Does anyone have insight on what usually happens to successful racing geldings as their career ends? I don’t think I’ve seen any million dollar winners on canter, although I know they must be out there. If a horse is that successful do they usually end up staying with their owner in their retirement?
If they are stellar geldings, for example Game On Dude, retired to Old Friends. His retirement at Old Friends was enabled by Bob and Jill Baffert.
Dig around in any equestrian discipline and you will find TBs. Many top geldings go on to second careers.
That’s good, I have a gelding I’ve been following and he’s getting into his 7 year season, and while I don’t think he’s finished racing yet I was wondering where he might end up in the end. He seems well liked, so I’m guessing his connections have a plan for him.
John Henry lived at the Kentucky Horse Park and Funny Cide is there now. Wise Dan lives on his trainer’s farm. Mine That Bird lives on his owner’s ranch.
Many are retired on their owner’s farm or to a place like Old Friend or KHP. Some are transitioned into new careers (Lava Man for example). You’d be unlikely to find any of them on Canter though
New Vocations has had the occasional “horse you may have heard of.”
It runs the gamut.
It has become fairly common for some of these successful geldings to be donated to various TAA organizations-- either for permanent retirement or for adoption. With adoption, often they are able to charge a higher adoption fee for a “big name,” therefore gaining some extra resources to support lesser known horses.
Quite a few stay with their owners or other connections from their past. Horses like Lava Man, Kona Gold, and even Funny Cide for a period of time stayed in their trainers’ stables as a pony. Mine That Bird, Wise Dan, etc. retired to connections’ farms, as mentioned above.
Some end up the same random situations as any other horse coming off the track, which can be both good and bad. For example, I owned a multiple stakes winning gelding who was unfortunately on his way to auction when the driver of the van decided to try to give him away to a neighbor with teenage horse girls (I was the girl). His owner had originally kept him, but had some financial difficulties that led to the horse trading hands several times. The horse had a wonderful life, though it could have gone very differently for him. His story definitely isn’t the norm, but successful horses can unfortunately fall through the cracks, too. I’m proud of how many more options we have for aftercare in 2021 v. at the start of the millennium. These types of things happen a lot less often.
Kelso retired to a new career in foxhunting with his owner.
Ichabad Crane went to Phillip Dutton to event and Declan’s Moon did a very early iteration of the RRP with Stueart Pittman, before re-retiring to County Life Farm. And I think Eighttoofasttocatch retired to become an event too…
And Mr. Hot Stuff ran on the flat as a stallion, but was gelded and became a good steeplechase horse.
Ben’s Cat was given to a fan who’d followed his career, but sadly colicked shortly after he arrived at her place.
This is my worst fear if I end up adopting any racehorse. I know freak things happen with horses but I would not be able to avoid feeling somewhat guilty if things went awry in my care.