Kentucky Equine Adoption Center

Cheetoz Debutante aka “Gigi”, a 12-year-old Thoroughbred mare, was recently rescued from floodwaters and is waiting for adoption.
  • Services

    Rehabilitation, Retraining/Adoption, Equine-Assisted

  • Location

    Lexington, Kentucky

  • Founded


  • Average Number of Thoroughbreds


Some of the biggest names in racing threw their support behind the Kentucky Equine Adoption Center (KYEAC) when it was founded in 2007. Among them were Racing Hall of Fame horsemen Chris McCarron and Nick Zito and noted owners and breeders Arthur Hancock and the late Marylou Whitney. The organization has since provided a much-needed service in finding homes for unwanted horses of all breeds, although half the herd is generally Thoroughbreds.

Situated on 70 acres near Nicholasville, KY, the program offers a peaceful haven where equines can relax, recover, and heal until their forever home is found. Incoming horses receive veterinary care and individualized attention before moving on to retraining, wherein qualified trainers work with them to establish a safe, solid foundation for the future. By contractual agreement, no adopted animal can ever again be used for racing or breeding.

Success stories are many. One is Gigi, pictured above, a TB mare sent by her Kentucky owners to Florida for training. Unfortunately, her first trainer was killed in a terrible accident. Gigi was then temporarily used as a dressage lesson horse until a major hurricane flooded the farm where she was housed. Our “Unsinkable Molly Brown” was found standing in chest-deep water and was swum out to safety. She was moved back to Kentucky and then donated to the KYEAC. She has been rehabilitated and is waiting for her adoptive family.

KYEAC has four programs in addition to the general horse care it provides: Take the Reins education program, geared toward K-12 students, teaching responsible horse ownership, giving back to the community, and becoming good citizens; Heads Up Hearts Open Equine Growth and Communication, which offers its horses to professionals conducting equine-assisted learning and therapy and training in leadership and supervision; and the Stable Foundations education program geared toward first-time horse owners. Stable Foundations is hands-on with the horse, teaching participants how to work with horses on the ground and providing general horse husbandry skills.

Our Fast Track program focuses on Thoroughbreds who are directly off the track, or within 3 years of their last race. This program aims to place these young horses in new homes within 120 days.

A grant recipient from TAA, KYEAC also has been supported by organizations such as Keeneland, Churchill Downs, Rood & Riddle, Hagyard, Park Equine, Kentucky Horse Council, Brennan Equine Welfare Fund, Equus Foundation, Indiana HBPA, Thoroughbred Charities of America, Kentucky Colonels, and ASPCA.

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Success Stories