New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program announced its new partnership with Gallop On, which provides equestrian and educational opportunities to underprivileged young riders while providing rehabilitation and retraining for retired and non-competitive Thoroughbreds.
Founded in 2011, Gallop On has seen both students and retired racehorses excel through the program's efforts, according to a release. The young riders are trained in all aspects of equine management, horsemanship, and a variety of riding disciplines as well as given the opportunity to compete in equestrian events. The retired Thoroughbreds have received quality training and have competed successfully in eventing, dressage, hunter/jumpers, and foxhunting.
"As a master of foxhounds and huntsman of 25 years, I have purchased many Thoroughbreds off the track to train as field hunters" explained Heidi Van de Motter, director of the Gallop On program, in the release. "Several years ago with my hunter getting up in years I went to New Vocations to adopt his successor. With Hunt members dwindling due to age and young horse enthusiasts at my door step, I saw the need for a program. Seven adopted New Vocations horses later, Gallop On was launched with amazingly talented horses serving dedicated and talented young riders. We are forever thankful for the support of the New Vocations Team."
"New Vocations has had the privilege of working with Heidi Van de Motter for several years now and we are honored to be working with her program on a formalized basis" said New Vocations program director Anna Ford in a statement. "The partnership is a natural fit as Gallop On shares a similar mission and philosophy in working with retired racehorses as New Vocations. Her program even takes it a step further and invests in the lives of teens through working with the horses."
With the new partnership the Gallop On program will serve as a New Vocations facility in northeastern Ohio, drawing from horses in northern Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. The facility is located between Thistledown Racino and the new location for Beulah Park, and is just over an hour from Mountaineer Race Track.
New Vocations said its facility at West Wind Farm in Lexington is at capacity so the program is exploring new avenues to keep up with the growing number of horses in need of New Vocation's services. In 2013 the program took in more than 400 retired racehorses and the number is expected to increase in 2014.