Horse racing in the United States is a nearly $4 billion industry. But horses can’t run all their lives; instead, they retire at some point and can go into different activities, such as a second career in another athletic field like show jumping or as a pleasure horse.
The question of what happens to racehorses after retirement does not always get as much attention as what the mad hatted spectators wore to the Kentucky Derby or what the payment for first place was in a major race. But many thoroughbreds retire with more than half their lives ahead of them, and once they are no longer turning a profit on the track, their future can become murky.
When a retired racehorse finds himself depends on many things, including their success on the track and the considerations of their owners. Here are some of the different options for retired racehorses.