LoneStar Outreach to Place Ex-Racers
Services: Santuary, Rehabilitation, Adoption
Location: Driftwood, TX
Average Number of Thoroughbreds: 12
“Every racehorse is waiting to be someone’s special champion.”
With that credo, LoneStar Outreach to Place Ex-Racers (LOPE) has done business in Texas since 2003. Founded by Lynn Reardon, author of the best-selling, award-winning book “Beyond the Homestretch,” LOPE is today one of the country’s leading organizations working with off-the-track racehorses.
Established on the premise that horses need jobs, not pity and that many older ex-racers still have much to offer – whether as trail horses, show competitors, pets, or pasture companions – LOPE sees to it that they receive the attention required to become “champions” in a post-racing world.
Believing that a better-educated horse is less likely to be at-risk and that a well-educated rider makes the best adopter, LOPE provides individualized retraining and rehab of horses, along with clinics for people interested in adopting. LOPE also offers internships for teens interested in veterinary or equine careers, vocational training for at-risk youth, and science-based field trips for K-12 students. LOPE is in educational partnerships with the Texas Equine Veterinary Association and the American Association of Equine Veterinary Technicians to encourage young people to consider veterinary careers.
LOPE specializes in older horses (“warhorses”) still running at the track at later ages. They also will accept retired broodmares who were warhorses during their racing careers. Yearlings/weanlings, stallions, and broodmares in foal are not accepted into LOPE, which accepts only off-the-track horses (of any racing breed) voluntarily donated by their owners or trainers. Each is assessed as to its particular needs and then placed either into their rehab or retraining program. During their time at LOPE, horses also act as teachers for the teen interns, recently graduated DVMs, vet school students, and K-12 students in the field trip program. Horses cannot be adopted until their training or rehab regimen is complete.
“For us, it’s an honor to work with such tremendous athletes,” said Reardon, who had little equine background when she first visited a racetrack backside and fell in love with the heart, intelligence, and athleticism of the horses she encountered. “I couldn’t believe that such magnificent athletes could ever be at risk, and I am honored now to help them transition into new lives.
“Every horse is special – and we believe that every horse needs a vocation to be happy and true to its nature.”