TAA High Point Winners at 2019 T.I.P. Championships

Kara Hertz with MMSC Grad Little Latin Lulu

Kara Hertz with MMSC Grad Little Latin Lulu

(originally posted at thoroughbredaftercare.org)

The New Vocations All-Thoroughbred Charity Show and Thoroughbred Incentive Program Championships held Sept. 6-8, 2019 at the Kentucky Horse Park was a success for TAA grads. TAA-accredited organizations were well represented in numerous disciplines and their horses shined bright competitive classes.

The TAA presented High Point awards in four disciplines: dressage, hunter, jumper, and pleasure.

Dressage: Little Latin Lulu and Kara Hertz
Hertz adopted Little Latin Lulu from the Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center in May of 2019. The duo earned first place in both the Intro test A adult amateur and Intro test B adult amateur with scores of 70% and 68%. There were 10 horses from four TAA-accredited organizations competing for the TAA Dressage High Point Award.

Hunter: Big City Dancer and Sue Sylvester
Sylvester adopted Big City Dancer from the Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center in 2012. There were 22 horses from nine TAA-accredited organizations competing for the TAA Hunter High Point Award.

Jumper: Kulik Lodge and Brooke Schafer (owned by Taylor Wienold)
Wienold adopted Kulik Lodge from the New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program in October of 2016. There were four horses from three TAA-accredited organizations competing for the TAA Jumper High Point Award.

Pleasure: Frank’s Gift and Victoria Kupets
Kupets adopted Frank’s Gift from the New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program in May of 2019. There were four horses from two TAA-accredited organizations competing for the TAA Pleasure High Point Award.

In total, 12 TAA-accredited organizations were present at the New Vocations All-Thoroughbred Charity Show and TIP Championships.

After the Races
Akindale Thoroughbred Rescue
Friends of Ferdinand
Kentucky Equine Adoption Center
Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center
MidAtlantic Horse Rescue Inc
New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program
Old Friends
ReRun, Inc
Second Stride, Inc
Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation
Thoroughbred Retirement Network of Louisiana

Congratulations to all of our TAA grads on their success in second careers!

Click here to learn more or sign up for the Thoroughbred Incentive Program.

Pocket Aces Racing LLC to Partner with Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center

Pocket Aces Racing LLC (PAR) is pleased to announce the formation of a partnership with the Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center (MMSC). After an extensive review of aftercare organizations, PAR feels the MMSC is best suited to meet the needs of our retired horses. Pocket Aces Racing LLC pledges to donate a percentage of the entire stable’s annual earnings, along with matching funds from the PAR management team, to MMSC. In turn, MMSC has agreed to reschool and place any of PAR’s retired racehorses in need of those services. PAR feels strongly that this new partnership will, first and foremost, greatly benefit our retired racehorses, as well as provide PAR members with the peace of mind that their current and future runners will be well cared for long after their racing careers have ended.

PAR intends to work closely with MMSC to not only improve the lives of PAR runners but the betterment of the breed and the industry as well. To those ends MMSC (which is largely a volunteer-based organization) has expressed great interest in having PAR members actively participate in the care of horses located at their Kentucky Horse Park facility. Many of our members have expressed interest in a more “hands on” experience with horses and this could provide an excellent outlet for those partners. And don’t worry, there are jobs for the least experienced of us all the way up to members who have spent their entire lives working with horses.

Several other factors led PAR to partner with MMSC. Those include their commitment to rehabilitating the public image of Thoroughbred horse racing. The care, education, and placement of retired racehorses will always be their primary focus; however, they also want to spread the word that there are responsible Thoroughbred owners out there. It is difficult to build a significant fan/customer base for the sport when the industry is portrayed in such a negative light to the public at-large. MMSC wants to be proactive in presenting Thoroughbred ownership in a positive, and truthful, way and PAR is excited to be a part of that initiative.

PAR was also impressed with MMSC’s proactive, “out of the box”, approach to marketing and training. They are not simply waiting for adopters to come to them, they are reaching out to the non-racing sport horse community and making them aware of the benefits of adopting from MMSC. In addition, MMSC does an excellent job of anticipating what disciplines are in the highest demand and training horses in those disciplines, assuming it is a good fit for the individual. PAR feels like these approaches will optimize PAR retirees’ likelihood of finding a great home once their racing careers are over.

Finally, the MMSC tracks each adopted horse for its lifetime. Adopters are required to submit an annual update on the horse which includes pictures, current location, status, training successes or accomplishments and injuries or illnesses. If the adopted horses are sold or transferred, the subsequent own must sign a transfer of adoption contract.

PAR could not be more excited about this new partnership and looks forward to watching the after-racing careers of our future retirees for years to come.

(Originally posted on the Pocket Aces Racing website here.)

Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center Hosts Annual Run for the Horses 5K

Lexington, KY—The Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center (MMSC), a non-profit equine adoption organization located in the Kentucky Horse Park, hosted the Run for the Horses 5K on June 1, 2019 at 7:30 PM. With 140 runners, over $5,000 was raised to benefit the MMSC’s adoptable OTTBs in their search for second careers and loving homes.

