Thoroughbred Aftercare – Life After Retirement

Thoroughbred Aftercare – Life After Retirement

Thoroughbred horses and their trainers continue to define “active aging” beyond the average retirement age. A recent WFC blog highlighted thoroughbreds’ busy lives during their racing years and beyond. 



Rick Schosberg is a veteran trainer and the President of the TAKE THE LEAD retirement program of the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association. He recently announced his retirement after thirty-five years “in the backstretch.” (Coincidentally, WFC Founder Glenn Lane recently reconnected with Rick, who has enlisted Westchester Family Care to care for his mother.)



Rick may be retiring from his training day job, but he is looking forward to devoting much more time to the thoroughbred aftercare program he has helped to innovate. A CBS News feature showcases Rick and the TAKE THE LEAD program about thoroughbred aftercare and racehorses having second careers after retiring from the track. Click to see how racehorses maintain an active life after 2-3 years in horse racing.  

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Photo Credit: CBS News

A typical career for thoroughbred racehorses lasts 2-3 years, but their lifespan is 20-25. TAKE THE LEAD annually places 150 horses into retirement and transitions them to “second careers.” Rick Schosberg says, “I’ve always had an affinity for these horses … It’s built on the love of the animal and realizing that a good portion or almost 70-75 percent of the horse’s life takes place after the races.”


The horses’ second careers remain competitive – they go on to compete in different equestrian sports, including some in the Olympics. The horses sense their second careers are a natural and welcome extension of their training as athletic competitors. Rick Schosberg reports that racehorses “want a job” and like competitive activity. His TAKE THE LEAD program includes a “step-by-step process so that these horses have a long and purposeful life after racing.

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TAKE THE LEAD makes it possible for the idea of retiring a horse to be meaningful and heartwarming — every horse they take in will eventually ride off into the sunset. Rick and his Clear Stars Stable partner, owner Michael Sternklar, have been recognized as leaders in racehorse aftercare for their efforts:



Their primary focus has been on the safety of horses when they retire from racing:

“You feel you’re part of a community of people. There’s no way you can do that without appreciating and caring about what happens to the horses … so I wouldn’t be part of this world if I didn’t feel confident and comfortable that we were doing right by these horses ’cause every day, they’re doing right by us.”


Active Aging: Good for horses, their trainers, and their owners

Glenn Lane may no longer own racehorses, but he remains a fan of the sport and its aging senior participants – both human and equine. He likes to think he lives vicariously through friends’ success who are still active in the business. And when he reflects on his current passion of caring for aging seniors, he half-jokingly tracks it back to the care and attention he lavished on his own thoroughbreds and their caretakers 30+ years ago.


Westchester Family Care is an independent in-home care provider specializing in making the home a safe and accommodating place for your aging family members, no matter the condition.

We have an extensive network of professionals and issue-specific specialists ready to help you maintain a healthy quality of life.

Contact WFC for an immediate family need or when planning for future needs:



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