Here in Iowa, horsemen do a fantastic job of finding homes for their race horses when their careers in racing are concluded. In addition, owners racing at Prairie Meadows Racetrack make a voluntary contribution to Hope After Racing Thoroughbreds (HART) with every start their horses make. HART is an Iowa industry-wide collaboration funded by owner per start contributions, silent auctions, events, and tax deductible charitable donations.
HART, whose creation was initially spearheaded by the IA HBPA and Prairie Meadows, has the following mission statement: "To ensure a safe, temporary home for injured or noncompetitive Thoroughbred racehorses with uncertain futures coming from Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino. To provide a peaceful environment and experienced care for each horse's individual recuperative needs with adequate time to transition from the racetrack environment. Once appropriate, facilitating horses into training with the goal to prepare them for future careers and homes."
There's an old racing axiom that if you "Take care of your horse, the horse takes care of you," and our horsemen are doing that by not only taking care of them while racing, but donating to help them in their next steps beyond the racing oval. The racing industry nation wide has made progress on the front of aftercare, and the HBPA's support for HART is our own way of achieving that here in Iowa.Jon Moss, Iowa HBPA Executive Director
"We love seeing prior race horses going onto do amazing jobs, such as trail raiding, hunter/jumper, dressage, barrel racing, or being in the show ring in general. Through HART, we have seen so many horses come off the track and transition into new careers with no issues. Thoroughbreds are very adaptable and provide great companionship to owners of all ages. We welcome horse enthusiasts to learn more about HART and what it's like owning a retired racehorse."