Frequently Asked Questions
The Adoption Process
Adopting a retired thoroughbred is quite rewarding! If you are reading this page, you are curious about owning a retired thoroughbred. We are here to answer all of your questions. Whether you have owned horses in the past, or this is your first horse- our program is here to guide you every step of the way and even beyond after adoption.
Our horses have been fully evaluated for soundness and suitability in their new careers off the track, with many receiving professional training and down time before being offered to new homes. We spend countless hours with each horse, to ensure the horse you are seeking is a good fit.
Our mission is simple, yet hard work. We strive to provide safe landings to all thoroughbreds- whether they are retiring from their last race and are in need of aftercare, to those who seek sanctuary and rehabilitation. We work tirelessly to enhance the breed and demand for retired race horses in new careers. Our program is trusted by many breeders, owners and trainers to ensure safety and all horses are retired responsibly from their owners from racing, with their registration papers sent back to the Jockey Club and stamped "Retired From Racing". Please do not inquire about these horses if you intend to race and breed them.
Prepurchase Exams and Release of Medical Records
PPE's (Pre-purchase exams) are welcomed and suggested by our organization. If you do not have a vet to conduct a PPE, we can provide a list of veterinarians in the area to suit your needs. Most of our thoroughbreds come with diagnostics beforehand such as radiographs and ultrasounds that are available to any interested party. A PPE is the financial responsibility of the interested party. All records are fully disclosed to the interested adopter's veterinarian before a PPE. Please request these records for your vet at this link (must have approved application).
Records released to interested parties will include:
A full discharge informational sheet will be released electronically to adopters upon adopting a horse. This includes:
When paperwork is completed, you will receive a PDF file emailed to you for your records.
Tack Notations (sizing, type of bit, etc.)
Grain and Hay
Turn Out routine
Any other pertinent information
About our Adoption Application
The best way to get started with inquiring about a horse is to submit an adoption application in FULL. Incomplete applications will result in slower processing times. All parties interested in coming to see and try a horse listed must first submit an application in full to us by email or Postal Service. YOU WILL NOT BE PERMITTED AN APPOINTMENT WITHOUT AN APPLICATION SUBMITTED.
Please be sure to have a list of references. This should include people that know you around horses including your vet, trainer, a fellow boarder or barn manager.
"Sight unseen" and out of state/country (Canada only) adoptions are allowed. We require insured and professional shippers (cost of the adopter) and who will keep parties updated on their horse's shipping and progress. All interested parties will be financially responsible for health certificates as well as required paper work for the transportation company.
Scheduling Appointments and Trying Horses
An application must be filled out and returned to us in it's entirety prior to meeting our horses. Our applications are simple and ensure our horses are safe, secure and receive the best homes possible. We track every horse for their entire lifetime. As new owners obtain full ownership of our horses, any horses that are being transferred in a sale, lease or "give away" situation must be reported back to TRRAC for a transfer contract.
Minors under the age of 18 must have a parent submit an application and contact us prior to scheduling an appointment.
In case a horse is unable to be supported financially, or unable to be cared for - they MUST be returned to TRRAC with all monetary efforts forfeited with no questions asked.
Horses may be adopted to new owners and kept at our facility for training at any time.
We encourage all interested parties to contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire or schedule appointments.
MUST BE scheduled prior to viewing or trying any horse, Please do not just "show up". If you do, we will not be able to accomodate you. We do have a locked gate at the end of our gates and camera monitored premises.
Deposits, Sight Unseen Adoption and Holds
If you are interested in a horse, a 20% deposit may be made on the horse's fee/price. This is a non-refundable deposit and ensures a security on the horse for 5 days. Pricing for horses are subject to change at any time, as well as availability. Scheduling an appointment will NOT gaurantee a horse's availablility. A deposit may be made through PayPal. We cannot guarantee a horse's availability if a deposit is not placed. We do not "hold" horses otherwise. When placing a deposit, you ensure the horse's availability as well as current price.
