Hope After Racing Thoroughbreds

Hope After Racing Thoroughbreds graduate Dr. Hipp receiving praise after a successful jump class. Credit: Oak Hill Equestrian Photography
  • Services

    Sanctuary, Rehabilitation, Retraining/Adoption

  • Location

    Altoona, Iowa

  • Founded


  • Average Number of Thoroughbreds


Hope After Racing Thoroughbreds (HART) was created to provide rehabilitation, retraining, and ultimately adoption for Thoroughbreds training and/or racing in Iowa. Our mission is to ensure a safe, temporary home for injured or noncompetitive Thoroughbred racehorses with uncertain futures that have raced at Prairie Meadows Racetrack.

HART provides a peaceful environment and experienced care for each horse’s individual recuperative needs with adequate time to transition from the racetrack environment. Once they are ready, horses begin retraining with the goal of preparing them for second careers and/or homes.

HART has been active since 2010 and has had more than 120 horses come through its program. HART puts the needs of the horse first and endeavors to address any injuries, followed by adequate rehabilitation as we get to know each horse and their potential for a second career. We believe that every horse benefits from daily handling and being taught solid ground manners, so they are a good citizen in their next career.

HART is a lean organization staffed by volunteers striving to find the perfect adoptive situation for every horse in our care, with the goal of placing each in a forever home. We are available to help adopters with any problems that arise. In the event an adoptive horse must be returned for any reason, we take the horse back and facilitate the readoption process.

HART is the only rehabilitation, retraining, and adoption organization recognized by all racing organizations in Iowa. In fact, HART’s board is constructed to include a representative of each group, specifically the Iowa Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, Iowa Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners Associations, Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino, and the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission. Along with these groups from racing, HART also incorporates board members from the overall horse industry.

We pride ourselves in bringing the two worlds together to create the best possible solution for the horses placed in our care.

HART has three veterinarians serving on the volunteer board and has an excellent working relationship with Iowa State University Veterinarian College to assist with our most challenging cases.

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