After the Races is a 501c3, registered non-profit organization located in Elkton, Maryland, that rehabilitates and rehomes retired Thoroughbred racehorses into suitable, long-term homes. After the Races aims to promote the versatility and usefulness of the Thoroughbred beyond racing.
Founded and directed by Bonnie Hutton, After the Races is a product of her experience in the Thoroughbred industry and love of the breed. “Founding and directing After the Races has certainly been my biggest achievement in the horse industry. Being able to work with so many amazing athletes and personalities and help them find new homes with new careers is incredibly fulfilling work,” shared Bonnie. “I have ridden and been around horses since childhood, but I have been working with Thoroughbreds specifically for nearly 20 years. I have spent the last 11-12 years in the aftercare industry, rehabilitating, retraining, and adopting out retired racehorses.” Also on Bonnie’s list of equine achievements is competing in the world’s longest horse race, the 1,000 kilometer Mongol Derby, where she placed fifth after riding the last 250 kilometers with a broken hand!
After the Races keeps at least 20 Thoroughbred horses at a time at their facility and sees about 115 horses a year in their program. Since their start in January 2011, over 730 Thoroughbreds have found new homes and careers thanks to the organization. They have placed horses in all types of homes where they participate in everything from barrel racing to polocrosse to three-day eventing. Several horses have gone on to work with the Philadelphia Mounted Police Unit and a few have been placed in therapy homes. “We pride ourselves in matching horses up with suitable homes and do not limit them by discipline or geographic location. We have horses riding in every style imaginable in nearly all of the 48 continental US states, as well as several up in Canada,” Bonnie explained. Horses in the program are ridden in a variety of different saddles, are taken on trail rides, and are exposed to all types of situations and concepts.
Staff and volunteers employ horsemanship techniques from professionals such as Monty Roberts. “Rehabilitating horses goes beyond just physical injuries for us. We also rehabilitate their minds and often some behavioral issues they can come with. We believe being allowed to be a horse, part of a herd specifically, is often the first step toward creating a relaxed, well-adjusted horse who is ready to pursue a new career,” Bonnie said.
While After the Races has a large reach, the organization is composed of only two full-time employees and two part-time employees. They rely on their army of dedicated volunteers and supporters to keep things running smoothly, along with the barn management tool, StableSecretary.
After a thorough Google search and several experiments with a variety of other services and websites, After the Races began using StableSecretary in October 2021. When asked how StableSecretary has helped to streamline the facility, Bonnie explained, “Prior to Stable Secretary we maintained paper records and charts. While we still spend a similar amount of time inputting records and data into the app, we’ve cut down on the process of copying charts and records by hand. When we have inquiries into our horses, we’re able to forward their records to prospective adopters with a click of a button, and it makes it impossible for records to be misplaced or lost. When horses are adopted, we can print or send their records to their adopter quickly. Should a horse be returned, it’s easy to reactivate their records and prevent them being lost by their adopter (where paper copies were rarely returned in the past).”
When asked her favorite feature of StableSecretary, Bonnie shared that the ability to customize record types allows staff and volunteers to be incredibly detailed in the services, diagnostics, treatments, therapies, etc that horses receive. They also enjoy the ability to customize due dates based on the situation.
After renting farms for the last decade, After the Races hopes to acquire their own property in order to expand in the near future. If you are interested in adopting a retired racehorse or donating toward the rehabilitation of horses in the organization’s care, please visit their website, aftertheraces.org, or check out their Facebook page, facebook.com/aftertheraces/
To learn more about the many features of StableSecretary and the best ways to keep your facility organized, visit www.StableSecretary.com.
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