The twilight run followed a trail course through the world-famous Kentucky Horse Park and the magnificent 800-acre working farm behind the Park that is untouched by development. Runners received commemorative ribbons for finishing. Age group winners received gold, silver, and bronze painted horseshoes from racehorses at Keeneland and Churchill Downs. The top three male and female finishers were recognized with rosettes. Chip timing was provided by RaceRise.

The top male finisher award went to Oscar Gonzalez, who completed the 3.3 mi course in 22:11. Jared Hobson won 2nd place male overall, and D.R. Swanner finished 3rd male overall. Tiffany Baker completed the course in 26:05 to become the overall female winner, while Ashley Kehoe and Elizabeth Devor rounded out the top finishers as 2nd and 3rd place female overall winners, respectively. Full results can be found on the RaceRise website. Congratulations to all the runners, finishers, and winners.

“We are so proud of and thankful to everyone who came out to Run for the Horses to help raise funds for our amazing horses,” said MMSC Executive Director Susanna Thomas. “These Thoroughbreds are the lifeblood of our city and of the racing industry, and it is a privilege to run for them just as they have run for us.”

Run for the Horses 5K was generously sponsored by Airdrie Stud, Bobfeld Bloodstock, Inc., Denali Stud, Fasig-Tipton, Hunter Valley Farm, Select Sales, Legacy Bloodstock LLC, Walmac Farm, Blackwood Stables, Bourbon Lane Stable, and Town and Country Farms.

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The Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center (MMSC), founded in 2004, is a non-profit 501(c)(3) horse adoption program that is dedicated to reschooling and matching former racehorses to new homes in suitable second careers. Located in the world famous Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY, our premier reschooling facility allows us to herald the athleticism of Thoroughbreds by teaching new skill sets to horses of all levels by using the Horse Center Reschooling Program, developed by MMSC Director Susanna Thomas. 

Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center Opens First Satellite Facility

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Lexington, KY—The Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center (MMSC) is pleased to announce the opening of its first satellite facility at The Ranch, LLC in Frankfort, IL.

The MMSC is a nonprofit organization that focuses on reschooling off-track Thoroughbreds by building a foundation of skill sets through its Horse Centered Reschooling Program prior to adoption to facilitate and ease their transitions to a new career. This standard is built on the premise that “Education Matters,” giving each horse what it needs, taking the time it takes, and finding the ideal adopter to have the best chance of success in a new job and longevity in a new home. The dedication to excellence in the care, training, and placement of OTTBs has earned the MMSC the moniker, from professionals and amateurs alike, the “Gold Standard in Thoroughbred Reschooling.”

With a finite amount of space at its illustrious location of the Kentucky Horse Park, the MMSC has been limited in the numbers of off-track Thoroughbreds it can transition and place each year despite a waiting list of individuals wanting an MMSC graduate. The addition of this new satellite facility will allow more horses to be welcomed into the MMSC program, to learn new skill sets for a second career, and to be matched with a loving adopter.

“People have been asking me for many years now about opening another facility,” says Susanna Thomas, Executive Director of the MMSC. “While I was always flattered by these requests and appreciated the growing demand for reschooled OTTBs, I knew that it would be a challenge to maintain in a new and separate location the gold standard we had worked so hard to establish at the MMSC. Finding the right partners in Rick and Daniele was key to this dream being realized at last.”

Rick Bulthuis and Daniele Turner, Owner and General Manager of The Ranch respectively, share the MMSC’s horse-centric philosophy. They have adopted five Thoroughbreds from the MMSC in the past two years, and their understanding of the breed and of what it takes to transition an OTTB from the track to a new career, plus their dedication to excellence in horse-care and training, made this partnership with the MMSC a natural one.

“We are thrilled about this new venture!” says Turner. “I have been a fan of the MMSC and its Gold Standard Program since learning about it and was utterly impressed when I went there, saw the horses, and met the staff. The horsemanship is impeccable. The transparency about the horses is unparalleled, and the honesty throughout the whole process is amazing, and truly appreciated. All of this makes the MMSC unique. I am in the animal industry working with dogs as well as horses. This is the right way to do things, and the best way to transition and rehome an OTTB.”

“I wanted to become a satellite for all the same reasons,” Bulthuis concurs. “Plus, finding people with the same mutual passion for the breed is going to be fun. People who love TBs are great people, and I know that once they have adopted, they will become friends!”

Located just south of Chicago, The Ranch is a state of the art equestrian facility boasting a heated barn and indoor arena that enable horses to be trained consistently throughout the year. The OTTBs available for adoption at The Ranch will join the MMSC’s Horse Centered Reschooling Program, receiving dental and farrier care, bodywork, and chiropractic adjustments, proceeding through desensitization and trust-building exercises using natural horsemanship and Tellington-Jones techniques, learning the skill sets for a new career through lunging, long-lining, and under saddle work focused on an introduction to dressage, jumping, and trail riding, and finally being matched with a loving adopter.

