Horse lovers are invited that day from 1 to 4 p.m. to stroll through the barn where they can meet such marvelous athletes as Smoothie, known as the George Clooney of the barn because of his handsome looks and charming personality; Jewely, a well-mannered and friendly mare; and 7-year-old Garret, a cute and personable gelding who, like 12-year-old chestnut mare Reba, is recovering from medical treatments. Many of the retired racers, like lovely 3-year-old filly Precious, recently retired Bob and lanky and likable Francis, have plenty of potential to become beloved members of a dedicated adoptive family.
About 75 horses have been placed through the efforts of New York Rerun in its 11 years of operation, but there’s certainly a need for more owners to add a thoroughbred to their barns. “Every horse that finds a home is good, but certainly I’d like our numbers to be better,” said New York Rerun director Sue Swart, owner of Soft Winds Stables and the host of the open house. “Come out to meet and greet. Come see the chapter, come see the barn, come meet the horses.”
While getting friendly with the horses, visitors can win door prizes, enter raffles or purchase Rerun merchandise. “We’re having two demonstrations,” Swart said. “One is how to transition your thoroughbred from track life to a much more normal life, showing people what to expect when they get their off-thetrack horse, things I’ve learned you’ll face and how to overcome them, like feeding your horse. And we’re going to have a farrier do a demonstration. The horses have a lot of issues with their feet because of the way they run and how they’re taken care of on the track.”
Horses available through Rerun aren’t Kentucky Derby winners, but they’re all graceful and beautiful creatures. “I don’t have any famous horses,” Swart conceded. “But I’ve had horses that ran at Belmont, Saratoga, Aqueduct, Monmouth, horses that have actually been at these tracks. You’ll hear some of their stories, how much money they made. They’re not the ones you’ve seen on TV, but they’re the ones that have gone through the same as the ones you’ve seen.”
There’s no admission charge to attend and cupcakes and beverages will be available. To get to Soft Winds Stables, take Route 481 to the light just south of Fulton and turn left, following Route 57 1.3 miles south. For more information on the open house or on Rerun, access the website at www.rerun.org.
Sue Swart: (above) “Come out to meet and greet. Come see the chapter, come see the barn, come meet the horses.”