If paperwork has not been completed (contract, bill of sale and submitting remainder of adoption fee) It will be assumed that the interested party has abandoned their interest in the horse and will forfeit their depost.
"Sight unseen" and out of state/country adoptions are allowed. We use insured and professional shippers and will constantly keep parties updated on their horse's shipping and progress. All interested parties will be financially responsible for health certificates as well as required paper work for the transportation company.
If you are adopting sight unseen, we will do our absolute best to provide all video and photo correspondence regarding the horse you are interested in. We encourage you to take advantage of our "virtual" appointments via video phone to view horses.
Horses may be tried on premises - no trials will be allowed.
Step By Step - Adoption Processes
STEP 1 - CONTACTING US
If you are interested in a certain horse, or are just browsing for your next partner, we kindly request that you contact us directly. Speaking to us directly helps us pick a horse that will best suit you or your family whether you are looking for a pleasure mount, or an upper level show partner.
Contact us at:
Please allow 48 hours for a response.
As we do not "hold" a horse without a deposit and you are TRULY interested in a certain horse- the best method of contact is to email us.
STEP 2 - ADOPTION APPLICATION
We require our adoption application to be filled out in it's entirety before meeting with our horses. This includes your veterinarian letter of recommendation (as a mandatory reference). Applications must be approved before a PPE or other paperwork is conducted.
Applications usually take up to 3-5 days for approval, depending on our availability to contact your references, unless it is submitted on a weekend or holiday.
YOUR APPLICATION MAY BE DELAYED IF IT IS NOT SUBMITTED AND FILLED OUT ENTIRELY. Blank answers will result in a delay of approval or result in denial if we cannot process.
DEPOSITS = Deposit holds are recommended for those who are interested in horses but cannot schedule an appointment right away. We do not hold horses for appointments and adoptions are first come, first serve basis. If the horse you are interested in is adopted before your appointment, we will be sure to give you ample notice. Deposits are 20% non-refundable deposits that hold your horse for 5 days to come meet them, have a PPE performed and arrange shipping. In the event of inclement weather or if a veterinarian cannot perform a PPE within the 5 days, the deposit period will be extended to accomodate accordingly. Please contact us for a deposit link - this ensures that deposits do not "doubke up" or cross.
STEP 3 - MEETING AND TRYING OUR HORSES
After we received and approve your application we invite you to come to our facility to meet our horses. Applicants will be allowed to try the horses at our facility. YOU MUST DEMONSTRATE CONTROL AND BASIC HORSEMANSHIP IN ORDER TO RIDE. You will be asked to dismount if a horse proves above your ability. Your trainer may also ride the horse if accompanying you.
Please note, most of our horses are green off the track. While we will try to match a horse to your riding ability, it should be your best judgement to let us know right away if you do not think a horse is a good fit.
We highly suggest riding the horse you are interested in.
We also invite you to take video, so you may review it later with your trainer and family.
- Each Horse will have a maximum ride time of 20-30 minutes.
- While trainers are welcome with interested parties, they will be prohibited from giving the applicant a lesson. Short coaching is allowed. (approaching jumps, asking the horse to perform a certain task)
- Horses must not be pushed beyond their currently trained limits. Example: If a horse has not jumped above a certain height, you may not jump a jump higher than which they have learned at our facility.
- Off site trials are not permitted.
- PPE's are welcomed and encouraged by all interested parties.
STEP 4 - FINAL PAPERWORK
If you have decided you have fallen in love with one of our horses, fantastic! We encourage at least a basic pre-purchase exam. If you do not have a vet who is able to travel close by, we are able to provide a list of vets in the area that can assist you and your needs. You do not have to be present for a pre-purchase, however it is recommended in case you may have some questions for the vet. If everything goes well, we will draw up our adoption contract.