“Expanding our team so we can carry forward our mission of reschooling and matching OTTBs to new homes in a way that is horse-centric in every aspect is a real thrill,” continues Thomas. “And we hope this partnership with The Ranch is the first of many.”

A handful of off-track Thoroughbreds from the MMSC are already in residence at The Ranch, learning skills for new careers and awaiting new loving homes. To learn more about the horses available for adoption from the MMSC, please visit www.secretariatcenter.org/horses-available.

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The Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center (MMSC), founded in 2004, is a non-profit 501(c)(3) horse adoption program that is dedicated to reschooling and matching former racehorses to new homes in suitable second careers. Located in the world famous Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY, our premier reschooling facility allows us to herald the athleticism of Thoroughbreds by teaching new skill sets to horses of all levels by using the Horse Center Reschooling Program℠, developed by MMSC Executive Director Susanna Thomas. 

Excel Equine Sponsors Maker's Mark Secretariat Center

Lexington, KY—The Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center (MMSC) is pleased to announce a new sponsorship for 2019 with Excel Equine, one of the few equine-only feed companies in the U.S.

Founded by Bluegrass horsemen David Williams and Kent Thomson and a proud member of the Kentucky Horse Council, Excel Equine prides itself on excellent equine nutrition that is a blend of art and science. The Excel Equine feed blends are crafted in a medication-free environment and specifically customized to enhance horses’ performance, appearance, temperament and overall health.

“Excel Equine’s values and horse-centric approach mirror our core beliefs and practices at the MMSC,” says MMSC Executive Director Susanna Thomas. “Their devotion to quality and commitment to excellence mirrors our ethos at the MMSC, and we believe that the many options of customized feed from Excel will be beneficial for all of our horses.”

Off-track Thoroughbreds are susceptible to dietary challenges ranging from ulcers to sugar sensitivities to a need for fat and protein. Excel Equine is able to provide feed blends to the adoptable OTTBs at the MMSC that address these challenges while they are in transition to a new lifestyle and career. Horses at the MMSC will also receive nutritional consultations and a range of supplements to support overall health, including Hoof Pro Plus, which works to develop the growth, strength and integrity of the hoof.

“After visiting the MMSC, we quickly realized how much they care for the well-being of every horse that comes through their barn door,” says Aubri Hostetter, Sales and Marketing Representative with Excel Equine. “And that perfectly aligns with Excel’s mission of feeding excellence to every horse it serves.”

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The Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center (MMSC), founded in 2004, is a non-profit 501(c)(3) horse adoption program that is dedicated to reschooling and matching former racehorses to new homes in suitable second careers. Located in the world famous Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY, our premier reschooling facility allows us to herald the athleticism of Thoroughbreds by teaching new skill sets to horses of all levels by using the Horse Center Reschooling Program, developed by MMSC Director Susanna Thomas. 

Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center Launches All-Star Program

Lexington, KY — The Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center is pleased to announce the launch of the All-Star Program, a collaborative initiative to re-establish the Thoroughbred horse as the premier international level competitor in equestrian sport. Conceived by Dorothy Crowell, the All-Star Program will pair exemplars of the breed with the best riders in the nation, then follow their progression from their first ride off the track, to their medal winning performances.

Crowell and her OTTB Molokai won silver medals at the World Equestrian Games at The Hague, were selected for two Olympic Teams, and captured the inaugural US 4* Championships at Rolex Kentucky 3-Day. Crowell is a life-long Thoroughbred enthusiast, born and raised in Kentucky where her family owned Spendthrift Farm, famous for standing Triple Crown winners Seattle Slew and Affirmed at stud.

“Thoroughbreds have heart, stamina, cat-like quickness, and a bottomless engine,” Crowell said when discussing the innate athleticism of the breed. “Many of our best riders in Eventing began their international careers riding Thoroughbreds – Neville Bardos, JJ Babu, Donner, Courageous Comet, Biko, Might Tango, True Blue Girdwood, the list is long!”

But all equestrian sports, eventing included, have changed considerably in the last two decades, with American riders choosing the European warmblood or the Irish draft over their native sport horse, the Thoroughbred. Crowell wants to change that.

She began by reaching out to Jonathan Holling, an international four star**** event rider who has competed in the US and abroad. “I like Thoroughbreds,” Holling said, “but my barn has all kinds of breeds, because I like a GOOD horse, no matter what the breed. That said, I was intrigued with Dorothy’s idea,” he continued. “I see it as a wonderful way to get more people involved in the sport. By being part of the teams around the horses in the All-Star Program, eventing enthusiasts will have an affordable way to enjoy the process of an international horse’s progression to the top.”

Crowell, Vice President of the MMSC’s Board of Directors, recently brought Holling to the MMSC, which is known for having Thoroughbreds that represent the athleticism and versatility of the breed and was actively looking to partner with top riders. Holling tried several possible All-Star prospects, and one of them, Ragtime Rebel, a 16.2h, four-year-old chestnut gelding, had all the qualities that he looks for in an international prospect.

