CANTER Michigan

Turnagain Tide was adopted from CANTER Michigan in 2022 and continues to do well, competing in hunter and jumper competitions despite a mild kissing spine diagnosis.


Services: Rehabilitation, Retraining/Adoption

Location: Commerce Township, MI

Founded: 1998


Social:  Image result for facebook logo Instagram free icon

Average Number of Thoroughbreds: 40

Celebrating our 26th anniversary in 2024, 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. At that time, Detroit Racecourse was closing. More than 200 Thoroughbreds were ending their racing careers, but they had few options for a future career.

CANTER began a public campaign to find homes and successfully rehomed all 200 Thoroughbreds! Twenty-six years later, CANTER Michigan continues to rehome Thoroughbreds from racetracks in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.

The CANTER program has expanded through CANTER affiliates across the United States.

CANTER Michigan’s Thoroughbred aftercare program is unique. Injured Thoroughbreds into CANTER are transported to Michigan State University to receive life-saving surgeries, followed by 6-8 months of rehabilitation before retraining can begin.

CANTER also provides advanced education to MSU vet students by permitting students to assist with all aspects of surgery on CANTER Thoroughbreds.

Following rehabilitation and vet approval, Thoroughbreds are transported to a training facility where each horse is assessed to help determine a potential career such as polo, hunter, jumper, dressage, barrel racing, eventing, or trail riding. Training is specialized for each horse’s abilities.

Thoroughbreds do well in retraining and can excel in a new career.  Most enjoy the spotlight of competitions such as the Retired Racehorse Project Thoroughbred Makeover.

Thoroughbreds available for adoption are marketed through social media and CANTER’s website. Adopters must be preapproved. Potential adopters submit an online adoption application that describes their riding skills and experience with OTTBs, farm information, vet, farrier, and trainer references. Each adopter is evaluated to ensure a suitable match for the horse and adopter.

CANTER Michigan has no paid staff. All revenue is spent to support CANTER Michigan’s 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