Adoption fees are due before a horse departs our facility. Electronic transaction or a bank check is accepted. We also accept Visa, Discover, MasterCard and Pay Pal. Horses may be boarded at our facility short term. Short term day board is $25/daily. Invoices must be clear before a horse departs.
If you are in need of transport for your horse, we can provide local transport for an additional fee, or you may acquire quote from one of our DOT insured, commercial shippers. All paperwork for shipping as well as scheduling and shipping costs are the adopter's responsibility. Please give us 48 hours notice before you plan on picking up a horse.
FAQ - Adopting
I live far away, may I bring my trailer to my appointment and take a horse home the same day?
Yes. If your application has been submitted and approved, you may visit, try and take a horse home the same day. Payment for adoption fees must be paid in full prior to departing with a horse. We do not accept cash. We accept Paypal, Venmo or a certified bank check (no personal checks).
Will I be able to ride horses I am interested in?
Here at TRRAC, we are committed to ensuring a perfect match between horse and rider. We allow rides on horses in our program who have been restarted. We allow a minimum of 4-6 weeks for any horse entering our program to settle in. These horses are often not offered to the public until after their "let down" times.
YOU WILL NOT BE PERMITTED TO RIDE A HORSE WITHOUT A HELMET. Please do not ask.
At times, if we feel a horse is ready to be restarted before this time, we will do so. We are happy to show any horse jogging in hand or free lunging. We will not free jump young horses or horses coming off of injuries or rehabilitation. Please do not ask. Fee jumping is limited to 3 feet and horses with limiting sports injuries will NOT be free jumped. Please respect our horses.
We only ask that you are honest in your abilities to ride the horse you are interested in. We do our best to represent every horse in our program and will review your application in full prior to your visit to ensure the horse you are interested in is matched correctly to your riding goals. Your trainer may also ride the horse you are interested in. Please be aware, for a maximum ride time of 30 minutes, only two people will be permitted to ride a horse for a maxiumum of 15 minutes each.
> As we do not have an indoor, riding will be allowed when conditions and footing are ideal.
> If conditions are not ideal, we will gladly ship to a nearby indoor arena to allow you to try a horse. Scheduling for this is within our hours of operation and a $25 ring fee must be submitted to us.
> We do not allow the public to try or ride horses who have not been restarted from the track. As we do offer these horses as projects, they often preferred unstarted and are most considered by professional riders or those seeking projects for showing or the Thoroughbred Makeover.
> Horses may have a maximum ride of 30 minutes
> Horses may not be ridden past their limitations (if any) or current training.
> Trainers may accompany their students, but lessons are not permitted while trying a horse. Short coaching is allowed.
> Any rider demonstrating dangerous riding, or over-riding a horse will be asked to dismount immediately.
> A Release form must be signed before mounting any horse in our program.
How long does it take to review my application?
Typically, it takes 24 hours for a quick review, UNLESS it is a weekend or holiday. It will take as long to process as it takes your references to return our inquiry, but generally 3-5 days. In the meantime, as long as your application is on file, you are more than welcome to inquire about horses in our program as well as place a deposit.
Applications remain on file for 4 months. If you do not find a horse in our program to fit you, keep checking back within your time frame. After 4 month expiry, another application must be submitted.
Do you offer shipping to help me bring my horse home?
Yes. We have both local and state-wide shippers. These shippers are trusted, commercially insured drivers who specialize in transporting thoroughbreds. Shipping fees vary depending on your location. If you would like your horse to ship with wraps, a cooler, etc- we would gladly dress your horse prior to shipping granted you provide these items.
May I take a horse on trial?
The short answer is no. While we do allow deposit holds to try a horse at our facility, we do not allow horses to leave our custody for trials. Our horses have been shuffled and shipped around enough and we feel that they should settle in a home that is decided on without the stress of being shipped back and forth if things do not work out.
When may I come visit your horses?