“Rebel is super intelligent and level-headed,” Holling explained. “He has a good, kind eye. He is a lovely mover. He’s got the tools to collect and expand at the canter. He has an impressive, balanced jump. And the MMSC has done a wonderful job of restarting him.” Excited by these qualities, Holling adopted Ragtime Rebel, becoming the first Team in the MMSC’s All-Star Program. They have begun developing a partnership that will hopefully take them to the top.

Crowell couldn’t be happier. “This is a win-win!” she said. “A win for Rebel and Jon and a win for eventing, racing, and the MMSC. There’s no doubt that finding the perfect combination of horse and rider can be like looking for a needle in a haystack. By pairing a Thoroughbred like Rebel with a rider of Jon's talent, we are hedging our bets! And for me, it has always been about the journey. The long game. The vast majority of successful international partnerships are horses and riders that have been together for many years. The All-Star Program provides the opportunity for all of us to be a part of that amazing long-term bond that is created between a special horse and its rider as they seek to bring the Thoroughbred back to the top levels of competition!”

Follow Rebel and Jon’s progress on the MMSC’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/MakersMarkSecretariatCenter. Inquiries about creating an All-Star Team should be directed to mmsecretariatcenter@gmail.com.

Jon riding Ragtime Rebel for the first time at the MMSC.

Jon riding Ragtime Rebel for the first time at the MMSC.

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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 Programto 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.

MMSC Graduate to Participate in The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair

The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair starts today in Toronto and we are proud to announce that MMSC Graduate True Simon and his owner/rider Alicia Burberry will be competing! Alicia and Simon, showing under the name “Splash of Class”, had a unique connection from the moment they met in 2016, and we have thoroughly enjoyed watching them develop as a team since then. The duo qualified for the Junior Thoroughbred division, open to horses under the age of eight, which includes a model class and a flat class to be held on November 10.

“This year was our first year showing on the Trillium circuit,” says Alicia. “I went in the show season expecting a learning experience but Simon has pinned in almost every show/class. He makes me so happy and proud with how far we've come as a team and I'm thankful to have him. He makes me smile everyday.”

 The Royal is the largest equestrian event in Canada, with an expected 300,000 people in attendance, and we are honored to have #TeamMMSC represented at this prestigious event by such talented young athletes. Congratulations to Alicia and Simon on this tremendous accomplishment and best of luck next week!

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AirESS Equine Sponsors Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center

Lexington, KY— The Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center is pleased to announce a new sponsorship with AirESS Equine.

AirESS Equine, founded by accomplished horsewoman and international horse trainer Jacqueline Nadler, produces inflatable equestrian jumping obstacles constructed out of military grade materials. The idea was born while Jacqueline was training horses in Africa where baboons regularly vandalized her jumps. She began searching for a way to build jumps that would withstand the natural elements (including baboons!), remain safe for horses, and be easy to maneuver in an arena. The solution was the AirESS line of products, fashioned after inflatable structures used by the armed forces as training devices and decoys.

AIR-ESS products are rigorously tested and reviewed to ensure that any jump, filler, or obstacle will stand the test of time. Remarkably portable and lightweight, they inflate and deflate in 15-90 seconds, and can be packed up in less than a tenth of the inflated size. An option of adding water provides further stability.

“AirEss Equine shares the MMSC’s vision of putting the needs of the horse first and foremost in all that they do, giving it a proper foundation for a new job and waiting until they find the correct match for it, no matter how long that takes,” says Nadler. “We appreciate their dedication to the horse and to horsemanship and their emphasis on quality and excellence. This is in perfect alignment with what we do and espouse. We are looking forward to working with the MMSC in many new and exciting ways going forth.”

The MMSC’s Horse-Centered Reschooling Program(SM), an holistic, interdisciplinary training system that exposes OTTBs to myriad equestrian disciplines with the intention of discovering their latent talents and passions, places an emphasis on jumping. Each horse is introduced to jumping through the use of a free-jumping pen, progresses with jumping lessons under tack, and is exposed to jumping outside of an arena on the MMSC’s cross country course. The range of products provided by AirESS equine, including inflatable logs, coups, walls and hedges, will significantly improve every aspect of this training. The inflatable logs will be used in the free-jumping pen to help the horses learn to jump in better form, and the addition of fillers and inflatable hedges and coups will provide new and more varied jumps, courses, and experiences to the horses jumping under tack, be that in an arena or on the MMSC cross-country course.

“The diversity of the jumps provided will enable us to raise the bar of the training we are providing to our adoptable OTTBs,” says MMSC Trainer and Barn Manager Kara Toye. “It’s not uncommon for us to have a full jump course set up in the arena one day and a barrel racing pattern the next, and the mobility and ease of use of these inflatable jumps means we can accomplish more with less manpower, while still providing new, diverse, and safe experiences to the horses every day. That’s what I call a Gold Standard product!”

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The Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center (MMSC), which has been hailed as “The Gold Standard in Thoroughbred Reschooling”, 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 MMSC is supported solely by donations, grants, and adoption fees. Executive Director Susanna Thomas brought the Horse Centered Reschooling ProgramSM 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.

