NEW JERSEY - The serene pastures of the Standardbred Retirement Foundation(SRF) in Cream Ridge, New Jersey provide a respite for these old horses.
For years, they've made money for someone else. Now, they're off the clock.
“Our horses very lucky to be here. We are able to give them loving homes after are done training them and once we find their forever homes, they are very happy campers,” said Jenna Martin, a trainer at the sanctuary.
SRF is a sanctuary for retired harness racehorses. For the past 31 years, they have rehabilitated over four thousand horses. Currently, 340 equines are in their care.
“We do take some off horses right off the track but the majority of horses come from after livestock, where they are tagged and shipped for slaughter,” said Judith Bokman, founder of SRF, “We intervene, we rehabilitate them - many of them are in very tough shape. We quarantine them and give them back their soul and spirit because for most, if not all, it's broken it's gone.”
Supporting 340 horses costs roughly 4-thousand dollars a month. Most of the money that is used to support these horses, is raised through fundraisers. All of those fundraisers have been canceled due to COVID-19.
“We need donations to feed them and provide them with medical care. We need adoptive homes, we need foster homes. We have 340 horses that we are supporting and we are getting very nervous about the situation we are in and we are not going to be able to do this much more,” said Bokman.
The SRF told FOX 5 NY, they do not receive government support or financial assistance from the racing industry and the U.S. Trotting Association. They save as many horses as they can with whatever money they have on-hand, a challenge in even the best of times, and now even harder due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Our horses aren’t just located in New Jersey, we have horses in Pennsylvania in need of homes and support, Virginia, North Carolina… Connecticut and Louisiana," says Bokman.
If you'd like to donate-- or adopt a horse—visit: WWW.ADOPTAHORSE.ORG