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TCA Grantee Spotlight: Iowa HART

Iowa HART is a Thoroughbred adoption organization that helps to transition Thoroughbreds retiring from Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino onto their second careers. A collaboration between the Iowa Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, Iowa Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners Association, Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino and the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission, HART offers a peaceful, recuperative environment for each horse and, once appropriate, facilitating horses into training with the goal to prepare them for new careers and homes.

Dr. Stephanie White, president of the organization, and her staff are committed to finding the right home for each horse, discussing everything they know from veterinary records to personality traits with potential adopters. In the past 12 years, Iowa HART has assisted more than 110 horses, including 23 Thoroughbreds in 2021 in their transition from racing to a new career, including Including All and Beautiful Bridge. Now known as “Clue” and “Beauty” respectively, the pair were both retired to Iowa HART in 2018 and, after rehabilitating from injuries and given ample time to transition to off track life by the Iowa HART staff, they were offered for adoption as riding horses. The pair were adopted by HART adopter Tracey, who uses both for trail and road riding.

Clue prefers trail rides to road rides, and while he’s alert and engaged in the environment around him, he is never spooky, even when they encounter the unexpected. Beauty is interested in the world around her on their trail rides, but Tracey says she never loses her composure and is quite levelheaded. Tracey says she was looking for horses who were smart, brave and inquisitive, rather than something that was deadheaded or too mellow and says that is exactly what she got with both of her HART horses.