Monday, April 1, 2013

Vernon Downs and Tioga Downs donate $10,000 to Ensure Future for Retiring Standardbred Racehorses in New York State

Vernon Downs and Tioga Downs have donated $10,000 to Sunshine Horses Inc.

Sunshine Horses Inc. is a New York Based Racehorse Retirement and Retraining 501(c3) not for profit.

Founded in 2003, Sunshine Horses Inc. retrains, rehabilitates and re-homes this very versatile breed and gives them the retirement they deserve and have earned. Sunshine Horses also has many community programs bringing a wide variety of people to hands-on contact with this great breed.
Harness Racing in New York provides revenue to New York State as well as employment, income and entertainment for thousands of people.

A New York State Task Force tried to procure a legislative ruling that would give some of the money earned by these horses back to the horses to help ensure a safe retirement or training for a second career. But politics shut the door leaving the responsibility to whomever steps forward to advocate for these horses, the way Vernon Downs and Tioga Downs have.
Sunshine Horses Inc. thanks Vernon and Tioga Downs for taking the reins and making strides towards a partnership with Sunshine Horses Inc. to take care of these retiring athletes.

So as an exciting new racing season begins, new faces will be seen, but many familiar ones will not return.   

Many of these horses simply go to auction to a dismal future.

The spirit of the standardbred continues far past the finish line and many of these horses can retire into many other safe and respectful disciplines.

They should not be just thrown away when no longer useful to racing.

Sunshine Horses also wishes to thank Saratoga Harness Horsepersons' Association, Buffalo and Batavia racetracks and Western New York Harness Horsemans' Association for their generous donations and support in the recent past.

Donations such as this will enable more standardbred racehorses to stand proud and out of harm's way after their racing careers are over.

The blending of the standardbred into the pleasure horse world also provides an opportunity for the public to learn what wonderful horses these are and also promote the Industry.

As racetracks and Horsemen Associations step up and assume some financial responsibility, it clearly shows the public that the buck does not stop at the finish line. This says a great deal about us as people and the Industry as a whole when we take care of our own.

Please consider sponsoring a horse, adopting or making a much needed tax deductible contribution to Sunshine Horses Inc. so we can continue to help more and more horses.

Contact Kate Starr at (315) 729-7016 or email her at and visit them on the web at