New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program


Ahead of Plan, adopted from New Vocations in 2022, has been successfully competing in jumpers along the East Coast including the Tryon International Equestrian Center and the 2023 New Vocations All-Thoroughbred Charity Horse Show in Aiken, SC.


Services: Rehabilitation, Retraining/Adoption

Location: Lexington, KY

Founded: 1992


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Average Number of Thoroughbreds: 320

An aftercare pioneer, New Vocations is the nation’s oldest and largest racehorse adoption program, having provided new careers and homes for more than 8,500 Thoroughbreds and Standardbreds since its inception in 1992. New Vocations was the first charity to focus solely on adoption, rather than retirement, as the optimal solution for the large number of racehorses that leave the racetrack each year.

New Vocations works directly with racing industry horse owners and trainers who are seeking a reliable aftercare option. Three-quarters of the horses entering the program have an injury, ranging from minor soreness to fractures in need of repair, and rehabilitation has become one of the cornerstone services of New Vocations. An average of 150 horses are under New Vocations’ care at any given time. These horses are in various stages of rehabilitation and retraining at the nonprofit’s nine facilities in Kentucky, Louisiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, and New York. In 2022, New Vocations served more than 550 horses.

Potential adopters undergo a thorough application and screening process to help ensure horses end up in appropriate homes; more than 1,300 applications were processed in 2022. Adopters must sign a contract stating the horse cannot return to racing or be sold at a public auction. New Vocations monitors each horse closely during the first year in a new home and offers a lifetime return policy to ensure the horse always has a safe place if needed.

The New Vocations Lexington, KY facility includes a state-of-the-art training and adoption facility situated on historic Mereworth Farm. New Vocations at Mereworth Farm is part of the Susan S. Donaldson Foundation’s 1,200-acre farm, making it the nation’s largest racehorse rehabilitation, retraining, and re-homing facility. Group and private tours, available via Horse Country, can be booked at

Over the past 30 years, New Vocations has seen a steady increase in demand for retired racehorses within the equestrian world.

“The homes are out there,” program director Anna Ford said. “New Vocations is totally dependent on donations to fulfill its mission. The more funding we raise, the more horses we can rehabilitate, retrain, and re-home. We are deeply grateful to all who have joined our effort to provide these horses with a quality life and career after racing.”

New Vocations Success Stories


Zesty Zar

Zesty Zar – Melissa Barber instantly fell in love when she saw the son of Tapizar posted online. Read more


Frank's Gift

Frank’s Gift – The unraced son of Temple City has made quite a name for himself by consistently placing in the ribbons in a variety of disciplines. Read more


Kulik Lodge

Kulik Lodge – After 12 starts, the son of Curlin retired with a record of 4-2-0 and earnings just under $181,000, but is now making strides as an eventer. Read more


Make The Point

Make The Point – This well-bred son of Menifee found his calling off the racetrack in western dressage. Read more


Mr Rosenthal

Mr Rosenthal – With her 14-year-old off-track Thoroughbred retired, Anne Stone was looking for a friend for the gelding and spotted Mr Rosenthal online. Read more


Smart Transition -- Tori Tedesco

Smart Transition – A stakes winner at Saratoga, the son of Smart Strike caught the eye of his adopter on a farm visit. Read more



Thirtysevenliveson – While the son of Giant’s Causeway wasn’t as successful on the track as his older siblings—2009 Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Mine That Bird and grade 1 winner Dullahan—he found his calling off the track. Read more


Sam P

Sam P – The son of Cat Thief finished ninth in the 2007 Kentucky Derby, but is now turnings heads in the dressage area. Read more