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.
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.