You may schedule an appointment 48 hours in advance and scheduled during our hours of operation. While we try our best to accomodate everyone, please do not ask to visit the horses outside these hours. Appointments may be scheduled online and you must have an application on file prior to visiting.
What are your requirements to visit and try a horse?
Applications must be on file in our office prior to scheduling an appointment.
ALL riders MUST wear proper footwear and an ATSM approved helmet for riding. YOU WILL NOT BE PERMITTED TO RIDE A HORSE WITHOUT A HELMET. Please do not ask.
I'm interested in a horse, but I need to come back with my trainer. Can you hold a horse?
Obtaining a new horse is a big decision, so it is only proper that we encourage all parties (including a trainer) to help with your decision. We only hold horses with a deposit. Deposits are valid for 5-7 days (depending on holidays, etc.) and allow for your trainer to return, schedule a PPE and finish paper work. Deposits are 20% non-refundable and are applied to the final adoption fee of a horse.
Your trainer may visit with you during our hours with an appointment. We do not have appointments outside our normal operating hours. Appointments may be scheduled online to see what is available.
Do you have your horses vetted? May I have a horse looked over by a vet?
While most of our horses have been assessed by a veterinarian or had diagnostics performed, we encourage all parties to obtain at least a basic PPE. If you do not have a veterinarian, we can provide a list of local veterinarians to assist you.
If you wish, we will release diagnostics and previous vet reports of any horse directly to your vet. WE DO NOT RELEASE DIAGNOSTICS AND RECORDS DIRECTLY TO INTERESTED PARTIES- only directly to your veterinarian. You must complete a release request form that lists your veterinarian's phone number, contact and email address.
Vet records are released to adopters once a horse is closed upon and adopted.
We are not present for vettings. Your horse will have an assigned handler who is not affiliated with our program and has accompanied the vet. We simply let the vet know what stall the horse is located in and where they may work. You are more than welcome to be present for a vetting, but it is not required. Veterinarians do not tell us the outcome of a vetting and will be in touch with you directly after the vetting of which you may discuss the results.
Vettings must be set up during our hours of operation. Special circumstances in vettings (long vettings that require riding under saddle) must be approved with our organization beforehand and are often allowed for upper level prospects.
What if I am just passing by and stop in to see you?
Please understand, while we are more than happy to have visitors, we run on business hours and plan our days by schedule only. We are very busy and have other appointments with veterinarians, training sessions as well as other visitors. You will be asked to schedule an appointment and will not be permitted to enter the grounds to view the horses. Please be courteous to us.
Appointments are very easy to schedule and you can book directly online. Please keep in mind, an application is required and your appointment will not be valid without an application on file.
Do you negotiate adoption fees for horses?
The simple answer is no. We understand you may offer the best home possible, however we screen all of our adopters to allow the horse to enter the best home to begin with. Our horses are priced at market value and at times even lower than that and have been assessed professionally which includes medical care, diagnostics, vaccinations and professional training- with some horses holding a show record. You are getting a horse who has had a high amount of financial investment.
At times we will have "specials" around holidays or through the seasons for our horses, so keep an eye out on lower priced fees during our special periods.
May I lease or foster a horse?
While we do not offer leases on our horses, at times we may have a special horse of which we will hold a lifetime lease or foster agreement for. These horses are rare and often are special needs horses who MUST return to our facility in the event you no longer wish to foster.
Foster homes are inspected thoroughly. Be prepared for us to visit, screen multiple professional references and keep in constant contact.
Why was my application denied?
There are many reasons why an application may have been denied. Although rare we deny an application, a few factors may include the following:
>Lack of information on your application
>Being listed on a "DNA" list (Do not adopt list)
>Failing a background check due to previous abuse charges
>Lack of horse knowledge or lack of horse resources
>Poor facility to keep the horse at
>Sending a horse to dealer auctions (this does not include high end sport auctions).
