Stewart's Foundation Awards $20,000 To Indiana Racehorse Charity
Friday, November 21, 2008
The charitable organization of two-time Allstate 400 at the Brickyard winner Tony Stewart has awarded a $20,000 grant to Indianapolis-based Friends of Ferdinand, Inc. (FFI), a not-for-profit volunteer organization that works with owners and trainers at the state's two horse tracks to identify and obtain thoroughbreds that are nearing the end of their racing careers.
Funds provided by the Tony Stewart Foundation will help FFI evaluate and retrain the horses, and find new, forever homes with devoted, caring owners.
More than 200 horses have been transitioned from the track into new careers as show horses, dressage competitors, pleasure and trail riders, equine therapeutic program partners, pasture mates and beloved companions.
Several thoroughbreds, the first horses to be christened "Tony's Ex-Racers," were brought into the FFI program Nov. 17 during the annual end-of-season paddock sale at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino in Anderson, Ind. Representatives of both Friends of Ferdinand and the Tony Stewart Foundation were on hand to take a look at available horses and select those destined to become "Tony's Ex-Racers."
"We are thrilled beyond words that the Tony Stewart Foundation has selected our program to receive its support," said Friends of Ferdinand President Sara Busbice. "A grant this size is significant and enables us not only to continue but to expand the work we do with our Indiana thoroughbreds. Especially now, with the economy in such turmoil, support of this magnitude is simply incredible."
A total of 10 horses will be brought into the program as "Tony's Ex-Racers" - those obtained from the Hoosier Park paddock sale, and two or three others already in line to come off the track and into FFI's care.
The organization is named in memory of the magnificent Ferdinand, the 1986 Kentucky Derby Champion, Breeders' Cup Classic winner and 1987 Horse of the Year who earned more than $4 million during his career. In 1989 he was retired from racing and exported to Japan to stand at stud. Impossibly, a few years later, Ferdinand was slaughtered for human consumption.
Founded in 2003 by two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Tony Stewart, the principal purposes of the Tony Stewart Foundation are to raise and donate funds to help care for chronically ill children, drivers injured in motorsports activities and to support other charitable organizations in the protection of various animal species.
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