Racing partnership Team Valor International, which holds a strategic alliance with Changing Leads for the rehabilitation, retraining and rehoming of its former runners and shares a VP in Megan Jones, recently initiated a clause in their LLCs to provide for a starter fund of $5,000 for each horse as it heads off the track and into rehabilitation or retraining.
“This was such a big step for our organization and positive example to all racehorse owners,” explained Ali Goodrich, who is also a partner in Team Valor. “Sometimes there’s a slightly outdated logic from racehorse owners that anyone receiving a ‘free’ horse off the track is lucky. But, the reality of the situation is that, while the horses can be amazing sport horses down the line, it takes a lot of skill, experience and time to get each horse to a stage where he is productive and useful in a second career to the extent that a non-professional can enjoy the horse. That is especially true when we provide rehabilitation first, which we do for more than half of our intakes. By the time we get a horse with a bowed tendon back under a saddle, we typically already have between $6,000 to $10,000 or more into them. The starter funds have become critical so that we’re not completely in the hole financially before we ever get a bridle on them to begin the retraining process. We cannot thank Barry enough for initiating that, and we hope that it starts a positive domino effect for other owners in the industry to do the same, regardless of which aftercare organization their horse goes to. We’re all in this together.”
Changing Leads has successfully rehomed Team Valor runners Asunder, Capitan Futuro (GB), Crop Report, English Progress, Hay Oats and Water, Hull, Lake Drop, Lelaps, Meistersinger, Pickfair, Standing O, and Stefochop (Fr), and currently has in the program former Team Valor horses Dance Marathon, Dark Voyager, Deep Speed (Ire), Get A Grip (Ire), In the Chips, Throckmorton, and Unrivaled.