Program Director Lisa Malloy and Board Member Brian Zipse Of ReRun, Inc. and I had a chance to chat recently about the origin and successes of the Re-Run adoption program for Thoroughbreds and their future goals and aspirations. Their philosophy is simple and straightforward. They believe, ” Every racehorse deserves our services, not just those with the best chance of adoption. The horse’s interest comes first. Full disclosure of the horses’ known physical and behavioral issues is the best policy. The quality of our adoptions is more important than the quantity of adoptions. We care about protecting the horse even after adoption.”
“After resigning my position as trainer and facilities manager for another Thoroughbred charity in KY,” Malloy says, “I opened a new facility here on the East Coast taking horses for training and adoption on behalf of four nationally known registered charities, all closely working side by side. ReRun joined me as one of the founding groups of this pioneering program alongside Akindale Thoroughbred Rescue, Turning For Home and The Exceller Fund. Horses4adoption was a website built to showcase horses that were in training with me and available for adoption through one of the aforementioned groups and it’s been a very unique and exhilarating experience – everyone has come together working towards a common goal and that goal is finding horses homes. From there, ReRun approached me about assuming the position of their Program Director which I enthusiastically accepted.”
When did the organization get started?
“ReRun was founded in 1996 as a division of the Kentucky Society by two racing insiders, Shon Wylie and Lori Neagle. They saw an acute and compelling need for an organization that focused not on providing a permanent sanctuary for retired racehorses, as was the predominant model, but on rehabilitating, retraining, and adopting them out to well-suited homes. After only two years ReRun outgrew the KHS and became incorporated as its own 501(c)(3) nonprofit.”
How many horses have you placed?
“ReRun places between 30 and 50 horses per year plus provides sanctuary to a small number of older horses. Funding dictates how many horses we can assist each year.”
Are you nationwide?
“Currently ReRun has training facilities in VA and NY and a rehab facility in NJ. We are looking to expand to the NY/NJ/PA tri-state area and welcome inquiries from prospective farms.”
How do you pay expenses?
“ReRun is dependent upon grants and donations along with funds raised from the sales of Moneighs. Moneighs are paintings made by horses to benefit the ReRun Thoroughbred Adoption Program. They are collectible works of art personally painted by horses. Paintings have been created by Derby, Preakness, Belmont, and Breeder’s Cup winners, along with some of the most popular stallions in the country. Paintings have also been created by other breeds of horses besides the Thoroughbred. We hope to undertake more fundraising activities in 2014 along with increasing our merchandise line. Moneighs can be found for sale on Ebay.
“We are also extremely fortunate that most of our providers such as vets and farriers offer a charitable discount and they really do go above and beyond to help get these horses on the right track so that we can get them into homes – it really does take a village!
“At this time ReRun has only one paid employee, all other positions including my own as Executive Director are unpaid so that we can devote as much of our revenue as possible to the horses and the program.”
Tell me about some of the horses.
“Fair Weather Stan has a huge following on social media and is a massive fan favorite. A multiple graded stakes winner, he displays the resilience that is so typical of Thoroughbreds and a nobility and presence that is undeniable. He was rescued from a starvation situation where several other horses died and when he arrived at the facility in VA, he was a body score of 2 weighing just over 900lbs, had anemia due to massive parasitic infestation and heart arrhythmia. It was unclear in the beginning if he would make it and organ damage was a very real concern.
“Today, 8 months later, Stan weighs just under 1200 lbs and is the picture of health behind the facade of a grumpy old man. He operates by hard and fast rules – out to the pasture by 8.30am and at 3.30pm he’s at the gate with a penetrating stare ready to come in. Originally for adoption, Stan has become something of a mascot for ReRun and the work that the organization does and visitors are always eager to seek him out so he’s going to stay here in VA with me and just hang out. Sometimes we hit the trails but for the most part, he likes to be out with his friend Spartan who coincidentally won the same amount of money as Stan and is the same age.”
What is the most important thing you would like readers to know about ReRun?
“ReRun has undergone huge changes in the past six months and is excited to welcome a host of new board members. One new addition is Brian Zipse of Horse Racing Nation and we also now have a veterinary orthopedic surgeon, Dr John Park of Park Equine Hospital in Lexington KY, on the board. We will shortly be announcing the other board members along with new enhancements to the program which will be hugely beneficial both to the horses that we serve and the adopters that we depend upon. ReRun’s Virginia facility and the horses feature prominently in the new Back On Track documentary which has already won a film festival award.”
“Joining the ReRun Board of Directors is not only a huge honor, but it also affords me the opportunity to give back in a more tangible way,” says Brian Zipse. “The horses mean everything to the sport of racing, and it is no secret that I love them for that, as well as their gentle beauty. ReRun already has a proven track record, and now I cannot wait to do my small part in making it even better.”
For more information about ReRun Thoroughbred go to: http://rerun.org/
For more information about Horse Racing Nation go to: http://www.horseracingnation.com/blogs/zatt
For more information about the Back on Track documentary go to: http://offtrackthoroughbreds.com/2013/09/26/papiese-family-helps-fund-racing-documentary-2/
MaryAnn Myers is the Bestselling author of Favored to Win, Odds on Favorite, and Barn 14 – Meg’s Meadows of the Winning Odds Series. She is a lifelong racehorse fan and an advocate of ReHoming the retired Thoroughbred.