Caribbean Thoroughbred Aftercare
Services: Sanctuary, Rehabilitation, Adoption
Location: Rio Grande, Puerto Rico
Average Number of Thoroughbreds: 40+
Caribbean Thoroughbred Aftercare has been helping Thoroughbreds in Puerto Rico transition to good lives off the track since 2008. More than 1,500 U.S.-bred Thoroughbreds race annually in Puerto Rico, a large percentage of which are imported from the U.S. mainland. CTA is located at the foothills of the El Yunque national rainforest region and has 10 acres of large paddocks with shady shelters and an 11-stall barn. It has become a tropical haven and safety net for horses leaving their racing careers behind.
During 2020, CTA has taken in 30 horses and adopted 27 to good homes, with 18 returned to the U.S. mainland and nine re-homed in Puerto Rico. CTA faces many challenges, including a 1,000-mile distance from the U.S. mainland, lack of resources and qualified homes, poverty, and a tropical environment. Fortunately, CTA has formed good working partnerships with several other TAA-accredited organizations, as well as with breeders and former connections, creating a bridge for some horses to return to the United States.
COVID-19 has made the placing and movement of horses more difficult due to air travel
and USDA quarantine availability, and also has increased the difficulties of finding new homes for horses in Puerto Rico and on the U.S. mainland. While we wait for things to pick up again, we are focused on increasing the number of Thoroughbreds we help retire.
CTA is proud of our positive working relationship with the Puerto Rico and mainland racing industries. We continue our efforts monthly with CTA Day at the races when we recognize the grooms with the “Caballo Mas Vistoso” (best looking horse) awards, hold live interviews with CTA board members, and present a trophy for the winning owner, trainer, and jockey of one race that day. It is important to bring to light the efforts of backstretch employees who work so hard every day with the horses.
The Caribbean is beautiful but also can be unforgiving and very challenging for Thoroughbreds both on and off the track. CTA is grateful to TAA and to all the individuals that not only financially support our work and efforts but also help with the networking that helps find homes for our former racing athletes.
Caribbean Thoroughbred Aftercare Success Stories