New Jersey sanctuary rescues retired racehorses from slaughter

CREAM RIDGE, New Jersey -- Since 1989, the Standardbred Retirement Foundation (SRF) has been a safe haven for retired racehorses facing potential slaughter.

"Most people think that every horse that races has a wonderful retirement and that's so far from the truth. When these horses are done racing they have nowhere to go," said Judith Bokman, Executive Director for the Standardbred Retirement Foundation.

The harsh reality many horses face after a career in the multi-billion dollar racing business, inspired Bokman to start the foundation which gives them a second chance at life.

In addition to the trauma experienced by many of these horses, some of them end their careers at a young age with injuries too catastrophic to allow them to transition into new careers.

However, despite the conditions in which many of these horses arrive, with the treatment and rehabilitation provided by SRF, many of these horses go on to live plentiful lives; many of them becoming police mounts, therapeutic or trail horses.

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For an organization like SRF that depends on individual donations and their fundraising events, the pandemic has thrown them a new set of challenges.

"The COVID-19 crisis hit in March, and we believed we would have relief from the pandemic by now. Sadly, that is not the case. Our fundraisers remain canceled and it costs approximately $4,000 a day just to feed all of our horses," said Bokman.

The Standardbred Retirement Foundation remains focused on its life-saving mission and remains hopeful that donors will be step-up and assist them in this time of great need.

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