Today, on the USTA website there is an article about the Full Circle Program, a program everyone involved in harness racing should be aware of and ideally participating in. Granted, it is not the end all regarding unwanted racehorses, but at this time it is what we have. In the article, Dr. Wooten is quoted as telling his clients to adopt a horse from the Standardbred Retirement Foundation.
Arrghh.... Another article where the Standardbred Retirement Foundation (SRF) is given an implied endorsement. You would think the SRF is the only rescue which rescues standardbreds. The problem is they aren't. Granted the SRF is the largest standardbred rescue in the United States but still, let's give others some publicity.
Now, I have no problem with Dr. Wooten endorsing the SRF nor do I have a problem with the rescue. Heck, I make donations to them; they do great work. As for the article, I am sure it mentioned the SRF just because Dr. Wooten mentioned it; no problem with the article itself. It is a culmination of articles and actions by various sources which makes me comment now.
Just the same, I wish there was more acknowledgement of the other rescues who make a point of rescuing standardbreds. Groups like New Vocations, Horse Lovers United, Helping Hearts Equine Rescue, Horse Rescue United, Racers Pacers, and others. Many of these other rescues are smaller in size, often in geographical regions not served by the SRF. While smaller, these rescues face the same issues as SRF with regards to fundraising and having no room in the inn for another horse. What these rescues tend not to have are the budgets to publicize their groups so free publicity for these groups will go a long way. Remember, these groups help address the problem of unwanted standardbreds.
Just in case there is any confusion, the intent of this entry is not to be an anti-SRF commentary. The purpose is to point out there are other groups who do great work and need acknowledgement and support as well.
So unless the standardbred industry wants to see the Standardbred Retirement Foundation as the only rescue dealing with standardbred horses, I suggest the industry give these other groups a few kudos and exposure so they hopefully get some assistance from industry participants.
...Time to get off the soap box.