CANTER Michigan

CANTER Michigan

Alex Tyson and CANTER Michigan graduate Gold Room Scotty competing in Ranch Work in the 2018 Retired Racehorse Project’s Thoroughbred Makeover.


Services: Rehabilitation, Adoption

Location: Commerce Township, MI

Founded: 1998


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Average Number of Thoroughbreds: 40

CANTER Michigan (Communication Alliance to Network Thoroughbred Ex-Racehorses in Michigan) has actively transitioned thoroughbreds since 1998, the year of inception of the CANTER program. The Detroit Race Course was closing and more than 200 non-competitive Thoroughbreds needed to retire from racing. A CANTER marketing campaign to the public found homes for all 200 OTTBs. That beginning has resulted in a nationwide expansion of CANTER, which has successfully transitioned more than 25,000 Thoroughbreds to date.

CANTER Michigan provides aftercare to retiring Thoroughbreds from racetracks in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. Most are not competitive in racing.
Some suffer racetrack injuries. Many injured Thoroughbreds are transported by CANTER to Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine to receive life-saving surgery.

In addition to helping the horse, CANTER provides an advanced education for MSU Veterinary students by permitting students to assist with all aspects of surgery: diagnosis, preparation, anesthesia, arthroscopic procedure, recovery, and post-operative care.
CANTER Thoroughbreds receive the required rehabilitation time at one of two rehab facilities until a veterinarian concludes that rehab is complete and retraining can begin.

Thoroughbreds are retrained for new careers at a training facility. Each is assessed to help determine its potential career such as polo, hunter, jumper, dressage, barrel racing, eventing, trail rides.

Thoroughbreds available for adoption are marketed through social media and CANTER’s website. Adopters must be pre-approved and submit an online application that describes their riding skills, horse experience, farm information, vet, farrier, and trainer references. CANTER
reserves the right to ensure a suitable match in the best interest of the horse and adopter.

CANTER has no paid staff. All revenue is spent to support CANTER’s excellent Thoroughbred aftercare program and successful transitions into a CANTER-approved home.

CANTER Michigan Success Stories

steps to the stars

Steps to the Stars – A career maiden in seven, the gelding has become a winner off the track thanks to TAA-accredited CANTER Michigan and adopter Lindsay Hunt. Read more >>


Green Mouse and Nina Neumann

Green Mouse – Nina Neumann found herself drawn to the string of newly arrived OTTBs in her barn from CANTER Michigan, especially one in particular. Read more >>


Gold Room Scotty at the Thoroughbred Makeover

Gold Room Scotty – As a racehorse, the son of Quality Road made six starts in his on-track career but only earned one placing. He found his niche off the track in a discipline that surprised his adopter. Read more >>