Every Friday, Horse Nation teams up with Ovation Riding to spotlight an individual or organization doing good work in the horse world. Today, we recognize Akindale Thoroughbred Rescue of Pawling, New York.
Akindale Farm wasn’t always a horse rescue. John Hettinger, who owned the Pawling, New York farm, was first a Thoroughbred breeder, then a racing owner as well. However, right from the start, Hettinger stipulated right on the sales contract for any horse leaving the farm that if the horse were ever wanted, it could come back to Akindale, no questions asked, and live out its days on the farm.
Akindale still breeds, trains and races its own stock, but thanks to Hettinger’s vision and the setting aside of a thousand acres of the farm specifically for rescue, Akindale Thoroughbred Rescue plays a vital role as well in the racing industry. Hettinger passed away in 2008, but his legacy lives on through his family-operated farm — and the hundreds of Thoroughbreds that Akindale has rescued since 2006.
Akindale is now home to a few high-profile retired Thoroughbreds who will live out their days on the farm as well as many more “anonymous” former racers on the farm due to advanced age, injury or other stipulation. Akindale also works to retrain and rehome off-track Thoroughbreds, both Akindale homebreds and other rescued animals via auction or local rescue.
Akindale is respected as a model in the racing industry and a prime example of breeders and owners seeking to do what is right by their horses. Akindale Thoroughbred Rescue is a 501(c)(3) organization, separate from Akindale Farm as a breeding and racing operation.
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.