Southern California Thoroughbred Rescue

Who We Are

Southern California Thoroughbred Rescue (SCTR) is a 501(c)(3) breed specific horse rescue charity. We specialize in the rescue, rehabilitation, re-training, and re-homing of Thoroughbred ex-racehorses at highest risk for slaughter, neglect and abuse. We rescue Thoroughbreds of all ages and from a multitude of backgrounds. Our primary goal is to rescue horses at livestock and "low-end" auctions that are selling for the value of their meat. 

At any time, SCTR has between 20 and 30 Thoroughbreds in its care.  At the time of writing, 23 rescued thoroughbreds reside at SCTR facilities, ranging in age from 6 to 27 years of age. The average price of our horses that sold at prestigious yearling sales as racing prospects, was in excess of $100,000. The average livestock auction price of our horses is approximately $185.

This website, and our Facebook Fan Page, are the main portals to our organization's work and to the stories of our horses. You can join our Fan Page on Facebook and receive postings, updates, auction alerts, auction reports and commentaries by "liking" us at Southern California Thoroughbred Rescue.  

SCTR's federal EIN is 26-3166279 and we are California non-profit public benefit corporation #3151037. For verification purposes, here is our IRS tax exemption letter and our California state income tax exemption letter.  
Our fiscal year (2018-19) IRS 990 submission is here.

Please consider adopting a Thoroughbred today! The more good, permanent homes that we can find for our horses, the more  horses we can help at auction. Or, please consider donating to help us support those horses in our care that await new adoptive homes. All cash donations are fully tax deductible.


Persistent - Adopted!

Our Mission

Each year, approximately two thousand Thoroughbred racehorses leave California's racetracks at the conclusion of their
pari-mutuel racing careers. Many have sustained injuries that preclude further running or extensive athletic activity and
others that simply were too "slow" to race. Others leave Thoroughbred breeding, layup, and training farms when they, or
their offspring, are no longer commercially viable. In addition, some Thoroughbreds that initially find private homes following

their racing or breeding career are subsequently no longer useful to their owners, have owners whose circumstances change
or owners who no longer want them.  

Some of these horses are donated by owners, breeders, and trainers to Thoroughbred retirement farms, adoption, transitioning,
and rescue facilities, and are fortunate enough to find good new homes or permanent sanctuary through these organizations.
Some are not so fortunate and may be sent to local livestock or "low end horse" auctions where they sell without reserve.
In southern California, as many as two hundred horses per month are sold through these auctions, of which between 10 and
20 percent are Thoroughbreds. 

Some horses sold at auction find new homes with individuals, families, on ranches, and at riding schools and horse rental
facilities. Others are purchased by horse dealers, who in turn re-sell them into new homes. However, some horses purchased 
by horse dealers are resold out of state for the purpose of slaughter for human consumption. It is through interstate commerce
by horse dealers that California racehorses are routinely found in slaughter pens, slaughter auctions, and feedlots outside the
state - and it is by this method that many former racehorses ultimately end up at foreign slaughterhouses in Canada and
Mexico. While it is illegal to slaughter horses in California and also illegal to buy or sell and export them from the state for
slaughter, little to no enforcement occurs.

It is these horses which have slipped through the cracks of the existing Thoroughbred retirement and transitioning machinery
in southern California: horses that fail to find an alternative "soft landing" when their commercial value in the racing and
breeding industry is exhausted, that SCTR seeks to help. We see our role as providing a safety net for horses that have no
alternative source of rescue from slaughter, or other abusive or neglectful situations - horses that have run out of options. 

SCTR's mission is to rescue, rehabilitate, re-train and re-home Thoroughbred ex-racehorses at highest risk for slaughter,
neglect and abuse. 

Careful Haste and Jackie.  Careful Haste has been adopted!

SCTR directors, officers, and volunteers attend livestock auctions in Southern California at which many Thoroughbreds arriving
from racetacks, layup and training facilities, and breeding farms sell without reserve. SCTR monitors consignments of
Thoroughbreds, attempts to network them on Facebook and through local rescue organizations prior to and during the auction,
and - when resources permit - bids to acquire those a) most at risk for export to slaughter facilities in Canada and Mexico, and
b) in ill health due to injury, neglect, or abuse.

Following our acquisition of a Thoroughbred at auction, or the intake of a high risk Thoroughbred from local animal services, we transport the horse to a quarantine/rehab facility, which is served by a family owned five acre ranch in Apple Valley, California. At any time, as many as eleven thoroughbreds may be housed here. Each horse rescued must undergo a 30-day minimum period of quarantine, since its vaccination history is unknown, its immune system depressed by the anxiety associated with auction and holding lots, and it has been exposed to other, potentially sick, horses whose vaccination histories are also unknown.

