Get Bucked Off to Benefit Horse Welfare at the Kentucky Buck Off Challenge

The Kentucky Horse Park is gearing up for some great charity, AND excitement during the summer show series. The Kentucky Buck Off Challenge, a mechanical bull-riding contest, will take place on July 30th at 6:00 pm in the Bluegrass Jockey Club Tent. Admission to the event is $30 in advance or $35 at the door, and includes hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar.

Purchase your tickets here.

Proceeds will be earmarked for three Lexington-based EQUUS Foundation charities that have been recognized by the EQUUS Foundation as "Messengers" for their high standard of horse care and their commitment to public transparency and accountability. The charities are: Central Kentucky Riding for Hope, Kentucky Equine Humane Center, and Maker's Mark Secretariat Center.

"We are always looking for fun and creative ways to inspire and engage horse people, equestrians and people who love horses to get involved and make a difference. As the only national animal welfare charity in the United States solely dedicated to horse welfare and the horse-human bond, we applaud the efforts of the charities that are dedicated to protecting America's at-risk horses and providing them homes and a wonderful purpose. This fabulously fun faux-bull buck-off will be a great time for a great cause," said Valerie Angeli, VP Communications & Special Projects.

The Kentucky Buck Off Challenge will feature four member teams where each rider will be required to stay on the bull for 15 seconds, while keeping their free hand from touching the bull. If they make it to the 15 second horn, riders will be judged on style, performance and extra credit for creative attire. Judges can give each rider a maximum of 25 points, making a perfect individual score 100 points, and a perfect team score 400 points. The competition entry fee is $25 per person, per ride. Practice rides for $10 per ride will start at 6:00 pm.

Buck Off for Horse Welfare - Competition Entry $25!
For sponsorship opportunities and to enter the competition:
Call Brian Lookabill at 803-439-0982 or 561-227-1537

Event organizer Brian Lookabill is a Lexington, Kentucky resident, and a regular voice heard at competitions across the country, but most regularly at the Kentucky Horse Park. He's a 25-year veteran of event production, from equine competition, to fund raisers for human, and animal welfare, as well as special interests in the community. Brian has become quite familiar with, and dedicated to the EQUUS Foundation's mission after assisting in many of their equine welfare efforts over the years. He has also been an integral part of the fun & fund raising success of several mechanical bull riding events over the past seven years.

Purchase your tickets here.


Kentucky Buck Off Challenge Charity Beneficiaries:

Central Kentucky Riding for Hope

Central Kentucky Riding for Hope (CKRH) is dedicated to enriching the community by improving the quality of life and health of individuals with special physical, cognitive, emotional or social needs through therapeutic activities with the horse.

Kentucky Equine Humane Center

Kentucky Equine Humane Center (KYEHC) is dedicated to providing humane treatment and shelter while working to seek adoptive homes and provide second chances for Kentucky's equines, regardless of breed. KyEHC is also committed to educating the public and raising awareness for responsible horse ownership so that fewer horses end up in crisis.

Maker's Mark Secretariat Center

Maker's Mark Secretariat Center is dedicated to reschooling and matching former racehorses to new homes in suitable second careers and to advocate to the world the importance of aftercare.


About EQUUS Foundation: The EQUUS Foundation, a 501(c)(3) public charity established in 2002, also known as Horse Charities of America, the only national animal welfare charity in the United States dedicated solely to horse welfare and the horse-human bond. Donations are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law. Contact the EQUUS Foundation, Inc., at 168 Long Lots Road, Westport, CT 06880, Tele: (203) 259-1550, E-Mail: mail@equusfoundation.org, Website: www.equusfoundation.org.

Black Country Saddles Sponsors Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center

Lexington, KY-- The Maker’s Mark Secretariat is pleased to announce a new sponsorship with elite English saddler Black Country Saddles.

Like the MMSC, which takes a “horse-centric” individualized approach to rehabilitating, reschooling, and rehoming each of its charges, Black Country Saddles takes a custom approach to the creation of each of its saddles, all of which can be specially fitted for horse and rider. Shunning mass production techniques, Master Saddlers and founders of Black Country Saddles Rob Cullen and John Hartley insist that all saddles are hand-crafted in the traditional manner. Their highly skilled saddlers use only the best quality British materials, from English leathers to pure-wool flocking and wood-laminated spring trees.

To accommodate a wide variety of horses, Black Country Saddles has supplied the MMSC with four models, the Eloquence for dressage, the Solare for all-purpose, the Tex Eventer for cross country, and the Quantum Jump for cross country or stadium jumping. The MMSC’s Thoroughbreds, who like all off-track horses are working to build new muscles and need the support and comfort of a well-made and well-fitted saddle, will be trained in these saddles henceforth. Additionally, all prospective adopters are welcome to try MMSC mounts in the saddle of their choice.

“It was apparent that the MMSC and its horses needed the very best in terms of comfort and fit,” says Master Saddler Rob Cullen. “Accordingly we felt honored to be asked and to agree to make our contribution to the cause with our various saddles and designs.”

“We are thrilled about the Black Country Saddles sponsorship,” says MMSC Executive Director, Susanna Thomas. “Rob’s and John’s insistence on quality and custom fit mirrors the MMSC’s commitment to excellence in all that we do for every OTTB that comes through our program. We are grateful for their recognition of the value of our program, and we are pleased to be able to share the value of their saddles with every prospective adopter.”

