A home for retired racehorses on LI's north shore

Being a racehorse isn’t as easy as you might think. Thoroughbreds can accumulate all sorts of injuries during their career, leaving them in need of care when their time on the racetrack comes to an end.

For Laurel Palermo, creating a home for those retired racehorses has become her life’s calling. In 2003, she opened the North Shore Horse Rescue in Baiting Hollow, creating a sanctuary for horses in need.

“So far we rescued 42 horses, some have found other homes, a lot of them are permanent residents,” Palermo said. “When we get a thoroughbred, especially one that has just come off the track, we turn them out. We let them become a horse again.”
Among the residents at the sanctuary is Danny, who joined the family in 2011. Danny ran stakes races, winning thousands of dollars and finishing his career at Belmont, but a lifetime of running had taken its toll.

“He had a sesamoid fracture which they fire pinned, which means they stuck hot rods in his bones to accelerate healing and then after that they ran him again so his fracture shattered,” said Louise Abitbol, a trauma specialist.

If not for the intervention North Shore Horse Rescue, Danny’s fate may have taken a darker turn.

“They were going to ship him to auction,” Abitbol said. “In the state he was in, he would have been bought by a meat market.”

And although caring for Danny costs the sanctuary $400 each month, they say it is worth it to allow retired horses to see out their lives in a safe, stress-free environment. 

If you’d like to donate or otherwise help, visit the North Shore Horse Rescue’s website at www.northshorehorserescue.org