Standing Ovation by Ovation Riding: Second Chance Thoroughbreds

Every Friday, Horse Nation teams up with Ovation Riding to spotlight an individual or organization doing good work in the horse world. Today, we’re recognizing Second Chance Thoroughbreds of Spencer, New York.

All horses featured in photos were adopted through Second Chance Thoroughbreds. Photo by Michelle Pitts, used with permission.

Second Chance Thoroughbreds is an off-track Thoroughbred transitioning organization based in Spencer, New York. We spoke with director Collette Duddy to learn more.

Horse Nation: What is Second Chance Thoroughbreds’ mission statement and charity status?

Collette Duddy: The mission of Second Chance Thoroughbreds, Inc. is to provide off the track Thoroughbreds (OTTBs) with a soft landing after the end of their racing careers. We provide ample downtime, retraining and transitioning them to a new career. We also work to educate and demonstrate to the public how versatile and trainable thoroughbreds are through clinics, shows, parades, community events, etc. All stallions/colts are gelded upon arrival and all of our mares are adopted with a no-breeding contract. We regularly network Thoroughbreds needing homes in our area and maintain an active social media presence. We are a 501(c)3 organization and accredited by the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance.

Photo by Essence of Equine, used with permission.

HN: How did you get started? 

CD: In September of 2011, director Collette Duddy made her first trip to the backside of the Finger Lakes Race Track. She was in awe of the quality of the horses and their bargain prices. Six horses traveled to Spencer, New York that year to be retrained and rehomed. In 2012, Second Chance Thoroughbreds was incorporated and the 501(c)3 was begun. Collette, Karen Faillace and Robyn Hancock-Null, our board members, are all lifelong horsewomen and volunteer their skills to SCT.

HN: Where are horses coming from? 

CD: We get our horses from a variety of sources: some come directly from the Finger Lakes Racetrack as we work closely with Finger Lakes Finest Thoroughbreds; some horses are donated by their racing connections; and we also take in local Thoroughbreds needing a home.

HN: What’s your adoption policy?

CD: We have a right of first refusal with a no breeding clause/no auction/no slaughter clause. Our contract also provides a 60-day trial period.

Photo by Essence of Equine, used with permission.

HN: Can you describe your facility and volunteers or staff? 

CD: Our facility is comprised of a lighted indoor riding arena with attached 10-stall barn and an outdoor grass riding arena, both fitted with a variety of jumps. The facility has a feed room, an indoor heated tack room with an enclosed office overlooking the indoor arena. Our main pasture has gates that allow it to be sectioned off into five separate pastures with four large run-in sheds, all fenced with high tensile. Additionally, we use our outdoor arena for first time outside turnout to newer horses as it is fenced in flexible vinyl.

HN: How are you funded?

CD: Besides retraining OTTBs for adoption, we also teach riding lessons and run a summer horsemanship program for youth as part of our program income. Our largest fundraisers are the two benefit horse shows we host in July and September. Both offer Jockey Club Thoroughbred Incentive Program (TIP) classes and hi-point awards exclusively for thoroughbreds, as well as classes open to all breeds of horses.

HN: What’s one thing you wish people knew about the work that you’re doing or the industry?

CD: OTTBs receive a lot of training while they are on the track, both under saddle and on the ground. They are used to lots of people, other horses, tractors, cars, cats, goats, etc. Most Thoroughbreds are very good at loading, tying and standing for farrier and vet. Thoroughbreds are not crazy, and many injuries sustained on the track can be successfully rehabilitated allowing the horse a second career.

Photo by Essence of Equine, used with permission.

Learn more about Second Chance Thoroughbreds at the organization’s website and Facebook page.

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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