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The Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center (MMSC) is a premier non-profit re-schooling facility and showcase for adoptable Thoroughbreds. Founded in 2004, the MMSC uses its illustrious location in the Kentucky Horse Park to herald the athleticism of this amazing breed by teaching new skill sets to horses of all levels of ability, so they can go on to be ambassadors for racehorses in new careers. The initial funding came from Maker’s Mark, Keeneland Race Course, and private donors. Today the MMSC is supported solely by donations, grants, and adoption fees. Director Susanna Thomas brought the Horse Centered Reschooling Program to the MMSC. It is a holistic interdisciplinary training program comprised of three distinct phases: body, spirit, and mind. Potential adopters must fill out an application and when approved come to the MMSC to try the horse/s to make sure that the fit between horse and adopter is a good one. The MMSC is open to the public and welcomes visitors. For more information visit www.secretariatcenter.org and follow the MMSC on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Vote for the MMSC on the Equestrian Living Magazine's 2017 Gold List

Tell The World Your Favorites: Vote For The Best of Equestrian Life in Equestrian Living Magazine's 2017 Gold List. The fourth annual EQ Living Gold List has grown to become a must-read for both equestrians and lovers of the equestrian lifestyle, and the MMSC is honored to be a finalist once again on this prestigious list.
 
Vote now for the MMSC as Best Horse-Related Rescue or Charity through June 12 here: eqliving.com/2017-gold-list-ballot. Vote early and often to show your support of the MMSC!

Then see the results in the September issue of EQ, which will be on newsstands nationwide. 
Or subscribe to the free EQ Living eNewsletter and find out the winners first:
eqliving.com/join-the-eq-inner-circle 

Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center Hosts First Annual Omelette and Mimosa Brunch

Lexington, KY - On Sunday April 30, the last day of the Rolex Kentucky 3-Day Event, the Maker's Mark Secretariat Center (MMSC), a reschooling and adoption center for off-track Thoroughbreds, hosted the inaugural Omelette and Mimosa Brunch on its campus at the illustrious Kentucky Horse Park. Sponsored by My Meadowview, Sallee, and Gastrogard, he event featured a demonstration by event rider and notable eventing and horsemanship trainer Tik Maynard riding bridleless on an aff-track Thoroughbred he had met moments before. Equally fascinating was a jumping lesson with tricky obstacles given to dual Kentucky Oaks and Breeders' Cup winner Rosie Napravnik by Lexington-native Dorothy Trapp Crowell, who finished second in the 1994 World Equestrian Games in Holland and second overall in the first CCI**** at Rolex in 1998, both aboard her brillian OTTB Molokai.

The event was the brainchild of Crowell, who serves as the vice president of the MMSC's board of directors, as a way to engage Rolex KY 3-Day Event spectators and competitors on the Best Weekend All Year. "We weren't sure how many people would come all the way back to the Secretariat Center for the event," said Crowell, who added that the turnout of over 230 individuals exceeded even her most ambitious expectations. "After seeing how many people came, we definitely have something going. We have a lot of information to use in building upon this year to create an annual occasion that can serve as not only a fundraiser, but a friend-raiser, letting more of our core target audience - equestrians - know about the Secretariat Center."

The brunch capped off a week of celebrations by the MMSC for the ASPCA's national Help a Horse Day, held on April 26. Throughout the last week of April, equine rescues and sanctuaries raise awareness about the lifesaving work they do year-round to care for at-risk horses in their community who have often been abused or neglected. The MMSC kicked off its Help a Horse Day celebrations with the Liftoff Horseless Horse Show and Fair on Sunday, April 23 and continued raising awareness for off-track Thoroughbreds throughout the last week of April with a raffle for a private tour of Darley at Jonabell Farm.

"ASPCA's Help A Horse Day is a wonderful opportunity for our team to showcase the athleticism and versatility of the Thoroughbred in second careers," said Susanna Thomas, Executive Director of the MMSC. "Thoroughbreds, and indeed all horses, give us such joy and love, and we thank our supporters for giving back to these magnanimous animals, both for Help a Horse Day and throughout the year."

The MMSC would also like to thank Equestrian Events, Inc. and the Kentucky Horse Park for their support and Circle T Farms, Bane-Welker Equipment, Baumann Paper Company, Bayou Bluegrass Catering, CMQ Art, the Doo Wop Shop, and Bryant's Rent-All for their generous contributions to the Omelette and Mimosa Brunch.

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The Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center (MMSC) is a premier non-profit re-schooling facility and showcase for adoptable Thoroughbreds. Founded in 2004, the MMSC uses its illustrious location in the Kentucky Horse Park to herald the athleticism of this amazing breed by teaching new skill sets to horses of all levels of ability so they can go on to be ambassadors for racehorses in new careers. The initial funding came from Maker’s Mark, Keeneland Race Course, and private donors. Today the MMSC is supported solely by donations, grants, and adoption fees. Director Susanna Thomas brought the Horse Centered Reschooling Program℠ to the MMSC. It is a holistic interdisciplinary training program compromised of three distinct phases: body, spirit, and mind. Potential adopters must fill out an application and when approved come to the MMSC to try the horse/s to make sure that the fit between horse and adopter is a good one. The MMSC is open to the public and welcomes visitors. For more information visit www.secretariatcenter.org and follow the MMSC on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center Celebrates ASPCA Help A Horse Day

Community support needed for chance to win up to $25,000 ASPCA grant to help retrain and rehome more off-track Thoroughbreds

Lexington, KY — Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center (MMSC) will be celebrating the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) national Help A Horse Day on April 21-26 and competing for a chance to win up to $25,000 in grant prizes to assist with their efforts to protect horses. To celebrate the day, Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center is partnering with local riding barn Liftoff Equestrian LLC to host the Liftoff Horseless Horse Show and Fair on Sunday, April 23, 2-5pm.