MMSC Receives Grant from Thoroughbred Charities of America

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Lexington, KY—The Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center, a showcase reschooling and adoption facility at the Kentucky Horse Park for off-track Thoroughbreds, is pleased to announce that it is the recipient of a 2018 grant from Thoroughbred Charities of America.

Like all high-performing athletes, Thoroughbreds come off the track riddled with imbalances, stresses, and injuries. To expedite healing and recovery from these issues, MMSC relies heavily on integrative medicine and supplements. These include chiropractic, acupuncture, massage, laser therapy, herbs, joint surfactants, and vitamin supplements, among others. Body and mind work together, so as the body’s needs are addressed, each horse is better able to learn more quickly a foundation of new skills sets that will enable it to succeed in a new career. With the support of TCA, which will be put towards integrative medicine expenses, more Thoroughbreds can be successfully retrained at the MMSC and placed in loving homes.

MMSC Executive Director Susanna Thomas says, “TCA has been dedicated for decades to the well-being of Thoroughbreds as well as to the people at the track who care for them. The MMSC is grateful to TCA for its commitment to these causes and for the recognition of the work that the MMSC does and how we do it. This generous grant will allow us to give more horses the care they so desperately need before going on to a new career.

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.

“The Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center has successfully met our criteria for a grant and we are once again proud to support them in their mission,” said Erin Crady executive director of TCA. “The MMSC does an outstanding job of rehabbing, retraining, and rehoming off-track Thoroughbreds. Susanna and her staff work diligently to identify the needs of each horse, customize a retraining program, and match each horse and rider effectively. We appreciate the great work and dedication of the MMSC.”

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The Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center (MMSC), which has been hailed as “The Gold Standard in Thoroughbred Reschooling”, 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 MMSC is supported solely by donations, grants, and adoption fees. Executive Director Susanna Thomas brought the Horse Centered Reschooling ProgramSM 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.

Join the MMSC Team Challenge!

Help the MMSC give former racehorses all they need, from the physical and mental clean starts that are so necessary, to teaching them a new equestrian discipline, to finishing up with a perfectly matched adopter!

How to Participate:
- Sign up as a Fundraiser or as a Team on the MMSC Team Challenge page at give.classy.org/mmscteamchallenge.
- Reach out to your friends and family about your need for help in the MMSC Team Challenge on your social media OR ask them to send a check to the MMSC with your name in the memo so it gets applied towards your total.
- Host an event (run, walk, kan jam, cookout - check out event suggestions on line). Send pictures and details about your event to the MMSC at mmsecretariatcenter@gmail.com, and mail a check for the total amount raised to the MMSC with your name in the memo.
- Check if your place of work will match the sum that you raise in a matching gift.

Individual Grand Prize: Win an OTTB from the MMSC!
Go home with the horse of your dreams that is perfectly matched to your personality! It’s easier than you think, because of the power in numbers. The individual fundraiser who raises the most by the conclusion of MMSC Team Challenge on Labor Day will get that sum applied to the adoption fee of an OTTB! So join now, personalize your appeal so everyone knows why you love Thoroughbreds and why it’s your dream to own one, and you’re off! Good luck!

Disclaimer: Standard MMSC adoption process applies. Fundraiser must complete an adoption application, be approved to adopt from the MMSC, and come visit and ride the horses prior to adoption.

Team Grand Prize: Taylor Swift Concert
The Team who raises the the most will win TEN tickets to the Taylor Swift Reputation Stadium Tour! Concert details available here: https://www.taylorswift.com/news/295865

Other prizes for: The first team to raise $1000, the best team name, the most creative fundraising event, the best attended fundraising event, the largest team, and more!

Interactive Tours and Demonstrations Available at Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center

April 15, 2018
Contact: Catherine Flowers
mmsecretariatcenter@gmail.com

Lexington, KY — Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center (MMSC), a premier non-profit re-schooling facility for adoptable Thoroughbreds located at the Kentucky Horse Park, is continuing to partner with Horse Country to offer tours of its facility and demonstrations of the versatility and trainability of off-track Thoroughbreds.

Founded in 2016, 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.

With 12-15 off-track Thoroughbreds in training and awaiting adoption at the MMSC at any one time, each tour is unique and interactive as guests learn what it takes to transition a former racehorse to a new career. Experiences include learning to speak horse in the round pen, watching the horses negotiate the MMSC obstacle course, participating in teaching a horse to jump for the first time, and feeding treats to the horses. Tours are suitable for all ages and photography is encouraged.

“Our hope is to dispel the myth of the ‘crazy’ racehorse that exists in the minds of the public,” said Susanna Thomas, MMSC Executive Director. “Thoroughbreds retired from racing are versatile and athletic, and their large hearts and quick minds enable them to excel in a variety of disciplines. We aim to display these virtues of the breed to all who visit the Kentucky Horse Park, and our tours give guests the added bonus of hands-on interactions with a Thoroughbred.”

