Friday Standing Ovation by Ovation Riding

Today, we’re spotlighting Sunshine Horses’ fall fundraiser.

This week’s honoree:

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Based in Syracuse, New York, Sunshine Horses is a horse adoption agency and rescue that specializes in off-the-track Standardbreds although it has worked with many other breeds as well. Since it was founded in 2003 by Kate Starr, Sunshine has found “forever homes” for over 150 horses.


We’ve featured Sunshine Horses as an Ovation nominee in the past, but today we’re spotlighting the rescue’s fall fundraiser. Emlyn Clark, an executive officer on the Sunshine Horses Board of Directors, kindly took a few minutes to tell us more about the T-shirt campaign.


Can you describe the T-shirt fundraising campaign?

This is a booster campaign that not only raises money for Sunshine Horses, but helps to promote the Standardbred as a breed. People have this stigma about them: they can only harness race, they can’t trot if they paced, they can’t jump and they can’t canter. Part of our goal is to show everyone how wrong that stigma is: these horses are smart, athletic, willing, easy to retrain and extremely versatile. They can be found in any show ring in any discipline. They can hack out on a trail or safely guide a disabled child in a therapeutic program. They all have a numerical brand on their neck, so the shirt says “Standardbred is my favorite brand” to celebrate their most identifying mark. Shirts are $20 apiece and all of the funds go directly to Sunshine.


Please tell us a little bit more about Sunshine Horses for anyone who may not be familiar with your program.

Sunshine Horses has been helping retired harness racehorses since 2003, and since then we have found new homes for over 150 horses. We are the largest Standardbred adoption group in New York state. We take horses in when their racing career is over due to injury, age or loss of competitiveness. We work to find them new careers and people to love and care for them.

We have also taken in some Standardbreds from kill pens, since they are unfortunately as likely to wind up there as any other breed, if not more so. Many Thoroughbred tracks, trainers, owners and jockeys help to maintain their racehorses after they are done, so why can’t the Standardbred people? We are lucky that so many of the trainers owners and tracks help by making monetary donations to help us in our mission.

While the Standardbred is our main focus, we do take in other breeds across central New York as well.


Sunshine Horses has a 100-shirt goal, and they’re over halfway there. Are you a Standardbred lover who can help them meet their goal? Check out the fundraiser page to place an order!

Many thanks thanks to Ovation Riding for their support of both Horse Nation and individuals and organizations that are doing good work in the horse world. If you know someone who deserves a Standing Ovation, we would love to recognize them in a future post. Email the name of the person or organization along with a message about the good work they do to [email protected]. Photos/videos are always welcome, and include a link to their website if applicable.

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