Down the Stretch Ranch
Services: Sanctuary, Rehabilitation, Retraining/Adoption, Equine-Assisted
Location: Creston, WA
Average Number of Thoroughbreds: 25-30
Down the Stretch Ranch was founded in 2015 by Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, his wife, Janet Hollendorfer, and Boone McCanna. The 501(c)(3) organization uses ex-racehorses to provide therapeutic rehabilitation for military veterans, their families, and underprivileged children.
As these equine athletes offer comfort and companionship to the visiting groups, the organization provides a situation for the horses and humans to thrive. In this form of equine therapy, there are parallels and connections to be made between horse and guest.
When a guest arrives at the Washington-based ranch, McCanna offers a tour of the facility, which includes an area for the main herd to roam over 100 acres. Just as each guest has their own story, so does every member of the herd at Down the Stretch Ranch.
Once a guest selects a horse, they are told the story of that horse and shown race replays to understand the animal’s background. The guests are given the opportunity to ride around the ranch to spend more time with the off-the-track Thoroughbred.
The ranch also offers housing for attending guests, with many choosing to extend their stay or return to the ranch later.
Down the Stretch also hosts families and children from Fairchild Air Force Base, the largest aerial refueling station in the world, which has 600 families on base. Children on base can sometimes struggle to make new friends when a parent is deployed. The aid of horses at Down the Stretch can help children connect and cope.
In the last 2 years, the ranch adopted 20 horses to qualified homes.