This nationwide competition is for equine rescues and sanctuaries to raise awareness about the lifesaving work they do year-round to care for at-risk horses in their community who have often been abused or neglected. Horses have been central to the ASPCA’s work since its founding 150 years ago, when Henry Bergh stopped a cart driver from beating his horse, resulting in the first successful arrest for the mistreatment of a horse on April 26, 1866.

“The ASPCA Help A Horse Day contest is a wonderful opportunity for our team to showcase the athleticism and versatility of the Thoroughbred in second careers. We are thrilled to be partnering with Liftoff for this event, as their barn of sport horses is filled with off-track Thoroughbreds excelling in multiple equestrian disciplines,” said Susanna Thomas, Executive Director of the MMSC.  “Thoroughbreds, and indeed all horses, give us such joy and love, and we hope our local supporters will give back to these magnanimous animals by coming out on April 23 to help us win a $25,000 grant that will enable the MMSC to continue our retraining and rehoming efforts for years to come.”

The Liftoff Horseless Horse Show and Fair will feature multiple classes that allow two-legged participants of all ages to imitate their four-legged partners by galloping courses of human-sized jumps. Off-track Thoroughbreds will be available for meet-and-greets, and a graduate of the MMSC’s adoption program will feature in a kissing booth. The afternoon will be fun for the whole family with activities such as horseshoe paining, bottle tosses, raffles, a carrot cake and apple pie bake off, and more! All proceeds from the event will benefit the adoptable off-track Thoroughbreds of the MMSC who are looking for new careers and loving homes.

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The Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center (MMSC) is a premier non-profit re-schooling facility and showcase for adoptable Thoroughbreds. Founded in 2004, the MMSC uses its illustrious location in the Kentucky Horse Park to herald the athleticism of this amazing breed by teaching new skill sets to horses of all levels of ability so they can go on to be ambassadors for racehorses in new careers. The initial funding came from Maker’s Mark, Keeneland Race Course, and private donors. Today the MMSC is supported solely by donations, grants, and adoption fees. Director Susanna Thomas brought the Horse Centered Reschooling Program℠ to the MMSC. It is a holistic interdisciplinary training program compromised of three distinct phases: body, spirit, and mind. Potential adopters must fill out an application and when approved come to the MMSC to try the horse/s to make sure that the fit between horse and adopter is a good one. The MMSC is open to the public and welcomes visitors. For more information visit www.secretariatcenter.org and follow the MMSC on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Off-Track Thoroughbred Bawana Jake to Portray Man o’ War in Kentucky Horse Park’s Celebration

March 27, 2017
Contact: Susanna Thomas
mmsecretariatcenter@gmail.com

Off-Track Thoroughbred Bawana Jake to Portray Man o’ War in Kentucky Horse Park’s Celebration

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Lexington, KY--The Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center (MMSC) is pleased to announce the selection of Bawana Jake, an off-track Thoroughbred available for adoption through the MMSC, as the official Man o’ War look-a-like for the Kentucky Horse Park’s year-long Man O’ War celebration.

The celebration, entitled Man o’ War: The Mostest Horse That Ever Was, begins on Wednesday, March 29, Man o’ War’s 100th birthday, and will include events such as a special museum exhibit featuring never before seen artifacts, Man o’ War-themed horse farm tours, and special performances in the Parade of Breeds show.

Bawana Jake, an 11-year-old gelding by Forestry out of Starship Miss, will be portraying Man o’ War in the Parade of Breeds shows. A striking chestnut like the great horse himself as well as a descendent of Man o’ War through his dam line, Jake will show audiences how Man o’ War lives on today in today’s racehorses and sporthorses, such as the most recent Triple Crown champion American Pharoah and Blackfoot Mystery, a Kentucky-bred Thoroughbred who finished 16th in the 2016 Rio Olympics in the sport of eventing.

“Man o’ War is a true American icon, born in Kentucky before going on to capture the country’s imagination by winning 20 of 21 races, smashing records and setting the bar that all other Thoroughbreds are measured by,” says Kentucky Horse Park Executive Director Laura Prewitt. “The story of Man o’ War is truly a remarkable one, and our goal is to celebrate his life and equally encourage visitors to experience all that the Kentucky Horse Park has to offer.”

Bawana Jake, along with many other descendents of Man O’War, finished his racing career and is looking for a second career and a loving home through the retraining and rehoming program at the MMSC. “Although he didn’t inherit his forebear’s famous speed, Jake is champion in his own right,” says MMSC Executive Director Susanna Thomas. “Thoroughbreds retired from racing are versatile and athletic, and their large hearts and quick minds enable them to excel in a variety of disciplines. Our job at the MMSC is to herald their innate talents and place them in loving homes where they can blossom into the champions they were born to be.”

