The check comes as a part of the annual New Vocations Breeders’ Cup pledge. Owners and trainers with entries in the $25.5 million Breeders’ Cup World Championships are asked to pledge a percentage of their Breeders’ Cup earnings to support the program’s efforts. Over the past three years the pledge has raised $150,000 to support New Vocations’ mission to rehab, retrain and rehome retired racehorses. In addition to Hansen, this year’s participants included owners John Fort, Mike Repole, and Rick Shanley and trainers Kiaran McLaughlin, Eddie Plesa, Todd Pletcher, Justin Sallusto, and Nick Zito.
“I’ve owned horses for about 30 years and know that having a horse like Hansen is a once in a lifetime experience,” said Hansen, a pain management specialist. “The New Vocations Breeders’ Cup pledge offered me the opportunity to give back to the industry based off of Hansen’s success. It has been a win-win situation for everyone. I’m happy to be able to support such a worthy cause that helps find homes for retired racehorses.”
“We are extremely grateful to Dr. Hansen for his generous contribution and to the many other owners and trainers who participated in this year’s pledge,” said New Vocations Program Director Anna Ford. “There are so many horses retiring from the track that need to be transitioned to new careers. The state of the economy has made it difficult to keep up with the number of horses needing our services. Every dollar raised helps New Vocations put horses into homes, which in turn leaves the door open to help more horses.”
Founded in 1992, New Vocations has become the largest racehorse adoption program in the country and has facilities in Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and Tennessee. In 2011 the program rehomed more than 400 retired racehorses. Working directly with owners and trainers who need aftercare for horses leaving the track, the program currently receives horses from more than 30 racetracks, including Turfway Park. New Vocations has a sound adoption system that is proven to move a large number of horses in a relatively short period of time. The program focuses on adoption rather than retirement, believing that each horse deserves to have an individual home and purpose.
New Vocations is one of the agencies supported by Turfway Park’s Turfway Aftercare Program fund. Owners pay one dollar each time one of their horses starts at Turfway, and Turfway matches the donation. The program, which began full operation in September 2011, is expected to generate about $14,000 per year. Funds are divided among agencies that take and transition horses that are stabled at Turfway or last raced at the track.