Friends of Ferdinand, Inc. (FFI) is thrilled to announce the launch of their new pilot program called Broodmare Bunch. This program is an expansion of FFI’s current mission to rehab, retrain, and rehome Thoroughbreds directly off the track after their racing careers. Broodmare Bunch will be open to Thoroughbred mares who have been pensioned from broodmare duty as part of the horseracing breeding industry. The program will assist potentially at-risk broodmares in finding homes after their breeding careers have ended.
“While there are many organizations that assist horses fresh from the racetrack, there are very few that have a program dedicated to the broodmares. This is an unmet need,” says FFI President Sara Busbice. “Anything from fertility issues, difficulty foaling, lack of successful racing offspring, or downsizing a herd can cause a broodmare to be removed from a breeding farm, often at a young enough age that she could go on to have a terrific ‘third’ career after her jobs on the racetrack and as a mother are over.”
Trainer Lori Miller, who runs Greenstone Stables where many of FFI’s horses live during their retraining, expressed her excitement about FFI expanding into this new realm of the Thoroughbred industry. “We would certainly be fulfilling an industry need by adding broodmares to our roster,” she says. “Diversifying our herd will give us the ability to have more horses available for different levels of potential adopters. We are looking forward to expanding our existing program by bringing these new horses into our barn!”
The pilot program for FFI’s Broodmare Bunch is launching in March 2021. Individuals or farms interested in submitting a broodmare for consideration into the program can do so by filling out a “Donate a Horse” form on the Friends of Ferdinand website. A limited, select number of broodmares will be accepted into the program initially. Preference will be given to horses with connections to racing or breeding in Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky.
As the only Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance-accredited program in Indiana, FFI is dedicated to assisting off-track Thoroughbreds transition to their second or third careers. The program has TAA-accredited farms around Indiana and Ohio as rehabilitation and retraining facilities for Off-Track Thoroughbreds, and these will also be available for mares that are part of the Broodmare Bunch.
The Broodmare Bunch is funded in part by groups and individuals donating to FFI. One of the first, and largest, benefactors of the Broodmare Bunch is the Indiana Thoroughbred Alliance (ITA). ITA is a collaboration of breeders, owners, trainers, and horse-racing enthusiasts dedicated to the continued success of Thoroughbred breeding and racing in the state of Indiana. Their donation of $5,000 will help to launch the program. The money was raised from ITA’s first stallion service auction in December.
“As passionate breeders in Indiana, we know how important it is to not only find second careers for our racehorses, but also for our broodmares,” says Christine Cagle, owner of Springcliff Farm and ITA board member. “The ITA is not only dedicated to the promotion of horse racing in Indiana, but also to the transition of second, or third, careers for our Thoroughbreds. This partnership was a no-brainer.”
To learn more about the Broodmare Bunch program, visit the Friends of Ferdinand website. If resources for these broodmares are important to you, and you want to support Broodmare Bunch or get involved, you can direct your questions and comments to [email protected]. If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation to support this new program, you can do so securely through the Friends of Ferdinand website.
For more updates on this exciting new expansion of Friends of Ferdinand’s retraining program, and to learn about the mares that will be accepted into the pilot program of Broodmare Bunch and eventually listed for adoption, follow FFI on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to stay in the loop.
Friends of Ferdinand, Inc. (FFI) is a 501c3 nonprofit equine organization that is dedicated to retired racehorses, and the only organization in Indiana that is accredited by the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (TAA). Graduates from the FFI program have gone on to have success in eventing, dressage, calf-roping, western riding, trail riding, as hunter/jumpers, and as therapy horses.