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The Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center (MMSC) is a premier non-profit re-schooling facility and showcase for adoptable Thoroughbreds. Founded in 2004, the MMSC uses its illustrious location in the Kentucky Horse Park to herald the athleticism of this amazing breed by teaching new skill sets to horses of all levels of ability so they can go on to be ambassadors for racehorses in new careers. The initial funding came from Maker’s Mark, Keeneland Race Course, and private donors. Today the MMSC is supported solely by donations, grants, and adoption fees. Director Susanna Thomas brought the Horse Centered Reschooling Program to the MMSC. It is a holistic interdisciplinary training program compromised of three distinct phases: body, spirit, and mind. Potential adopters must fill out an application and when approved come to the MMSC to try the horse/s to make sure that the fit between horse and adopter is a good one. The MMSC is open to the public and welcomes visitors. For more information visit www.secretariatcenter.org and follow the MMSC on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

The Kentucky Horse Park is a working horse farm/theme park and equine competition facility dedicated to man's relationship with the horse. The park is an agency of the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet and hosted more than 800,000 visitors and campers, as well as 18,400 competition horses in more than 200 special events and horse shows in 2015. The park is home to the National Horse Center, which comprises more than 30 national and regional equine organizations.  Located at Exit 120, Interstate 75, just north of Lexington, the Kentucky Horse Park is THE place to get close to horses. Information about the park’s programs and activities may be found on-line at www.KyHorsePark.com, and on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, Instagram and Periscope.

HORSE COUNTRY HOSTS ‘MEET THE NEIGHBORS’: Special Day of complimentary tours for all local horse-lovers

Lexington, KY. March 21, 2017 — Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center (MMSC), a premier non-profit re-schooling facility for adoptable Thoroughbreds located at the Kentucky Horse Park partnered with members of Horse Country for Meet the Neighbors, a special day of complimentary tours for local fans.

Horse Country’s Meet the Neighbors took place on Saturday, March 18th when all guests and fans toured the heart of the Bluegrass. Throughout the day, MMSC’s new class of adoptable, off-track Thoroughbreds were able to show off their news skills that they have honed in for their second career.

“With the help from Horse Country and the continual support of our community members, we are capable of sharing our story and mission in order to help change the lives of off-track Thoroughbreds,” said Director of Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center, Susanna Thomas.  “We wanted to invite the Lexington community to a fun, family friendly event to show them how these amazing horses play an integral role in the equestrian community.”

Horse Country is an organization of horse farms, equine medical clinics and equine attractions dedicated to sharing the stories of Kentucky’s Horse Country. They strive to create emotional experiences by sharing the story of the horses, the land and the people, with all horse-lovers and guests. The ultimate goal is to develop fans of farms and clinics through tourism experiences. 

About Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center: The Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center (MMSC) is a premier non-profit re-schooling facility and showcase for adoptable Thoroughbreds. Founded in 2004, the MMSC uses its illustrious location in the Kentucky Horse Park to herald the athleticism of this amazing breed by teaching new skill sets to horses of all levels of ability so they can go on to be ambassadors for racehorses in new careers.

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MAKER’S MARK SECRETARIAT CENTER ACHIEVES MILESTONE ADOPTION RECORD IN 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE            
Contact: Jessica Greene, Sirota Public Relations
917.783.2334, jessica@sirotapr.com

MAKER’S MARK SECRETARIAT CENTER ACHIEVES MILESTONE ADOPTION RECORD IN 2016
62 Retired Racehorses Embark on Their New Careers

Lexington, KY. January 4, 2017 – Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center (MMSC) topped off 2016 with sweet success by celebrating their best year yet!  In 2016 MMSC placed a record-breaking 62 retired Thoroughbreds in new homes and providing them with second careers. MMSC is a premier non-profit re-schooling facility for adoptable Thoroughbreds, located at the Kentucky Horse Park. They teach new skills to horses by utilizing the natural strength of the Thoroughbred.

“Thoroughbreds are timeless… they have reigned supreme in equestrian sports,” says MMSC Director, Susanna Thomas. “They are smart, athletic and big-hearted. As people are recognizing the magnificence of this beautiful breed, the demand for Thoroughbreds has skyrocketed. Giving these horses a second chance and helping them transition into a new career is a lot of work, but watching as they are adopted into new families is the most rewarding feeling.”

The Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center has a very specific system: The Horse Centered Reschooling Program℠ developed by Thomas gives an off-track Thoroughbred a foundation that an amateur can successfully build upon. The Center also is cautious to match each adopter with a horse that has a consistent temperament and can achieve the adopter’s chosen goals.

"I adopted Bowie after initially meeting him two weeks prior during a trip to KY for the Thoroughbred Makeover that my husband and I were attending,” said Ruth Goethals, who adopted a horse from MMSC. “I spent a couple of days with Bowie and during that time I found the entire staff welcoming, informative and extremely accommodating. The experience was amazing. Our trainer has often commented that the Secretariat Center hit a home run in matching Bowie and I.”

It is because of this dedication to being “horse-centric” in all that they do, including their focus on successful matches, that the Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center has been hailed by equine professionals as “The Gold Standard in Thoroughbred Reschooling.”

To learn more about Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center, please visit: http://www.secretariatcenter.org/.

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About Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center: The Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center (MMSC) is a premier non-profit re-schooling facility and showcase for adoptable Thoroughbreds. Founded in 2004, the MMSC uses its illustrious location in the Kentucky Horse Park to herald the athleticism of this amazing breed by teaching new skill sets to horses of all levels of ability so they can go on to be ambassadors for racehorses in new careers.

MMSC and #GivingTuesday on November 29

What is #GivingTuesday?

The fifth annual #GivingTuesday inspires personal philanthropy and encourages bigger, better and smarter charitable giving during the holiday season, showing that the world truly gives as good as it gets. #GivingTuesday will take place on November 29. 2016.

