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A Day at the Races

A Day at the Races

Friends of Ferdinand team visits Indiana Grand and is presented with a check for Thoroughbred aftercare.

Pictured L-R - Indiana Grand Senior Vice President & General Manager Mike Rich, FFI Board Member Wendy Brown, FFI adopter Kellee Meng, FFI Adoption Coordinator/Foster Erin Durham, FFI Secretary Diana Cooper, Indiana Grand Vice President & General Manager of Racing Eric Halstrom, FFI President Sara Busbice, FFI Marketing Coordinator Chelsey Burris, & On-Air Racing Personality Rachel McLaughlin. (Photo by Coady Photography)

 By Chelsey Burris

On August 12, several members from Friends of Ferdinand Inc. (FFI) traveled to Shelbyville, Indiana to visit Indiana Grand Racing & Casino.  After the second race, the FFI team was welcomed into the winner’s circle and presented with a $5,000 check from Indiana Grand’s Community Relations program.

With an average cost of $3,000 to rehab and retrain a racehorse, the donation will cover the full cost for nearly two horses in our program this year. 

Representing Friends of Ferdinand for the day were President Sara Busbice, Secretary Diana Cooper, Adoption Coordinator/Foster Erin Durham, Board Member Wendy Brown, Marketing Coordinator Chelsey Burris, and Kellee Meng, adopter of Penny (Jockey Club name Filly Named Billy). In addition to the check presentation, the group enjoyed watching a few races by the rail, cheering the horses as they went past.

Chelsey was excited about the opportunities this donation will create.  One of the current horses in our program, Hum Baby, has shown his flair for the western discipline, and has even started learning about cattle work and roping.  “This donation will help us expand our relatively new western program and set other horses up for success like Hum Baby.”

 “Just when I thought that the team from Friends of Ferdinand couldn’t be any more awesome, they invited me to join them at Indiana Grand for the check donation, and I was able to put some faces with the names of the people I have spoken to for the last year,” said Kellee, the adopter of a horse who made all 5 of her lifetime starts on this very racetrack.  “It was such an honor to be associated with them, and it was so much fun to see them interact with each other and get a tiny glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes.”

FFI President Sara is optimistic about the future of aftercare in our state saying, “On behalf of the horses, volunteers, and adopters at Friends of Ferdinand, we are always grateful for the support we have received from Indiana Grand.  We look forward to working with the industry stakeholders in the future to develop a meaningful and sustainable solution to aftercare in Indiana.” 

Friends of Ferdinand wishes to thank Indiana Grand for their donation, their hospitality, and a fun day of racing. 


Team FFI enjoys a race from the rail at Indiana Grand, with Wendy Brown (right) cheering the horses down the stretch!

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