Where Racehorses Go When They Retire

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Last year, horse racing in the US was close to being a $4 billion industry. We’re pretty sure that if 2020 didn’t start with all these social events restrictions due to the coronavirus outbreak, maybe it could really reach the $4 billion. In spite of that, we’ can’t deny that it has been one of the most popular sports, worldwide, in terms of betting, which makes it grow as a business and as a sport, every year. That’s why if you know how to bet horses successfully. you’re on the right track to make some cash.

There are two main factors in horse racing – the jockeys, and the horses. Even though an experienced and fit jockey can fully take advantage of its horse, it’s in this last one that most physical effort is required, and because of the amount of money that the sport moves, it’s not surprising that breeding and training racehorses since birth have been a normal practice between owners.

Now, the routine of a racehorse while in competition might be well-known, but there’s an interesting question that most people don’t know the answer to. What really happens to racehorses when they retire?

Less Effortful Sports


Racing is a tremendously exhausting and wearing activity for horses, so they usually are only able to do it between 3 to 4 years. If they retire without any hard injuries, most will follow to more light sports, like dressage or showjumping. Dressage is more of a performative art made by the horse and its rider and its ultimate goal is to show impressive mastery of skills. Since most racehorses are used to being told what to do, most of them usually do great in this sport. Showjumping englobes dressage and other skills like eventing and jumping, even though it’s more focused on this last one.

Well Deserved Rest


The horses with the best genetics are retired and spend the rest of their lives in breeding farms. The female Thoroughbreds will continue as broodmares and the un-castrated male ones will breed on ”stud farms”. Nowadays, this is a very important step in a horse’s life and one that can be extremely profitable to its owner. A horse who won both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, called “I’ll Have Another” made $2.7 million while racing, but was sold for breeding for $10 million.

Rescue and Adoption


There are numerous organizations, just in the US, that rescue recently retired horseraces and take care of them. They can be retrained for other events and sports like we’ve mentioned previously, they can be adopted by farms or they even can spend the rest of their lives in the so-called sanctuary farms. If you’re interested in helping those organizatios or you just want to know a bit more about them, the most popular ones in the US are New Vocations, Canter USA, Second Stride, Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation and Retired Racehorse Project.

Now You Know!


Like we said, being such a physically demanding sport, it’s no surprise that in the space of 4 years a young winning-races stud can become an old loser. But the business likes to reward that effort, maybe even more than other businesses that work with human beings, like the NFL. Be a loser or a winner, we know that after their racing career most horses can find peace and comfort in whichever place they are.

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