In 2012, Dr. Kate Papp and her friend, Mandy Lee, began posting photos and info of retired racehorses in their area onto a simple private webpage. After successfully rehoming over 200 hundred horses using this method, they started a Facebook page and asked themselves, “Where do we go from here?”
They knew they had something good and knew they had the right team of people, with firsthand experience, to grow this into something really great. Their question was definitively answered in 2014, when PARR received their non-profit status. “We were approved to become an official charity to benefit the rehoming, rehabilitation and rescue of off the track TB racehorses,” says board member Kathy Chamberlain.
PARR operates out of one main farm which has stalls available for horses in their program. They utilize a network of foster farms, allowing each horse to have a place to call home while making the transition into their new lives. “We have a few private trainers/farm owners who are willing to open up a stall or two at times for TBs that come into our program, care for the horses, and get them on the way to "fat & happy" while they wait for their new owners to find them. Some of the lucky ones even get training out of the deal and end up a step ahead of the rest,” says Kathy.
Training programs at PARR are based on each horse’s natural abilities and health. This individualized regimen begins only when the horse has received a clean bill of health. This usually takes the form of ground work, however, when the horse is comfortable they start work on various types of jumping. “Every once in a while we have one that doesn’t have fun jumping so we try out other disciplines,” says Kathy. “One of our favorites was Lucy, she was good at jumping, but she loved running and could turn on a dime. We worked on gaming and she turned out to be an awesome polo pony,” she remembers.
The majority of horses at PARR are available for adoption once rehabilitated. “We present the unique opportunity for potential adopters to choose the horse that will best compliment their goal based on our comprehensive and rehabilitation program,” explains Kathy. All potential adopters must first fill out an application, supply references and submit to a background check.
There are also horses at the PARR facility that will remain there for the remainder of their time. This may be due to ongoing health issues, injuries that must be watched daily, unsoundness or behavioral issues that may make a horse unfit for adoption. It all boils down to what is ultimately best for the horse. “Any horse that comes into our program will never be homeless,” says Kathy.
Please use the information below to find out how you can assist in any of the variety of ways that are available. Whether through donating funds, volunteering or attending one of their events, the work done by PARR is only possible through your support.
PA Racehorse Rehoming, Rehabilitation & Rescue
If you are interested in loaning or donating your horse trailer to this particular organization, then check out details of our Horse Trailer Donation and Sharing Program here. Then, post your comments below to help out!
Also, learn more about horse rescues in these two articles: