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THE OWNERS NOT THE SPORT DETERMINE A HORSES FUTURE AND MULTIPLE OPTIONS EXIST

The thoroughbred is a horse breed best known for it's use in horse racing. It's speed and agility also make it a breed capable of performing many disciplines. Like all professional athletes a horse's race career will come to and end, but when it does, many options exist for rehoming and that choice lies exclusively with its owner.

As race meets across North America begin to wrap up, thoroughbred horse owners have a decision to make. Does the investment required to care for their horses over the winter and the training costs the following spring make financial sense or do they find the horses a new home?
For those horses whose career on the racetrack are over, the unique nature of a thoroughbred offers many options. At the end of their careers on the racetrack, thoroughbreds have been known to go on to be polo horses, or hunter/jumper horses.  Some have gone on to barrel racing, dressage and chuckwagon racing.

Katy Calder who is involved with Polo Canada says about half the horses in Canadian Polo are thoroughbreds. "Owners and trainers at the racetrack will call us at the end of the season to see if we are interested in some horses" says Katy. "Polo is a phenomenal option for thoroughbreds at the end of their racing career." 
There have been a few WPCA connections with polo horses as well. Former WPCA driver Colt Cosgrave had a polo horse outrider Reo King found for him that became an outriding horse called J.J.

Jerri Robertson who has been training thoroughbreds for over 30 years has sold horses to polo players, jumpers and wagon drivers. "We are very selective where we want our horses to go" says Robertson, "we always try and find the horses a good home and for the odd mare who has performed well we might breed her."
Lianne Knechtel, a former trainer who won the 2011 Canadian Derby with a horse named Freedoms Traveller says over the years alot of her race horses have gone on to Spruce Meadows or become schooling horses, three day eventing or dressage horses. "Freedoms Traveller went on to be a wagon horse" Knechtel said, "some of the horses have gone on to be someone's pet in the field but I always try to match a horse with their next job."

For chuckwagon drivers who have purchased horses from the racetrack their primary intent is for these horses to perform on the wagon or as an outriding horse.  For some of these horses they will go on to race for many years, some will be retired in the field at the end of their wagon racing careers and many have been laid to rest on their owners land when father time says its time. 
When a horses career with the chuckwagons are over there are multiple options for rehoming. Codey McCurrach and Mark Sutherland are two of the many WPCA drivers who have proven there's multiple options for wagon horses after their wagon racing careers come to an end. "Four or five of my wagon horses have gone on to be jumping horses" says McCurrach, "I also give a lot of my wagon horses away to folks so they can keep the grass down on their acreages."

Veteran driver Mark Sutherland who was crowned the Ponoka Stampede Champion in 2019 sells his wagon horses to people all the time. "I sold 5 last fall and have requests for a few more right now but I don't have anything for sale" says Sutherland. "I have sold some of my horses for polo, polocross, dressage, barrel racing, 4-H and even some back to the racetrack."
The thoroughbred horse is a unique breed and multiple homing options exist for horse owners who care about their horses but can no longer afford the expenses.
Where a horse goes after his career is exclusively the choice of it's owner and for thoroughbreds, their agility and speed gives their owner many options.

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