In June, CANTER (The Communication Alliance to Network Thoroughbred Ex-Racehorses) opened a new chapter in California. The chapter is currently working at Golden Gate Park and will expand to other tracks if needed.
For all of us who are CANTER devotees, this offers yet another opportunity for looking at the “eye candy” of retiring racehorses. There have certainly been times when I’ve checked the New England Web site almost daily to check on new listings. There are almost always drool-worthy horses to look at and imagine owning.
For those of you who have not yet discovered this excellent organization, CANTER is an all volunteer, full accredited 501 C 3 program. It currently operates in seven states: California, Michigan, Mid-Atlantic (West Virginia), N. Illinois, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
CANTER helps owners and trainers who have retiring racehorses connect with potential buyers. Trainers are able to list their horses at no cost on CANTER’s Web sites and volunteers bring buyers to the shed rows to show them available horses. CANTER receives no fees or commissions for sales. In addition, CANTER chapters often purchase horses that are at risk or accept horses that are donated by their owners. These horses are available for adoption.
CANTER was founded 1997 after Jo Anne Normile fielded repeated requests from racing trainers for help in finding nonrace buyers for their horses at her track, Great Lakes Downs. The Michigan HBPA program was first publicized nationally the following year, 1998, in The Horsemen’s Journal, the national magazine of the HBPA. In 1999, the program became a separate entity from the Michigan HBPA and it incorporated as a nonprofit, received 501 (c) (3) exemption status with the Internal Revenue Service. Each CANTER affiliate is a separate legal entity operating under the larger CANTER umbrella.