Why do people participate in Giving Tuesday?

We give because we care. We give to make a change. We give to support organizations we align with. Whether you give to give back or to support a cause the reasons are endless. In less than a few weeks, millions of individuals across the globe will come together to make November 29th the most charitable day (ever!)

What if I already gave to the MMSC Annual Fund?

With our complete gratitude, we ask if you have already contributed to our Annual Fund this year - you can still participate in posting our #GivingTuesday message on your Facebook page or forwarding on our message via email to your personal networks.

How do I donate to MMSC on #GivingTuesday?

Donating is easy! On Tuesday November 29th, just click the below link to visit our donation page. Follow the instructions to donate and you’re all set.

Donate to MMSC on #GivingTuesday

How do I post this to my Facebook page and get my personal network involved?

If you are looking to help #GTSupportMMSC go viral… copy, paste and post the below message to Facebook or Instagram.

Friends and Family! Join me in supporting @MakersMarkSecretariatCenter on #GivingTuesday. Visit http://www.secretariatcenter.org/donate/ to support a great organization. #GTSupportMMSC

MMSC Legacy Horse Haxby Park Finishes Thoroughbred Makeover in 7th

Thank you to Team Haxby Park for a wonderful weekend at the 2016 Thoroughbred Makeover! Haxby Park, one of this year's Legacy horses, finished in 7th place in the Freestyle discipline with his trainer Tik Maynard. We are so grateful to Tik for all his work this year with Haxby, and we congratulate them on their great finish at the Makeover!

We are also now thrilled to announce that Haxby's forever home is with none other than Jeffy Tow-Arnett and Lauren Wood, adopters of Nowhere to Hide, Wordsworth, Midwest Swing, You Jest, and Bordeaux Bandit! Jeffy fell in love with Haxby when the tall chestnut gelding first stepped onto the MMSC campus. He adopted Haxby earlier this year and made the decision to enter him in the Makeover with Tik. Now that the competition has concluded, Haxby is on his way to Minnesota with Jeffy and Lauren this morning, where he will begin his new career as a show jumper with Lauren. We can't wait to cheer them on!

You can read the fully story of Jeffy, Lauren and their herd of MMSC horses here: http://bit.ly/2eRJGhh

Pictured from left to right: MMSC Director Susanna Thomas, Lauren Wood, Stacie Westmoreland (Tik's assisstant trainer), Tik Maynard, Jeffy Tow-Arnett, and Betty Jo Arnett (Jeffy's mom)

Pictured from left to right: MMSC Director Susanna Thomas, Lauren Wood, Stacie Westmoreland (Tik's assisstant trainer), Tik Maynard, Jeffy Tow-Arnett, and Betty Jo Arnett (Jeffy's mom)

Run for the Horses 5K Raises $1000 for the Maker's Mark Secretariat Center

Thank you runners and walkers!

Your participation and donations helped us raise over $1,000 for the Maker's Mark Secretariat Center last night.  We had such a great time we plan to make this an annual event!

Special thanks to horseman/eventer Tik Maynard for making the special effort to be with us.  Thanks also to Bob Mickler's and Chick Fil A for donating race prizes and our energetic race volunteers. And thanks to RaceRise for putting on a wonderful race!

RACE RESULTS can be found at www.RaceRise.com

RACE PHOTO LINKS (Thanks to The Picture Lady Photography)

>PreRace/Race Start/Course Click Here

>Finishers Photos/Awards Click Here

Thanks again friends.  We'll be in touch as we make plans for the 2017 Run For The Horses!

- Catherine Flowers, MMSC Program Coordinator
- Bob Baney, Race Rise

Photo: The Picture Lady Photography

Photo: The Picture Lady Photography

MAKER’S MARK SECRETARIAT CENTER’S RUN FOR THE HORSES 5K

Lexington, K.Y. – October 28, 2016 – Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center (MMSC), a non-profit equine adoption organization hailed as the “Gold Standard of Thoroughbred Reschooling” located in the Kentucky Horse Park, will be hosting the Run for the Horses on Friday, October 28 at 6 p.m. Proceeds will benefit MMSC’s initiatives to find second careers and future homes for former racehorses.

The course will be set throughout the scenic Kentucky Horse Park beginning at the MMSC campus during the Thoroughbred Makeover, the Retired Racehorse Project’s annual showcase for off the track Thoroughbreds. The Run for the Horses 5K will be presented by RaceRise who will provide chip timing for each runner. Awards will be given for overall and specific age groups. In addition, a special prize will be awarded in a challenge to anyone who can “Catch Tik,” a remarkable horseman who won the 2015 Thoroughbred Makeover Freestyle and placed fourth in the hotly contested Rolex Kentucky 5K in April of 2016.

“Our hope is that all who care about horses will come out and participate by running or walking in the Run for the Horses,” said MMSC director Susanna Thomas.  “Thoroughbreds have run their legs off for us.  Indeed, in addition to providing enjoyment with the sport of racing, our local economy is dependent on them, and every one of us in Lexington owes our beautiful bucolic lifestyle totally to them.  Let us now show our appreciation for all of this by striding out for them on Friday!” Register online here: www.RunForTheHorses5K.org

Packet pickup will be Friday, October 28 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Maker's Mark Secretariat Center office.

