Adopting an off the track Thoroughbred (OTTB) can be one of the most rewarding decisions you’ll make in your equestrian career. Depending on who you ask, the word “Thoroughbred” can carry with it a lot of preconceptions. To those that know them well, when we think of OTTBs we think of heart and stamina and athleticism unmatched, but also intelligence and work ethic.

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Every time a horse is adopted from After the Races, another almost immediately comes in off our wait list. By choosing to adopt you save not just one but two lucky horses. If you are in a position to accept and work with a young Thoroughbred, we hope you will consider adopting.

If you are considering a new horse and are interested in building a rewarding relationship with one of these beautiful animals, here’s how our adoption process works.

1. Fill out an application We require all interested potential adopters to fill out an application. Adopting off track Thoroughbreds is ideal for experienced, previous horse owners, and questions will be asked regarding experience and care of the horse.

2. Choosing a horse. Once tentatively approved, you can work with After the Races staff to set up an appointment to come meet the horses in person and determine which (if any) will be suitable for you.  If the horse you are interested in is currently in training, you may potentially try them out on our property prior to making your decision.  We do not hold horses until they are adopted or until they have a 10% non-refundable deposit on them to hold them for up to a week for the sole purpose of a pre-purchase exam. Horses will be shown to all approved adopters until one makes a commitment to the horse. Adopting “sight-unseen” is possible as well, though we highly recommend pre-purchase exams for those who cannot see the horse in person. We do not do trial periods.

3. Adoption fees and contract. To commit to adopting a horse, adoption paperwork must be filled out AND the adoption fee paid in full. Adoption fees vary based on the horse and their abilities and condition.  The adoption contract includes a No-Auction and Right of First Refusal agreement in exchange for full transfer of ownership. Foal papers may or may not be provided, depending on where the horse came from (some programs and owners offer them, some do not, some get lost forever to the various trainer and track secretary offices).

4. Transportation. Adopters have 7 days to move the horse from our location upon completion of the adoption process. A daily rate of $20 will be charged for every day the horse remains in our care beyond the first seven.  This daily fee does not include training. Transportation is the responsibility of the adopter, though we can assist you with shipping for $2.00/loaded mile (or can recommend other shippers upon request). Please see below for a tool to estimate professional shipping cost.

5. Keep us updated! Once a horse has left to go to its new home, we expect to hear how it is adjusting and expect at least a couple updates during the first year, with photos, so that we can see how the horse is transitioning. This is the most rewarding part of our job!

6. Future restrictions. Horses adopted through After the Races have few restrictions. They cannot return to racing and cannot be sold via livestock or horse auctions. Other than that, they are permitted to be resold as long as After the Races gets first right of refusal. While we understand many people are looking for sales projects, we are not looking to work with those who are interested in a quick flip. If you are adopting with expectation to resale, we expect you to spend six months to a year minimum working with a horse before doing so.

Ready to look at our horses?