During the quarantine period, the horse is handled daily, its temperament evaluated, and in subsequent weeks each horse is
subject to a thorough veterinary examination of its health, soundness and physiological suitability for specific future non-racing disciplines. Our rescued horses are appropriately inoculated, and have their podiatric and dental needs taken care of. In the event that a horse is “underweight” relative to the healthy weight recommended for that animal by a licensed veterinarian, a “re-feeding” regime is pursued to return the horse to a healthy state. Once our horses have a clean bill of health, and have been appropriately rehabilitated from any pre-existing injuries and other health conditions, they are placed in one of two facilities serviced by professional trainers, who re-start the horse from the ground up, and assess its under saddle potential and abilities.  Our professional retraining program allows us to promote our rescued Thoroughbreds to a broader set of adopters and more accurately assess the suitability of each horse to a prospective adopter and the adopter's proposed use of the horse.  All prospective adoptive homes are carefully screened for suitability of rider/adopter to horse, knowledgeability, compassion, and the likelihood of generating a permanent and loving placement for the horse. Prospective facilities where the horse will be maintained are visited, and/or must be approved, prior to the transfer of the horse. Horses are transferred through an "adoption"contract, which protects the horse for its lifetime against resale into the wrong hands, and poor management, neglect and abuse. The adoption contract does limit the rights of the adopter in various ways, and the reason for this is simple: we wish to protect our horses. 

For example, if you adopt one of our horses, the horse cannot be transferred in the future to an unkown party, or to any party
without our prior consent and approval of the new owner, and hence at some point in its lifetime once more be potentially at
risk for slaughter or neglect. In addition, it specifies that if an adopter can no longer continue to maintain the horse satisfactorily, or the horse is no longer wanted for any reason, the horse is to return to us for re-homing or retirement. Furthermore, it specifies minimal standards of animal husbandry which must be maintained by the adopter, and therefore protects our horses from mismanagement, inadequate care, neglect or abuse.   

If you want to adopt one of our Thoroughbreds, you must make an "adoption donation" to our program, which is tax deductible
but non-reimbursable. The donation never does, nor is it intended to, reimburse the costs of rescue and rehabilitation of the
horse which are typically considerable. All adoption donations that we receive are recycled 100% into future Thoroughbred
rescue, rehabilitation, re-training and and re-homing costs. 

Adoptable horses are largely maintained at our "adoption centers", a private farm in Apple Valley CA, and with our professional trainers in Yucaipa, CA and Riverside, CA. Please visit our adoptable horses! As many as ten adoptable horses may be housed at the Apple Valley farm at any time and there are usually five at the private ranch of our professional trainer in Yucaipa. SCTR primarily advertises horses available for adoption on this website and through social media. We rarely adopt out horses whose rehabilitation is incomplete, unless an adopter is verifiably experienced in rehabilitating horses with injuries or in otherwise poor health. 

Please note that we are not able to accept "owner surrenders" of Thoroughbreds at this time, either from the race-track or from
private homes, nor are we able to take in non-Thoroughbred breeds of horse. 

Our Website

The purpose of this website is to provide general information for readers about the goals and ongoing activities of SCTR, to inform the public about our most recent rescues, and to showcase and promote the rehoming of the lovely Thoroughbreds that we have available for adoption and that we are rehabilitating and re-training.

SCTR Thoroughbreds that have been rehabilitated, assessed by a veterinarian and by our trainers, and are available for adoption
can be viewed at Adoptable Horses. From here, you can access an information page and additional photographs for each
adoptable horse. The extraordinary stories of 
SCTR horses that are permanently retired with the organization can be found at 
Retired Horses. Adopted Horses records the horses that have found loving and permanent new homes through SCTR. 

Our volunteers have played a part in the rescue, rehabilitation, or rehoming of all of the beautiful Thoroughbreds shown in the
photographs on our pages. We are grateful to board member and CFO, John Chun, who is responsible for taking many of the
wonderful photographs on this website, and to professional photographer Laurie Taylor for photographing our horses, and
donating the use of many images to SCTR. In addition, our logo contains an image of a painting by equine artist, and SCTR
friend and donor, Christine Picavet who kindly suggested our use of the mage and to whom we are deeply indebted. The
painting depicts a beautiful daughter of Vaguely Noble, the sire of the great racehorse, Exceller, who died in a Swedish
slaughterhouse. Please visit Christine's website
 to see more of her work.  

We hope that you enjoy this website, and the photographs and stories of our horses, and will visit again, or perhaps even
consider adopting one of our lovely Thoroughbreds. If you would like to make a tax deductible donation to the rescue, care, and 
rehabilitation of ex racehorses in Southern California, you can do so here:

Website Builder