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About Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center: The Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center (MMSC) is a premier non-profit reschooling facility and showcase for adoptable Thoroughbreds. Founded in 2004, the MMSC uses its illustrious location in the Kentucky Horse Park to herald the athleticism and versatility of this amazing breed by teaching new skill sets to horses of all levels of ability so they can go on to be ambassadors for racehorses in new careers.

MMSC's Movie Night: Exclusive Showing of award-winning film "Dark Horse"

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                    
Contact: Jessica Greene, Sirota Public Relations
212.486.3319, jessica@sirotapr.com

MAKER’S MARK SECRETARIAT CENTER’S LEXINGTON MOVIE NIGHT

Exclusive showing of Sundance and Toronto Film Festival winning film Dark Horse

Lexington, KY. October 7, 2016 -- Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center (MMSC), a premier non-profit re-schooling facility for adoptable Thoroughbreds located at the Kentucky Horse Park hosted a movie night featuring the award-winning documentary, Dark Horse.

The Dark Horse Movie Night took place on Thursday, October 6th at the historic Kentucky Theater at 214 East Main Street. The money raised from ticket proceeds will benefit MMSC’s initiatives to find a second career and future homes for off the track Thoroughbreds. Each horse is taught new skill sets through their re-schooling program while embracing the breed’s physical and emotional strengths and limitations.

Dark Horse is a documentary based on a true story about Dream Alliance, a horse born and bred by a syndicate in a depressed South Wales mining village. This horse performed against all odds and conquered the world of racing.

“We wanted to switch into fall gear by inviting the Lexington community to a fun, family friendly evening that we hope will bring both Lexington community members as well as the equestrian world together,” said Director of Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center, Susanna Thomas. “With the constant support of our community members, we are capable of sharing our story and mission, which is able to leave an indelible mark in our hearts and transform the lives of Thoroughbreds.”

The event had open seating; VIP tickets provided patrons with access to the complimentary wine bar.

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About Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center: The Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center (MMSC) is a premier non-profit re-schooling facility and showcase for adoptable Thoroughbreds. Founded in 2004, the MMSC uses its illustrious location in the Kentucky Horse Park to herald the athleticism of this amazing breed by teaching new skill sets to horses of all levels of ability so they can go on to be ambassadors for racehorses in new careers.

Support the MMSC with your Kroger Plus Card

Supporting the MMSC is as easy as shopping at Kroger! Simply register your Kroger Plus card in the Kroger Community Rewards Program, and start shopping. Kroger will donate a percentage of every item you buy to the MMSC. This program won't affect your own rewards or fuel points.

To register your Kroger Plus card, follow these steps:

  • Go to krogercommunityrewards.com and have your Kroger Plus card handy. Don't have a Kroger Plus card yet? They are available at the customer service desk at any Kroger.
  • Click on "Sign In/Register".
  • If you are a new online customer, click "Sign Up Today".
  • Sign up for a Kroger Rewards Account by entering your zip code, clicking on your favorite store, entering your email address, creating a password, and agreeing to the terms and conditions.
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MMSC's Clean Start Program Receives ASPCA Grant

Lexington, KY -- The Maker's Mark Secretariat Center (MMSC), located at the Kentucky Horse Park, is pleased to announce the award of a generous grant from the ASCPA to launch the MMSC's Clean Start: Let Down and Lay Up project, an off-site program for Thoroughbreds coming directly off the track that need rest and rehabilitation prior to being retrained for new careers.

"The MMSC has the most prodigious of addresses: the Kentucky Horse Park, which gives us a lot of visibility and demand for our horses. But our campus is small, and its handful of paddocks and ten-stall barn limits the number of horses we can take in at one time," says MMSC Director Susanna Thomas. "The ASPCA's support of our new initiative will allow us to help many more horses annually because they will come to us ready to be reschooled. We are very grateful for the ASPCA's recognition of our need."

"Although their racing days may have come to an end, retirees have a lot to offer as they transition into new and varied careers - a process that required significant time and resources," said Jacque Schultz, senior director of the ASPCA Equine Fund. "The ASPCA is pleased to award this grant to the Maker's Mark Secretariat Center as part of our Rescuing Racers Initiative, to assist their efforts to care for and rehabilitate retired racers for their second act."

Like soldiers returning from war, off-track Thoroughbreds have aching muscles and limbs, ulcers, and sometimes PTSD. They need time to heal - mentally, emotionally, and physically - and to learn to just be horses again. The MMSC's Clean Start program will allow horses to go directly from the track to a nearby farm for let down and lay up. Here they can unwind physically and mentally so they will be ready when they come to the MMSC to commence the Horse Centered Reschooling Program, a rigorous training curriculum that gives them solid foundations for loving new homes. "This will allow horses to progress much more quickly through our program," Thomas says, "which means that more horses than ever before will be available for adoption."

The idea behind the MMSC, which opened in 2004, was to use the illustrious location of the Kentucky Horse Park to educate the public about the versatility and athleticism of off-track Thoroughbreds in second careers and to provide a marquee for OTTB reschooling and adoption. The initial funding came from Maker's Mark, Keeneland Race Course, and private donors. Today, the MMSC is supported solely by donations, grants, and adoption fees. Director Susanna Thomas brought the Horse Centered Reschooling Program to the MMSC. It is a holistic interdisciplinary training program comprised of three distinct phases: body, spirit, and mind. Potential adopters must fill out an application and when approved come to the MMSC to try the horse/s to make sure that the fit between horse and adopter is a good one. Reschooling sessions and the Bucephalus Training Library, a compendium of books and resources about training horses, are open to the public. For more information, visit www.secretariatcenter.org.

