Harmony and Hope Horse Haven
Location: Portal, AZ
Average Number of Thoroughbreds: 35
During the mid-1990s, Thoroughbred owner and breeder Ruth Plenty watched the injured, older, or unsuccessful racehorses, especially those without a second career option, loaded onto trailers and sent to auction. It didn’t seem right.
Plenty and her husband began rescuing horses whenever they could, absorbing the cost for several years largely out of pocket, and eventually setting up Harmony and Hope Horse Haven as a sanctuary for ex-racehorses.
“This is the best job I’ve ever had,” said Ruth Plenty, who performs many of the daily tasks at the 40-acre Pile of Old Rocks Ranch, home base of Harmony and Hope. “All of our horses are success stories. They came off the track unwanted, with no place to go – but did not end up abandoned or at feedlot auctions. Instead, they spend their days eating, sleeping, and just being horses. They know they have a home – they know contentment.”
At any given time, some 45 horses live in permanent retirement on Plenty’s property, located 2 1/2 hours outside of Tucson, AZ. About 90 percent of Harmony and Hope’s lifetime residents earned less than $45,000, many after racing for years. The current herd ranges in age from 7 to 29, having raced in New York, Kentucky, Florida, Washington, Arizona, California, and Canada. Regardless of a racing career, medical issues, or personality, the horses are provided a lifetime home at Harmony and Hope.
Harmony and Hope Horse Haven, Inc. is an all-volunteer 501(c)3 non-profit organization totally dependent upon grants and donations. Harmony and Hope has been accredited by Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance since 2014 and has also been recognized by Thoroughbred Charities of America, CARMA, After the Finish Line, and private foundations.