The Standardbred Retirement Foundation held its first adoption day in conjunction with the Festival of Horses at the Horse Park of New Jersey on Aug. 8.
Nearly 20 SRF horses in need of homes were brought to the event that drew over 5,500 guests--and nearly 1,000 had the chance to visit the horses in their stalls. The horses were also ridden, driven, or led by volunteers into the park's main arena and shown to potential adoptive owners.
Pre-approved adoptive owners were given the option of selecting a horse and taking it home on sight. In all, eight horses left the park for a new home that day, while three more were adopted within a few days of the event.
SRF spokespersons said that close to 100 additional applications were requested by those interested in adopting an animal in the future.
Since July 1, 2004, according to the SRF, 39 horses have been placed for adoption with more than 100 still waiting. They admit many of the remaining horses are older, or not sound enough to be regularly ridden, and thus unattractive to a new owner.
The horses awaiting adoption are cared for by a network of foster homes at an average cost to the SRF of $150 per month. Of the 11 horses placed at the event, only one was less than completely sound.