The MMSC offers tours weekly from April through October, and tickets can be purchased online at secretariatcenter.org/tours. Private tours and demonstrations are available for large groups, educational groups, business meetings, and corporate retreats. The MMSC conference room is also available to rent for such groups, and interested parties can contact the MMSC at the above website or email.

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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.

Donate to win tickets to the 2018 Land Rover KY 3-Day Event!

Donate at least $20 to the MMSC by midnight Thursday, April 12 and be entered to win 2 tickets for all 4-days of the Land Rover KY 3-Day Event plus preferred parking passes, a value of $360. You'll receive one chance to win per $20 donated. Can't make it to the event on April 26-29? Other prizes include an authentic stallion halter worn by Street Boss, Street Cry's fastest son and multiple graded stakes winner who currently stands at Darley America, and MMSC's brand new OTTB Definition t-shirt (seen here). Winners will be announced & contacted on Friday, April 13.

All donations from this fundraiser will go toward much-needed fencing repair and pasture maintenance. A huge thank you to Alicia Brattin for the donation of the 3-Day tickets!

New Staff Members at the MMSC

Introducing our two new "staff" members at the MMSC, Seabiscuit and War Admiral! As the heads of PR (people relations) and HR (horse relations) respectively, these two boys will be meeting and greeting visitors, showing new OTTBs the ropes, attending events, overseeing training of interns and horses alike, and raising money for the care of all horses at the MMSC. Stay tuned on social media to follow the ongoing adventures of #BiscuitandAdmiral!
#MMSCminis

Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance Announces Accredited Organizations for 2017

For more information, contact:
Stacie Clark Rogers
859-224-2756
sclark@thoroughbredaftercare.org

Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance Announces Accredited Organizations for 2017

The Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (TAA) announced today that 37 Thoroughbred aftercare organizations have been awarded accreditation in 2017. The accredited groups include 31 that were re-accredited and six that have received accreditation for the first time. The TAA, the only accrediting organization in Thoroughbred aftercare, has a network of 64 accredited organizations operating 180 facilities across the United States and Canada.

Accreditation is awarded for a two-year period, after which organizations must re-apply for accreditation. All organizations currently accredited by the TAA are eligible to receive financial grants to support the care of their Thoroughbreds. Grant applications are being reviewed for grants to be awarded by the end of the calendar year.

The full list of all 64 TAA-accredited organizations can be found at thoroughbredaftercare.org/taa-accredited-organizations. The 37 organizations that received accreditation this year are: After the Homestretch, After the TRACK, Akindale Thoroughbred Rescue, Beyond the Roses, Bowman Second Chance Thoroughbred Adoption, Brook Hill Retirement Center for Horses, Inc., CANTER California, CANTER Colorado, CANTER Kentucky, Days End Farm, Equine Encore Foundation, Equine Rescue of Aiken, Florida TRAC, Glen Ellen Vocational Academy, Inc., Hope for Horses, Inc., Redwings Horse Sanctuary, Humanity for Horses, Kentucky Equine Humane Center, Life Horse, Inc., Lone Star Outreach to Place Ex-Racehorses, LongRun Thoroughbred Retirement Society, Lucky Orphans, Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center, MidAtlantic Horse Rescue Inc., New Stride Thoroughbred Adoption Society, New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program, Old Friends, Peaceful Ridge Rescue, ReRun Inc., Saratoga Warhorse Foundation, South Florida SPCA, Southern California Thoroughbred Rescue, The Exceller Fund, Inc., Thoroughbred Placement Resources, Inc., Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation, Thoroughbred Retirement of Tampa, Inc., United Pegasus Foundation.

 “Time and time again we are reminded that the TAA accreditation process is seen as the gold standard of aftercare in the Thoroughbred industry.   Therefore, we recognize the immense value it brings to these organizations for going through the in-depth application process and on-site inspections.  For donors, supporters and Thoroughbred fans it shows that these organizations are in fact taking care of these athletes,” said John Phillips, TAA president and Darby Dan Farm owner.

All accredited organizations undergo a thorough application and inspection process prior to accreditation being awarded to ensure they meet the TAA’s Code of Standards covering five areas: operations, education, horse health care management, facility standards and services, and adoption policies and protocols. Site inspections are conducted at all facilities housing horses for each organization. On-going updates and re-inspections are required of all organizations throughout the term of their accreditation.

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About the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance
Based in Lexington, Kentucky, the non-profit Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance accredits, inspects and awards grants to approved aftercare organizations to retire, retrain and rehome Thoroughbreds using industry-wide funding. Along with continued funding from its original partners Breeders’ Cup Ltd., The Jockey Club, and Keeneland Association Inc., the TAA is supported by owners, trainers, breeders, racetracks, aftercare professionals and other industry groups. To date, 64 aftercare organizations supporting more than 180 facilities across the U.S. and Canada have been granted accreditation and received funding from the TAA. To learn more about the TAA, visit thoroughbredaftercare.org.

This press release was originally published on ThoroughbredAftercare.org. Read original post here.