While you may have the best intentions for your horse, you may rely on a particular trainer to assist you as well. Our organization wants the best for all our horses and we enjoy speaking with trainers to understand their plans for you and your horse's goals. Although rare, at times some trainers are not experienced or have been listed in the past as not being able to care for a thoroughbred or understand their needs.
Please understand, if we do not feel comfortable with your trainer's plans, we may not release a horse for you to board or train with them. Please remember, we are a well known organization and the horse world is a tight knit community, so we are well aware of many professionals and their reputations.
What if I want to sell a horse from your program?
Sure thing! We understand that many people seek young projects to bring along, especially for different careers. We do have a few horses in our program from time to time who are unable to be re-sold.
These horses MUST return to our program if no longer desired. These horses are horses who:
> Are "war horses" - older horses who have ran over 50 times or earned over $100,000.
> Have limiting issues for riding (trail buddies, pleasure types)
> Are companion/field pets (no riding)
> Have been rescued from severe abuse and neglect
We feel these horses are extra special and have been through enough hardships, so we offer them to forever homes where they can have soft landings.
We have placed many horses in homes with upper level professionals and only require a transfer contract that transfers the horse's records to the new owner and updates our database so that the horse can easily be tracked. IF YOU DO NOT FOLLOW THROUGH WITH A TRANSFER CONTRACT, A SALE IS CONSIDERED VOID.
We do this so in the event the horse is no longer desired or cannot be cared for, the new owner is aware of where the horse can be returned to within our program. We also like to reach out from time to time to make sure the horse has adjusted to it's new home. It is simply another step in our program.
Things aren't working out, may I return my horse to your program?
We understand things happen and that is why our program is here. If you have adopted a horse from our program and either are not getting along with the horse or are having financial hardships, or simply cannot care for your horse, you may return the horse at any time, no questions asked.
You will be required to turn over any and all medical information, especially diagnositcs if you are having soundness issues with your horse.
Adoption fees are non-refundable, however if you return a horse within 30 days of adoption, we will apply your adoption fee towards another horse in our program who may work for you.
FAQ - Our Horses
Can you provide me with more information on a horse?
We would be more than happy to answer any questions you may have about any horse in our program, however please make sure you check that horse's page for information, photos, video and availability. Most questions you have are available right on each horse's page, as we try our best to list as much information about each horse as possible.
Please do not send us a message with a simple "Call me with more information." We are very busy and it is easier for you to reach out directly to us via email or phone call.
What does "hold/pending" mean on a horse's page?
This horse has a deposit hold and is currently pending either veterinarian inspection or is preparing for it's new home. Deposits are generally 5-7 days, so if you are interested in a horse, keep checking back for that horse's availability. Some adopters do change their minds to adopt another horse or a new arrival during this process. Remember, submitting an application or scheduling an appointment does NOT hold a horse. Only a 20% deposit will hold a horse.
Why do you freezebrand your horses?
The simple answer is for the horse's safety and protection and to have the ability to identify a horse to our program at any time. Our brand is a small freezebrand placed on the horse's left hind quarter. The brand is painless and takes approximately 10 seconds to apply. It is a faint brand and is no different than a warmblood or other breed brand. Thoroughbreds from other countries are often branded as well.
We invest a lot of financial responsibility in our horses, with some investment costs in horses up to $10,000 due to medical expenses, rehabilitation, etc. It is only fair our horses are easily identified at any time. This brand allows for simple tracking in the event the horse is lost, stolen or the adopter has not honored our contract. We also microchip each horse in our program as well.
Do you transfer the horse's microchip number to new owners in your program?
No. We will provide you with the paperwork on the number for show purposes and your own records. However, the microchip is registered with the EPR and Jockey Club. It is linked to our organziation. In the event the horse is in an undesireable location (auction, dealer pen) we can be immediately notified. It is our protective measures for the horse.
Are your horses microchipped?
Yes. We microchip every horse for their safety. The microchip is linked to our program for life.
Where do your horses come from? Do you buy them?
