BENSALEM, Pa. (CBS) — The Triple Crown series begins Saturday with the 148th running of the Kentucky Derby. But for many horses, their race careers are short-lived.
There’s a program in our area that’s preparing them for a second career.READ MORE: Philadelphia School District Students, Staff To Resume Masking As COVID Cases Continue To Rise In City
This is what retirement looks like, an easy Friday morning at Parx Casino racetrack. Some of the horses housed here are no longer racing, but are being groomed for what’s next.
“This is the hardest sport there is. It’s just speed. They’re running as hard as they can. This is the most physically demanding career that a horse can have. So horses that can be successful here, they can go on to do anything else,” Danielle Montgomery said.
Montgomery is the program administrator for Turning for Home. The nonprofit trains retired racehorses for their next career.
“We track them and follow them and make sure they get a good second career and we protect them right along the way,” Montgomery said.
Since Turning for Home was founded, they have helped over 3,500 horses find their second and sometimes even third careers.READ MORE: West Philly Double Shooting Leaves 30-Year-Old Man Dead, Teen Hospitalized: Police
“We take every horse. We’ve never had to turn away a horse in 14 years,” Montgomery said.
“Horses, you see it once they get into that next career they really excel and you can see that they really enjoy it,” said John Servis with John Servis Racing.
Servis is a racehorse trainer. While the horses are no longer training as racehorses, he says they have a lot of years left in them.
“We have everything from simple riding horses to show horses, jumpers, cross country horses,” Servis said.
Servis says when he got into the business 40 years ago, retired racehorses were often sold and never seen again. Some racehorses are just 5 years old when they retire and can live and work for another 20 years.MORE NEWS: Police Investigating Series Of Gunpoint Robberies In Center City, West Philadelphia
“A lot of people think these horses they don’t want to work, they want to be turned out in a field. It’s usually the exact opposite,” Montgomery said.