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FAQ's and Important Information Before Donating Your Horse

What if my horse has an injury (new or old)?

Of course we will consider horses who have sustained injuries, and unlike other organizations, we don’t require the donor/former owner to pay the horse’s rehab expenses. The right thing to do is to retire them from racing, and give them an opportunity for a less demanding career.

With that said, our capacity to properly care for horses that need extended rehab and interventions is limited. We will have our vets review the horse’s records and determine whether your horse has a good prognosis for some athletic function, and what we need to do in order to give them the best shot possible. Sometimes this may mean surgery, stem cell, IRAP treatments, or just simply time. We need to be prepared and able ($$) to provide what your horse needs.

Please let your vet know that our vets will be in-touch and that they have your permission to discuss your horse.


Does FFI only take Thoroughbreds from the racetrack?

Every horse that we bring into the Friends of Ferdinand program has been involved in the racing industry, at some point. During the racing season, horses retiring from the racetracks in the Midwest take precedent.

FFI has also recently launched a program geared toward mares who have been retired from racing for a few years and have been used as broodmares.

We do, from time to time, accept horses who have been purchased from the track and the new owners have realized that it’s just not a good fit. Our experience is that, as a result of bad experiences, unprepared riders, or lack of horsemanship skills, these horses take more time and more professional work to set right again. Please be prepared to make a tax-deductible donation ($500 - $1,000) to offset these additional expenses.

From time to time, we have also taken horses from other rescues.


What What is FFI’s new Broodmare Bunch program?

FFI has recently expanded our mission to include mares who have been retired from racing for a few years and have been on a farm being broodmares.  To be eligible for the Broodmare Bunch program, broodmares must be sound and suitable for a second career, have received a vet evaluation for behavior, soundness, and lack of pregnancy, and have been separated from their last foal for at least 60 days.  Preference is given to broodmares under the age of 12, and off the track 5 years or less (unless unraced).  Broodmares from any state are welcome to apply to the program, but preference is given to horses with connections in Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky. This is a new program in 2021, and FFI is accepting a limited number of broodmares at this time.  


What if FFI accepts my horse, and then later decides it is not adoptable?

FFI is not a sanctuary. Every horse accepted into our program will be made available for adoption.

Once accepted into our program, every FFI horse receives a thorough intake exam, administered by a veterinarian, and enters a retraining program. During these evaluations, if our veterinarians find that your horse has injuries that substantially limit its athletic ability and cannot be rehabilitated to provide long-term quality of life and function, we will humanely euthanize the horse.

Furthermore, if, in consultation with veterinarians and professional trainers, we determine that your horse poses a safety risk to itself and the people around it, we will humanely euthanize, regardless of its soundness. These decisions are not made lightly, and are determined with the recommendation of veterinarians, professionals, and the Board of Directors.


What am I supposed to do if FFI does not accept my horse?

If we cannot take your horse because we do not have an open stall, you can place your horse on our waitlist. We will let you know when a horse goes out on trial for adoption and a stall is opening up.

If we cannot take your horse because we are short on the required funds to support it, you can help us fundraise or make a donation to close the gap and get your horse into the program faster.

If you can’t wait for a stall or budget to open up, we have contacts throughout the country and may be able to network to find your horse a place in another organization. Alternately, we can also help you list it for sale on our website to get your horse exposure.

However, if we decide that we cannot take your horse because our vets have recommended that its injuries are too extensive for long-term soundness and riding, then we may recommend humane euthanasia. It’s never an easy decision for any horse owner, but when made with the horse’s long-term quality of life in mind and in consultation with a veterinarian, it is never the wrong one.


Does FFI provide long-term retirement/sanctuary to horses that are pasture sound only?

No. We retrain our horses for second careers as riding horses. If you need sanctuary, our favorite organizations are Old Friends, The Exceller Fund, and ReRun Inc.


Does FFI take stallions or cryptorchids (undescended testicles)?

Yes, we will take stallions and cryptorchids. However their intact status MUST be disclosed before they are accepted into the program, and they are immediately castrated upon joining our program. Please, no surprise stud muffins.

If we accept your stallion into our program, unless other arrangements have been made, you MUST deliver your horse directly to our nearest veterinary clinic, or Purdue, for castration.

Cryptorchids will require a tax-deductible donation to offset the surgical costs ($400 - $1,000) and we will work to get surgery estimates with non-profit discounts to you before the horse arrives.

If you feel that castration is not in the best interest of your horse, please contact an organization that accepts stallions (such as Old Friends, KY).


What is the value of my horse?

When we accept and take possession of your horse, you (or your agent) will be provided with a copy of the Transfer of Ownership form. This also serves as your donation receipt. The value of your horse is between you and the IRS. We encourage you to seek advice from a tax professional.