MMSC Receives Grant from The EQUUS Foundation

October 5, 2017
Contact: Susanna Thomas
mmsecretariatcenter@gmail.com

Lexington, KY--The Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center (MMSC) is pleased to announce that it is the recipient of a 2017 grant from The EQUUS Foundation to support the MMSC’s Clean Start: Let Down and Lay Up Program, an off-site initiative for Thoroughbreds coming directly off the track that need rest and rehabilitation prior to being retrained for new careers.

"We are thrilled to support Makers Mark Secretariat Center again this year and help Thoroughbreds find their way home to new careers and new purposes,” said Lynn Coakley, EQUUS Foundation President.

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 Clean Start Program covers the costs of horses so they can go from the track to a nearby farm to unwind physically and mentally before commencing the rigorous training curriculum of the MMSC’s Horse Centered Reschooling Program℠ that gives them solid foundations for loving new homes. 

“The American Thoroughbred is an incredibly intelligent, powerful, willing, and versatile creature that can do so much, in addition to being a natural athlete. There is no limit to what these amazing horses can do and yet, sadly, so many Thoroughbreds find themselves at risk each year and in dire need of rescue and second chances. Maker's Mark Secretariat Center gives Thoroughbred horses a new lease on life and, as always, we are excited to support their wonderful work," said Valerie Angeli, EQUUS Foundation VP Communications.

Thanks to the support of The EQUUS Foundation, the MMSC has welcomed five new horses into the Clean Start Program recently, all of which hail from Mountaineer in West Virginia.

“There are horses at racetracks all over the United States that need new jobs and homes,” says MMSC Executive Director Susanna Thomas. “Most trainers want to do the right thing but lack the contacts and funds to rehab and transition their horses successfully. We reached out in August to Mountaineer and were so pleased that several trainers we willing to donate their horses to us. We are so grateful for the EQUUS Foundation’s generosity so that we can be a viable link for trainers and a safe haven for the horses they give us!”

The EQUUS Foundation, Inc., established in August 2002 as a 501(c)(3) national charitable foundation, seeks to raise public awareness of the value of the horse in society through education and the awarding of grants to charities that use the horse to benefit the public, promote the health and welfare of horses, and elevate the equestrian sport as a whole.

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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.

MMSC Receives Grant from Thoroughbred Charities of America

September 8, 2017
Contact: Susanna Thomas
mmsecretariatcenter@gmail.com

Lexington, KY--The Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center, a showcase reschooling facility at the Kentucky Horse Park for off-track Thoroughrbeds, is pleased to announce that it is the recipient of a 2017 grant from Thoroughbred Charities of America. This generous TCA grant will be put towards the important needs of dental, farrier, vet, and chiropractic care, as well as other alternative therapies, which every off-track Thoroughbred at the MMSC receives in order to prepare it for a second career.

As any athlete knows, it is difficult to progress in training, and sometimes impossible to train at all, if one's body is unbalanced or hurts. Thoroughbred horses frequently come off the track muscle sore, tense, and with old and new injuries. These problems need to be addressed before training can progress successfully. Body and mind work together, so the issues that arise with the body need to be handled every step of the way as the horses' foundation of learning is being laid. With the support from TCA allowing every horse to receive the care it needs, more Thoroughbreds can be successfully retrained at the MMSC and placed in loving homes.

“The Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center has successfully completed TCA’s grant application review process and we are pleased to support them with a grant,” said TCA executive director Erin Crady. “The MMSC has an outstanding rehabilitation, retraining, and rehoming program and we applaud their efforts to transition Thoroughbreds from the racetrack into second careers.”

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 Executive Director Susanna Thomas says, “TCA has been dedicated for decades to the well-being of Thoroughbreds as well as to the people at the track who care for htem. The MMSC is grateful to TCA for its commitment to these causes, for its diligence in selecting its grantees, and for the recognition of the work that the MMSC does and how we do it. This generous grant will allow us to give more horses the care they so desperately need before going on to a new career.”

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The Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center (MMSC), which has been hailed as “The Gold Standard in Thoroughbred Reschooling”, 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 MMSC is supported solely by donations, grants, and adoption fees. Executive Director Susanna Thomas brought the Horse Centered Reschooling Programto 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.

Equine Industry Rallies Together to Provide Harvey Relief Efforts

August 31, 2017
Contact: Sally J. Baker

sbaker@aaep.org
For Immediate Use

Groups within the veterinary and equine communities are coordinating a major relief effort—consisting of both monetary and supply donations—to aid horses and their caretakers in Texas and Louisiana impacted by Hurricane Harvey’s catastrophic flooding.

Monetary Donations

Financial donations are preferred because of the difficulty in getting supplies from outside of the region to affected horses. The AAEP Foundation Equine Disaster Relief Fund, National HBPA Foundation, and USEF Equine Disaster Relief Fund are all accepting support that will be distributed among credible programs and organizations helping with recovery and rebuilding efforts. Additionally, please consider giving directly to PATH International, as several of their therapeutic riding facilities sustained extreme flooding damage.