MMSC Receives Grant from Thoroughbred Charities of America

The MMSC is pleased to announce that it is the recipient of a 2016 grant from Thoroughbred Charities of America! The mission of TCA is to provide a better life for Thoroughbreds, both during and after their racing careers, by supporting qualified repurposing and retirement organizations and by helping the people who care for them. MMSC Director Susanna Thomas says, “TCA is an amazing organization that works tirelessly to help the horses and the people in the racing industry. It receives numerous requests every year for assistance from organizations across the country. To be recognized by TCA and to receive support for some of the MMSC’s needs is an honor for which we are supremely grateful.”

“We are very pleased that the Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center successfully met our criteria for a grant,” said Erin Crady executive director of TCA. “The MMSC works diligently to rehab, retrain and rehome former racers and we are thrilled that they have already surpassed their total number of 2015 adoptions.”

Established in 2004 at the Kentucky Horse Park, the Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center serves as a marquee to broadcast the athleticism, versatility, and trainability of off-track Thoroughbreds for second careers. Hailed by professionals as "the Gold Standard in Thoroughbred Reschooling", the MMSC’s focus is two-fold. One, to build a solid foundation of new skill sets so that a horse can move seamlessly and successfully onto a new job and home, and two, to carefully match each animal with a compatible adopter who recognizes its needs, its assets, and if they exist, its limitations. The small campus of 24 acres is heavily traversed by as many as 50 horses each year, and its fencing and paddocks are in dire need of maintenance. The generous TCA grant will be put towards the important and very literal work of providing greener pastures for all the MMSC horses.

TCA Executive Director Erin Crady (middle) presents the grant award to MMSC Director Susanna Thomas (right) and MMSC Barn Manager/Trainer Erin Strader (left).

TCA Executive Director Erin Crady (middle) presents the grant award to MMSC Director Susanna Thomas (right) and MMSC Barn Manager/Trainer Erin Strader (left).

MMSC Achieves Milestone Adoption Record

Lexington, KY. June 20, 2016 – In just five short months, Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center (MMSC) has prepared twenty-five retired thoroughbreds for their second careers and placed them into new homes. MMSC is a premier non-profit re-schooling facility for adoptable Thoroughbreds, located at the Kentucky Horse Park. They teach new skills to horses of all levels of abilities by utilizing the natural strength of the thoroughbred. 

The American Thoroughbred once reigned supreme as the equine athlete of choice in equestrian sports, but lost is supremacy to warmbloods in the ‘80s.  Yet all fashions tend to resurge, and thankfully once again the American Thoroughbred seems to be stepping out again in the show world. As a result, the demand and adoption rates for the thoroughbred breed have continued to increase.  

“Thoroughbreds are smart, athletic, and very magnanimous,” says MMSC Director, Susanna Thomas.  “They also are much less expensive than warmbloods. What has been lacking until now is a venue to show them off—but with the creation of the Jockey Club’s Thoroughbred Incentive ProgramThe Retired Racehorse Project, and multiple new Thoroughbred classes popping up at shows all over the country, the demand for competitive Thoroughbreds is going through the roof. Our job here at the MMSC is to find horses that can go on to be ambassadors for the breed and to give them a well planned head start so they can transition more easily to a new career.” 

The Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center has a very specific system: The Horse Centered Reschooling Program℠ developed by Thomas that gives an off-track Thoroughbred a foundation that an amateur can successfully build upon. The Center also is careful to match each adopter with a horse with a compatible temperament that can fulfill the adopter’s chosen goals. 

Rosalie Morton, the 24th adopter to get a horse from the MMSC, had this to say: “I grew up riding Thoroughbreds and it’s been such a shame watching their numbers dwindle in the hunter ring. I hope to see that change in the years to come through amazing programs like the one at the Secretariat Center. The MMSC has a great eye for selecting horses and for matching people with them, and the process there is so seamless. With a resource like the MMSC, there is no excuse not to think of Thoroughbreds first when you are looking for a hunter prospect.” 

Dee’Anna Wright, the 25th adopter, was seeking a horse to do dressage, trail riding, and equine therapy. She was thrilled to find a versatile horse at the MMSC that met all of those qualifications. “The Maker’s Mark has amazing horses and a fantastic staff! They put the horse first every step of the way, including in their careful matching of each horse to the perfect adopter.“

It is because of this dedication to being “horse-centric” in all that they do, including their focus on successful matches, that the Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center has been hailed by equine professionals as “The Gold Standard in Thoroughbred Reschooling.”

Dee'Anna Wright and Icefield

Dee'Anna Wright and Icefield

Noble Horse Program Launches

The MMSC Noble Horse Program is up and running! After many months of discussion and refinement of our ideas about how to help a population of horses who don’t fit our criteria but still are serviceable enough for a loving home, we now have for the first time several horses available as a Noble Horse adoption. Noble Horses are those who have some kind of injury that permanently limits their athletic prowess or those who have recent injuries that just need time for let down and healing up. The MMSC has not rehabbed and reschooled these horses, but we have evaluated their conformation, temperament, and movement and collected information about their racing history and injuries. We believe these horses to be serviceable on some level or at some future point and seemingly level-headed and kind enough to be good adoptive prospects. Adoption fees for Noble Horses are much lower, reflecting the lack of MMSC training in the horses. If you’re interested in adopting a Noble Horse, click here.