No, we do not buy horses. We are a 501(c)3 non-profit aftercare program dedicated to the safety of thoroughbred horses when they are retiring from their racing careers. Our horses are surrendered or donated to our program and we provide medical care, rehabilitation and professional training before adopting them out to safe homes.
Can you take in my horse?/May I surrender a horse?
Our program allows for surrendered and donated horses to our program. However, these horses must meet the following qualifications:
> MUST be a registered thoroughbred.
> Can be directly from the track, either sound or in need of rehabilitation.
> If from the track, can be sent to our program after a work, or last race.
> Can be an owner surrender due to financial reasoning.
> You must have full ownership of the horse before surrendering
> While we offer rehabilitation for horses with injuries, please keep in mind, horses who are deemed to have a poor quality of life due to soundness will be allowed a peaceful end.
Please do right by your horse. If you are unable to financially help your horse transition to a peaceful end and feel the need to send your horse to an auction due to soundness, financials or old age, PLEASE reach out to us. We can help you! A peaceful end is nothing to be ashamed about.
> Horses entering our program meeting these qualifications must be accompanied by a donation. The donation amount varies depending on the horse's needs and is a one time donation that helps us care for your horse. Remember, once your horse enters our program, we offer them protection for life and the chance to come back to our program if need be at any point in their lifetime.
What about horses with a projected poor quality of life?
This is a question that is never easy to talk about, but we feel is very important. We value the life of every horse entering our facility. At times, we are their last effort to help rehabilitate and find a home. Our goal is to intercept horses who otherwise have no safe place to go to obtain medical treatment and may end up in a bad place.
As there are medical advancements in today's world that help many of our horses recover and find great homes, we are not miracle workers. We work hard and give each horse the best chance to fully heal. We have a full team of veterinarians who work with us and will discuss up to three different opinions from our team before making a decision. If we feel a horse is suffering with poor quality of life that is not easily maintained or able to heal fully, the decision to allow the horse a peaceful end is made. We follow euthanasia guidelines set forth by the AAEP.
You may learn more about this topic at this link:
Please respect our decisions with this topic. These are hard decisions that are never easy and are NEVER made lightly.
Why is this horse's price/fee so low/so high?
This is a question we are frequently asked and it depends on a number of variables. As we are a 501(c)3 non-profit, we are not resellers, but DO feel it is fair to recoup the value of a horse depending on the amount of training the horse has had, it's athletic ability as well as it's resume. After all, you are getting a mount who has experience in a certain career set- whether they are a seasoned trail horse to already showing or a horse who has full upper level potential.
At times we will have very low fees as well. Usually, we have holiday or seasonal specials. These horses are usually either very green, are overlooked due to previous injury or are limited in their career paths. There is nothing wrong with them and often their fees are low to simply find them a home so we may make room for more horses- our average waiting list is up to 8 weeks, or 60 days long. The horses on our waitlist often need immediate placement in our program off the track and simply cannot wait. A horse adopted opens a spot for a horse in need.
FAQ - Our Program
Do you allow volunteers?
Short answer is, YES! We absolutely appreciate volunteers. But be prepared, it is hard (and dedicated work). We work when it is very hot and we work in the bitter cold. Volunteering is quite rewarding, but you will be expected to know how to handle horses. As much as our horses are mainly quiet and friendly, we are tasked with rehabilitating and transitioning thoroughbreds into "civilian life". This includes handling young and energenic horses.
Duties of volunteers include:
>Walking and handling horses in rehabilitation.
>Assisting with the farrier and vet
>Riding (you must demonstrate an ability at at least intermediate level)
>Fedding and taking hay to horses
>Cleaning & filling water tubs & Buckets
>Helping with photoshoots and video sessions during training
Each volunteer must sign a waiver on file.
Where is your facility located?
We are located in West Chester, Pennsylvania.
Our facility is easily accessible from I95, Rt 1, 202, 322, 41 and 926.