For too long the standardbred has copped a bad name in the equine world.
It was said that once their racing career was over they had no future.
“Not so,” says Kerry Rose from Lewiston, “there is a choice.”
Kerry, and her band of volunteers and supporters run Chapel Lodge Standardbred Rescue and Rehabilitation which already has moved on around 90horses in just a few years.
It is a not-for-profit organisation determined to give retired standardbreds a life after racing and its success stories have been achieved virtually with limited exposure.
Kerry said the project started about five years ago when the retired trotter Bluey Truscott arrived at her Lewiston property which had been a former racing stable with training track and stables.
“Bluey has a lot to answer for,” Kerry joked as she introduced several of the volunteers and the current team being retrained.
She and partner Harley Watts have now dedicated their lives to a rehabilitation program with Harley also learning the art of being an accredited farrier to help ensure proper care.
One of the volunteers is Jacqueline Vella who has also taken on the role of sponsorship manager.
“One of the biggest challenges faced at Chapel Lodge, is the financial support required to run an operation this size. We are working on many ways to increase our profile. Welfare comes first and a lot of the current funding goes directly back into feed,” Jacqueline said.
“Each horse takes a minimum of eight solid weeks to prepare for a new life.
“We can re-educate for whatever process the client likes – for the show ring, trail horse, or just a pet.
People believed standardbreds were not comparable enough to be re-educated for the equestrian circuit but now realise that is not the case, and they actually can be better as they are not as highly strung as the thoroughbreds and are very versatile.”
Kerry said for the operation to continue it was important to attract volunteers and sponsors.
“We have 12 volunteers who are fantastic, but we can always use more for help with feeding, especially through the week.
“We have been lucky to attract some good sponsors including Harness Racing South Australia, Harness Racing Australia , Laucke Mills, Minrosa, Dynavyte, Adelaide Plains Equine Clinic, Champions Horse Transport, Caribu Horse Wear, Wattlelane Stables, Horseland, Sunshine Photography, Ponting Imagery, JB Equine Services, Kathy Baldock – Artist, Scentsy Independent Consultant,.”
For more information about Chapel Lodge Standardbred Rescue and Rehabilitation head to their website www.chapellodge.webs.com orwww.facebook.com/ChapelLodge on Facebook.
Over the next few months, Harness Racing South Australia will report on some of the success stories and events at one of South Australia’s hidden treasures.
Images- Peter Argent - Copyright - Our Sporting Life SA