Racehorses Begin Their Next Career at the Maker's Mark Secretariat Center

1. How has the Maker's Mark Secretariat Center set the standard for Thoroughbred Aftercare?

Over the last 5 years, the awareness of the issue of aftercare has grown. The industry is doing so much more to support Thoroughbreds once their racing careers are over, and many new non-profit and for-profit organizations dedicated to the rehab, reschooling, and rehoming of off-track Thoroughbreds have blossomed. Within this movement, the MMSC has chosen to focus on quality and depth of training, as well as a dedication and exigence to matching its horses with the ideal potential adopter. Our focus is horse-centric, and we pride ourselves on addressing each animal’s needs, however long that may take. 

2. Thoroughbreds often have very short careers and it is important to have a backup plan when they cannot race anymore. What do you believe is the best way to help these Thoroughbreds continue to have a purpose and fulfilling life?

This is a complicated issue and needs to be addressed on several fronts. First, education. All Thoroughbred owners and breeders, especially those who are new to the industry, need to understand the responsibility and necessity of caring for a horse if and when it no longer has a career on the track. This awareness must occur at the onset and prior to undertaking ownership of a racehorse. It must be understood that it comes with a moral commitment to aftercare. In this way it is similar to having and raising a child. Moreover, trainers must be educated about the need and value of retiring horses from their racing careers before they are utterly broken down. In this regard, the Retired Racehorse Project’s directory of the numerous aftercare organizations  in existence in the United States today is a tool that should be readily available and indeed distributed at every track in the United States. 

Second, proper funding. It is no surprise that horses are expensive at best and even at the very least require care and nurturing for subsistence. This is a price that could and should be born not only by the owners and breeders, but by everyone within the racing industry, including those who wager and those who enjoy going to the racetrack for pleasure. The industry needs to be commended for the initiatives it has already undertaken, such as the Jockey Club check-off program, the Thoroughbred Incentive Program, the allocations of a small portion of the handle that certain tracks are making to various organizations such as the TAA, etc. While all of this is encouraging, this movement needs to build and as awareness and public pressure grow, no doubt funding will grow too.

3. How is the MMSC constantly improving its Aftercare program?

With the rise of numerous reschooling organizations and efforts going on around the country, it is imperative for the MMSC to amend its program continuously so that it meets the needs of the horses. Given that our location at the Kentucky Horse Park provides us with a unique and an international stage from which to broadcast the versatility and athleticism of the Thoroughbred in a second career, the MMSC can expand its educational and promotional efforts to help everyone who is involved in this noble pursuit. 

4. What are the long term goals for the Maker's Mark Secretariat Center in 2016?

The long-term goals for the MMSC are as follows: 1) To procure additional land where horses coming directly off the track can have a period of rest to recuperate before transitioning to a new career. 2) A covered or indoor arena, so that reschooling and training efforts can take place year-round. 3) To acquire a secure base of funding that will cover the needs and costs of the horses and ensure the longevity of the MMSC and all of its programs.

5. How can an interested adopter learn more about the Maker's Mark Secretariat Center?

An interested adopter can go to our website, our Facebook page, our blog, call us directly, and/or visit. We are always happy to answer questions, to talk about our program, and to show off our facility!

Courtesy of: Elite Equestrian

MMSC Announces New Feed Partnership

For Immediate Release
March 24, 2016
Contact: Susanna Thomas: susanna@secretariatcenter.org

Lexington, KY – The Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center is pleased to announce a sponsorship partnership with Triple Crown Nutrition® and Southern States Cooperative®. Southern States will be the exclusive feed provider for the Center and along with Triple Crown, will offer a package of feed coupons and nutrition consultation to each new owner; along with links and additional information on the Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center’s website; access to Southern States and Triple Crown equine nutritionists; and seminars and events unique to the Center.

Dr. Marty Adams PAS, Manager of Horse Feed Sales and Equine Nutritionist for Southern States, which manufactures Triple Crown, Legends® and a Southern States line of horse feeds, is excited to work with the dedicated team at the Center, stating “The Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center is a one-of-a-kind, exclusive retraining facility that matches capable off-track Thoroughbreds with qualified owners and trainers. We appreciate the Center’s select approach to finding quality second careers.”

Susanna Thomas of the Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center adds, “We are pleased to be partnering with Southern States Cooperative® and Triple Crown Nutrition® and truly appreciate the support they will be giving us. Their commitment to educating people about the importance of equine nutrition, their great personal care and their impressive array of affordable products for a full spectrum of horses’ needs are great assets to us and to our adopters. When you support Southern States Cooperative® and Triple Crown Nutrition® you are also supporting the MMSC – their SHOW Program honors your choice.  Please send us your proof of purchase seals and we can proudly receive a rebate thanks to you choosing to feed your horse with the best.”

The Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center (MMSC), 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.

Triple Crown Nutrition, Inc., headquartered in Wayzata, Minn., is a super-premium horse feed company whose products are sold through Southern States, Agway and independent feed dealers across the United States. Established in 1989, Triple Crown Nutrition was the first company to add prebiotics, probiotics, and organic minerals to horse feed.

Southern States is one of the nation’s largest farmer-owned cooperatives, offering only the finest in goods and services. Our expertise is based on over 85 years of experience and research, driven by the desire to ensure that everyone has access to the best in feed, seed, fertilizer and farm supplies. Its Winchester, Kentucky feed mill, one of several mills across the Eastern United States, manufactures three lines of horse feed including Triple Crown.