•New Vocations: 450 Horses Served in 2014, 1/22•
New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program said Jan. 22 that it served over 450 retired racehorses and screened 1,111 potential recipients through their application process in 2014.
Of the 450 horses, 80% were successfully retrained and adopted while the remaining 20% are still being rehabilitated or trained.
New Vocations focuses on rehabilitating, retraining and re-homing both Thoroughbreds and Standardbreds at the end of their racing careers. According to New Vocations, the program has 95 horses in its care at any given time, divided among eight facilities in Kentucky, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
In 2014, half of the horses required up to 10 months of rehabilitation, while the other half were able to go directly into vocational training.
"Most horses retire from racing due to an injury," said New Vocations program director Anna Ford. "However, we have seen that the majority of the injuries can be rehabilitated and the horse become sound for a second career. Our emphasis on rehabilitation has been a costly endeavor, but nowhere near the expense to retire a horse for life. Rehab can run as much as $5,000 a horse, but if we find that horse a home, it is worth it. There are plenty of individuals willing to take a retired racehorse, but it must be healthy and sound, which is why we are directing more resources to rehabilitation."
During New Vocations 23 years of operations, 5,000 horses have been adopted through the program.
In 2014, New Vocations received 1,111 applications from individuals interested in adopting, up from 831 in 2013 and 714 in 2012.
"The homes are out there for retired racehorses," Ford said. "The more funding we are able to raise, the more horses we can rehabilitate, retrain, and re-home. We are totally dependent on donations and deeply grateful to all that have joined our efforts to provide these horses with a quality life and career after racing."
In 2015, the program will announce several new partnerships to enhance and increase its outreach. New Vocations is accredited by the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance. More information is available at www.NewVocations.org.
•Retired Trainer Cunningham Dies at Age 71, 1/22•
Retired trainer James P. "Jim" Cunningham died Jan. 16 at Baycare Alliant Hospital in Dunedin, Fla., after a lingering illness. He was 71.
Known by his nickname, "Fifteen," he was a mainstay at tracks in Ohio, Kentucky, Florida, and New England. Cunningham began his career in 1976 and retired in 2004 with 280 wins from 2,102 starters, and with 261 seconds and 242 thirds, according to Equibase.
Cunningham was born in Cleveland, Ohio. He is survived by sisters Kay Schultz of St. Petersburg, Fla., Connie Chicchio of Cleveland, and Patty Marvin of Chantily, Va.
Colleen Cunningham of Denver, Colo., is his only child. Cunningham's former wife, Andrea Cunningham, was also a successful trainer, starting 1,649 horses and winning 311 races.
Cunningham resided in Clearwater, Fla., and spent many winters racing at Tampa Bay Downs, where the second race Jan. 24, will be named in his honor.