The Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center (MMSC) is located in the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky, the Horse Capital of the World, is a premier reschooling facility and showcase for adoptable Thoroughbreds. Founded in 2004, the MMSC uses its illustrious location to herald the athleticism of this amazing breed by teaching new skill sets to horses of all levels of ability using the Horse Centered Reschooling Program® developed by MMSC Director Susanna Thomas so they can go on and be ambassadors for racehorses in new careers. The MMSC is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday (9 to 3) and proud to offer myriad educational opportunities for learning about and interacting with this remarkable horse–The Thoroughbred–America’s equine sports vehicle.
“A grand horse” is how Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott described this striking bay 15.2, 2003 gelding by Wheaton out of Absoluta (IRE). Trained by Mott, with 65 starts and in the money over 50% of the time, Desert Wheat, aka “DW”, earned $752,539 and was retired sound. He is already broke to go Western and we are teaching him to go English. This can-do little horse has the brains, stamina, and desire to be grand in all kinds of new arenas!
“Our goal,” says Director Susanna Thomas, “is to figure out who a horse is inherently, what its ‘horsenality’ is like, to strengthen its weaknesses, to heal its wounds, whether they be physical, mental, or spiritual, to ‘find out what the horse wants to be when it grows up,’ and then to find the perfect person to adopt it. That is our purpose, our privilege and our passion here at the MMSC.”
The Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center offers two general Internship Positions in the Spring, Fall and Summer semesters for current college students. To apply, applicants must be college students in good standing with their current University and have a dedicated interest in learning.
Although winter is still making its presence known across the Bluegrass, the feeling of spring was in the air last week as the barn was reopened after its long hiatus and horses returned to campus! Seven off-the-track Thoroughbreds, most of them wooly and shaggy, arrived early this week and settled in to their new temporary home, exploring the pastures and making new friends. In spite of the chill, the barn has been abuzz in extreme makeover mode as we launched into pulling manes, clipping muzzles and pasterns, banging tails, and currying coats. Our equine dentist, the wonderful Victor Torres, came on Thursday to inspect each horse's mouth and to float and level teeth where necessary. Farrier and chiropractic visits have been scheduled for this coming week, to be followed if necessary by vet care and more alternative treatments such as ultrasound, acupuncture, and massage. As soon as the weather breaks, we will then take our new beauties out to the front of the MMSC for their photo shoots, so keep awatch! (Until then, check out the photo gallery below to see a sneak peak of the 7 new Thoroughbreds, fresh off the trailer and before their visit to the beauty parlor.)
Weather permitting, we will also soon be starting the second phase of the Horse Centered Reschooling Program® with the new horses - getting to know their horsenalities and learning styles. We look forward to getting to know each horse in the coming weeks as we transition them from their former lives as racehorses to new careers in disciplines of their own choosing! Be sure to follow along with us!