Supply Donations

A supply drive is also being coordinated in Lexington, Ky., through a partnership of local equine groups. Click here to see a current list of needed supplies requested by first responders. Supply donations will be accepted at the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) office inside the Kentucky Horse Park:

4033 Iron Works Parkway
Lexington, KY 40511

(859)-233-0147

Donation hours are Monday – Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Labor Day hours are 7:30 a.m. to noon. Call the AAEP office if directions are needed. After hours donations may be arranged by contacting Keith Kleine at kkleine@aaep.org or (859)-327-8750.

The first supply truck will leave bound for a property in Katy, Texas sheltering displaced horses. The AAEP Foundation is working closely with first responders on the ground to determine the most urgent needs and locations for future shipments. The Foundation is grateful for both the support and patience of the community as we work diligently to determine the ever-changing needs of affected areas.

For more information about how to help horses and their caretakers, visit the AAEP Foundation’s Harvey relief page, social media outlets for supporting organizations, and search #HarveyHorseHelp on Twitter.

Supporting Organizations

American Association of Equine Practitioners & Foundation
American Horse Council
American Quarter Horse Association
Breeders’ Cup Limited
Brook Ledge Horse Transportation
Creech Horse Transportation
Equine Land Conservation Resource
Equine Medical Associates, PSC
Hagyard Equine Medical Institute & Pharmacy
Horse Country

KBC International
Keeneland Association
Kentucky Equine Humane Center
Kentucky Horse Council
Kentucky Quarter Horse Association & Youth Association
Kentucky Thoroughbred Association
Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners & Breeders
Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center
National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association
Park Equine Hospital
PATH International
Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital & Pharmacy
The Jockey Club
Thoroughbred Charities of America

Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association
United States Equestrian Federation
United States Hunter Jumper Association

Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance and Accredited Organizations to Unite in Historic Fashion at Inaugural Equestricon

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY. (March 14, 2017) – When the lights go on at Equestricon, the landmark racing convention will be the site of the largest single gathering of accredited organizations in the history of the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (TAA), organizers announced today. The TAA is the “Official Charity Partner” of Equestricon — the first international racing convention, fan festival and trade show.

“We couldn’t be more excited about being so closely aligned with this forward-thinking, innovative industry effort,” said TAA Operations Consultant, Stacie Clark Rogers. “Aftercare has emerged as the preeminent issue tied to the future of our industry, and the team at Equestricon realizes that.”

The General Session for the inaugural convention will take place Monday, August 14 - Tuesday, August 15, at the Saratoga Springs City Center. Tentatively scheduled to appear in the Equestricon “Aftercare Hub” in the main convention hall are 20 TAA-accredited aftercare groups from all over the United States. A full list of participating charities is attached to this release.

Equestricon attendees will also be able to learn more about aftercare through two dedicated aftercare panels, presented by TAA: Aftercare Pathways, and Stories: OTTB Successes.
"I am so honored to participate in the ‘Success Stories’ panel,” said Michael Blowen, President and founder of Old Friends, the Thoroughbred retirement facility with farms located in Georgetown, Ky., and in Greenfield Center, Ny.

“Thoroughbreds are the most athletic and willing equines, capable of succeeding in any discipline, not just racing, and this is a great opportunity for fans to see the full gamut of options available to them after the racetrack. The formation of the TAA is perhaps the most effective change in racing today,” Blowen added.

Joining Blowen on the panel will be ReRun Inc.’s Lisa Molly, Herringswell Stables’ Anita Motion, and trainer Rick Violette. Diana Pikulski will represent Saratoga Springs-based Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation (TRF) in the Aftercare Pathways panel, which will be moderated by Gulfstream Park’s Acacia Courtney.

For additional information on the aftercare programming scheduled for Equestricon, and to purchase tickets for the convention, visit equestricon.com.

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Based in Lexington, Kentucky, the non-profit Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance accredits, inspects and awards grants to approved aftercare organizations to retire, retrain and rehome Thoroughbreds using industry-wide funding. Along with continued funding from its original partners Breeders’ Cup Ltd., The Jockey Club, and Keeneland Association Inc., the TAA is now also supported by owners, trainers, breeders, racetracks, aftercare professionals and other industry groups. To date, 64 aftercare organizations supporting more than 180 facilities across the U.S. and Canada have been granted accreditation and received funding from the TAA. To learn more about the TAA, visit thoroughbredaftercare.org.

Equestricon™ is the first international horse racing convention, trade show and fan festival. Founded by Dan Tordjman, Kathryn Sharp and Justin Nicholson, Equestricon™ is designed to bring the horse racing industry together in an atmosphere of entertainment, engagement and
education. The inaugural Equestricon™ will be held in Saratoga Springs, kicking off on August 13, and continuing with its General Session August 14-15 at the Saratoga Springs City Center. The Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (TAA) is the official charity partner of Equestricon™. For more information, please visit equestricon.com.

Media Contact:
Dan Tordjman
Dan@equestricon.org
917-572-7075

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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