CANTER Mid-Atlantic Gets Charles Town Boost

Racehorse rehabilitation and retraining program also celebrating a milestone year.

After starting a successful partnership in 2009, CANTER Mid-Atlantic continues to receive grant funding from Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races, enabling its ongoing program and mission to rehabilitate and find homes for former racehorses.

CANTER Mid-Atlantic will also be the presenting sponsor for Charles Town's $200,000 Sugar Maple Stakes, which is to run prior to the Charles Town Classic (gr. II) April 20.

The additional funds and renewed commitment by Charles Town will enable CANTER Mid-Atlantic to grow from a free racehorse sales listing service and racehorse rehabilitation provider to an emergency care provider for at-risk race horses it would otherwise have been forced to turn away, officials said.

"The annual donation we receive from Charles Town Races funds the rehabilitation and re-homing of dozens of ex-racehorses that are donated directly to CANTER Mid-Atlantic from the racetrack," CANTER Mid-Atlantic executive director Allie Conrad said in a release. "Without those funds and the dedication and support that Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races has shown us over the years, we would not be able to provide this important outlet for ex-racehorses that are ready to move on to second careers."

Having been granted access to the barn area for more than a decade by Charles Town management, CANTER Mid-Atlantic's volunteers have built strong relationships with track management and racing professionals on the backstretch. Those relationships have made it possible for the organization to successfully transition so many ex-racehorses into new homes, the organization said.

"We're proud of our ongoing partnership with CANTER Mid-Atlantic and to support the very worthy efforts of their team," Charles Town vice president of racing operations Erich Zimny said. "Much as they've done over the last several years, we're confident CANTER will put these resources to good use in placing and taking in horses in need new homes."

CANTER chapters are also celebrating a milestone year for transitioning ex-racehorses into second careers through free online sales listings. The 10 CANTER chapters' online sales websites served 596 trainers at 30 racetracks nationally in 2012, and successfully transitioned 1,015 racehorses nearing the end of their racing careers, officials said.

In 2012 CANTER volunteers made more than 600 trips in total to racetracks in Ohio, Massachusetts, Colorado, Arizona, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Pennsylvania, California, and the Mid-Atlantic region (Delaware, Maryland, and West Virginia) to meet with trainers and owners of horses that were ready to retire from racing but are capable of beginning a second career.

During racetrack visits, CANTER volunteers meet with trainers and owners to photograph, write descriptions of their horses, and post that content along with the trainer's contact information on the CANTER sales website.

CANTER officials said the sales listings website receives between 35,000 and 55,000 visits each month. In 2012 the site received 651,783 visits.

Of those, 455,647 were returning visitors and 196,136 were new visitors. CANTER said 142,000 visitors accessed the site through their mobile device.