, and chiropractic care with our equine athletes. This helps horses to perform at the best of their abilities as they prepare for their Next Chapter in life.
ASTRONOME aka CHANCE – (SOLD)
2014 Thoroughbred Gelding
Astronome came to me from a starvation case of 43 horses, mostly thoroughbreds, in Kentucky. The farm was owned by a racehorse trainer who abandoned her farm. Astronome was one that was left in a stall to starve as a growing two year old. When I received him, he was an anemic, thin, well mannered colt. He had the sweetest disposition. He was so easy to work with that one of my students was able to start him under saddle under my instruction. That same student went on to show him in the 4H county show where he acted as a seasoned show horse. He was sold as a gelding to a wonderful woman in Lexington, Kentucky who absolutely adores him. He is ridden many times a week and recently completed a mounted patrol clinic and a hunter pace!
ALWAYS TOGETHER – (SOLD)
2012 Thoroughbred Mare
By Eltish, Out of Katies Danza
A beautiful 16.3 hand mare with a big blaze down her face. Super mover. Schooling Beginner Novice cross country and has begun schooling 3ft stadium. Would do very well in the hunters as well as eventing. Jumping is her happy place. Rides out alone on the buckle. Took Reserve Champion at her very first show in the 2’6″ jumpers. Needs a strong intermediate rider as she still has some maturing to do when it comes to traveling to shows. She was sold to former Prelim rider in Indiana to be her next eventing partner.
AB FAB – (SOLD)
2005 Thoroughbred Gelding
By Awesome Again, Out of Fabulous
Ab Fab is an extremely athletic and fun horse to ride. A former Steeple Chase horse, Ab Fab jumps clean and has natural carriage, balance, and flying lead changes. He is very quiet and anyone can ride him from beginners to advanced riders. He loves to work and loves to learn. He his currently being schooled over 3ft but has potential to much more. Very confident over the fences and will take you to them. Retired because he simply wasn’t fast enough on the track. Was sold to a 15 yo girl to go on to do Eventing.
TROJAN FAN – (SOLD)
4 yo Thoroughbred Gelding
By Quiet American, Out of Distant Breeze
Trojan is a big sweet boy with a lot of personality. He was sold to a 13 yo girl to be a Hunter Jumper. He is extremely athletic and a great jumper. Super quiet. With just 4 months of training he went on to his first show at Brownland in Franklin, TN to place with his new owner in every class.
MAKOVICKA – (SOLD)
2005 Thoroughbred Gelding
By Royal Academy, Out of Tip Compris
Mack is a big, beautiful gelding with a great mind and a need to please. Natural uphill carriage and balance with flying lead changes. Has been started over fences and is currently schooling 3’6″ft but has potential to go on to do the 4 – 5 ft jumpers. Very confident and will take you to the fence. Lots of SCOPE!! Went on to be an Eventer in Illinois.