New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program


new vocations

Vernet was donated to New Vocations by Juddmonte Farms. He was adopted Kelly Summers Wietsma and was the 2020 HITS Saugerties Grand Circuit Champion. Credit: SEL Photography

Services: Rehabilitation, Adoption

Location: Lexington, KY

Founded: 1992


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Average Number of Thoroughbreds: 320


A pioneer in racehorse aftercare, New Vocations leads the nation in retired racehorse adoptions, having provided new careers and homes for more than 7,000 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 leaving the track each year.

New Vocations works directly with owners and trainers within the racing industry who need a reliable aftercare option. More than half of the horses entering the program have an injury, ranging from minor soreness to fractures in need of repair. Rehabilitation has become a cornerstone of the program, which focuses on retraining and re-homing retired racehorses. New Vocations has an average of 150 horses in its program at any given time. These horses are in various stages of rehabilitation and retraining, and are spread among eight locations in Kentucky, Louisiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York. The program serves more than 500 horses each year.

Potential adopters undergo a thorough application process, with nearly 1,000 individuals screened annually. All horses are adopted with a signed contract stating the horse cannot return to a racing career or be sold at a public auction. New Vocations monitors each horse closely during the first year in its new home; the program offers a lifetime return policy to ensure the horse always has a safe place if needed.

The New Vocations Kentucky location includes a state-of-the-art training and adoption facility situated on historic Mereworth Farm in Lexington. 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 retirement, rehabilitation, retraining, and re-homing facility. Tours are available by appointment. Over the past 28 years, New Vocations has seen a steady increase in demand tor 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 >>