22 February 2011

Guidelines Help Former Racehorses Go from Track to New Careers

Re-purposed or Retread racehorses are the lifeline of Eventing.  The AAEP wants to facilitate the transition of horses from racing to another career...
The American Association of Equine Practitioners has developed guidelines to help veterinarians and adoption groups successfully transition retired racehorses to new homes and new careers.  “Transitioning the Retired Racehorse:  Guidelines for Equine Practitioners, Adoption Organizations and Horse Owners” provides an overview of the common physical challenges affecting some former racehorses and helps establish expectations for a horse’s future capabilities.

Developed by the Transitioning Subcommittee of the AAEP Racing Committee, the guidelines grew from a need expressed by rescue and retirement organizations at the 2010 Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit.  In addition to criteria for physical assessments, the guidelines include estimated cost-of-care data from CANTER, a non-profit organization that provides retiring Thoroughbred racehorses with opportunities for new careers.

“The AAEP is pleased to assist and is proud of the many veterinarians and adoption groups who are committed to helping racehorses enjoy new careers,” said William A. Moyer, DVM, 2011 AAEP president.  “The guide is intended to be a resource to enhance decision making in the best interest of the horse.”

The guidelines are available on the AAEP website at http://www.aaep.org/images/files/TransitioningGuidelines2011.pdf.  Members of the AAEP’s Transitioning Subcommittee are Reynolds Cowles, DVM, chair; Jay Addison, DVM; Foster Northrop, DVM; Mary Scollay, DVM; John Stick, DVM; and Carol Swandby, VMD.

The American Association of Equine Practitioners, headquartered in Lexington, Ky., was founded in 1954 as a non-profit organization dedicated to the health and welfare of the horse.  Currently, the AAEP reaches more than 5 million horse owners through its over 10,000 members worldwide and is actively involved in ethics issues, practice management, research and continuing education in the equine veterinary profession and horse industry.

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