Adoption & Fostering
Through the years, retired Thoroughbreds have been successful in many disciplines following their racing careers. These intelligent and athletic horses have much to offer those who take the time to teach them. These horses are not suited for novices, children or first time horse owners.
Thorougbred Retirement of Tampa (TROT) believes every Thoroughbred deserves a second chance with a loving and forever home. All too often people adopt Thoroughbreds and do not fully understand their needs when initially retiring. When this happens, horses can end up in auctions and with unsavory people who do not have the horses' best interest in mind. Our goal is to make sure that each adoption is a perfect match for both the Thoroughbred and its adopter and that the adopter is prepared for the exciting journey.
Please read through the applicant requirements and adoption process. Be sure to read all the associated documents. If you have any questions or concerns, please see our FAQ or contact us.
- Must be at least 18 years of age; if younger, a parent must be added to the application and must sign the adoption contract if approved.
- Make no less than $25,000 a year. Exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis.
- Live within the state of Florida. Exceptions will be made to this and there will be stricter reporting criteria required of the adopter if the exception is made or if the adopted horse is more than three hours aways from our home base in Tampa.
- Have owned a horse before. Exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis.
- Must be working with a trainer if a beginner to intermediate rider.
- Must have at least two non-family personal references that are aware of the applicant's horse experience and that have been to the facility where the horse will be located.
- Must have a vet reference that has been to the facility where the horse will be located within the last year. If not, a farm call will be requested of the applicant. Boarding facility's regular vet does not necessarily have to be the applicant's current vet.
- If the applicant owns the farm (private facility), must have at least one acre per horse.
- If the applicant is boarding the horse, must have at least half acre per horse.
- Stall must be at least 12 x 12 unless the horse will be primarily turned out.
- If there are no stalls, there must be adequate shelter in a pasture large enough to accommodate the horse(s). For example, a run-in for two horses should be at least 12 x 24.
- All Thoroughbreds must have access to a stall if recently off the track and cannot be pasture boarded until they have successfully transitioned to life off the track. Time varies for each horse but should be a minimum of three months.
- The following fencing is acceptable.
- Wood rail / split rail (at least two rails high)
- Woven wire / horse fence / no climb fence / mesh fence / field fence, etc.
- White vinyl / poly-tape (at least 6" wide and at least three rails high)
- Electric tape / electric smooth-wire (at least four strands high)
- Barbed wire is only acceptable at the top (one strand) to prevent leaning.
Step 1 - Complete and Submit an Adoption Application
Experienced, previous horse owners may submit an application via email or snail mail. Questions are asked about experience and stabling. Veterinarian, farrier and personal references are required. A farm visit is also part of the approval process. Applicants must be approved prior to visiting our facility.
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- Download the Adoption Application.
- Complete the application in its entirety. Incomplete applications will be returned or you will be contacted to provide any missing information.
- The completed application can be saved as a PDF file and emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If you don't have email, you can print the completed application and mail it to the following address.
Thoroughbred Retirement of Tampa, Inc.
PO Box 1621
Oldsmar, FL 34677-1621
Step 2 - Approval
Processing time is dependent on availability of the references and completion of the farm visit. Applicants must notify their references that they will be contacted by a TROT representative. Applicants are notified of approval status via email or other means.
Step 3 - Choosing a Horse
Available horses are listed on our website. Approved adopters can make an appointment to view the horses or make a commitment based on the website information and an interview. Adopters who work with trainers are highly encouraged to include them in the selection process.
Step 4 - Adoption Fees
Adoption fees range from $250 to $2,000 and are dependent on the age and physical limitations of the horse. Adoption fees may be waived on companion horses, the aged and those facing long rehab.
Step 5 - The Adoption Contract
The adoption contract is for one year. It includes 60-day Trial Period, a one-year Probationary Period and a two-year Right of First Refusal.
If the horse is not suitable for its intended purpose, the horse may be returned for a full refund during the 60-day Trial Period. Outside the 60-day trail period, the horse may be returned to the program for any reason as long as there is available space at the facility. The adopter is responsible for transporation when the horse is returned.
After one year, the horse may change hands but TROT has right of first refusal and must be provided the contact information of the new owner.
If the horse is kept at a boarding facility, the owner of that facility must fill out the boarding agreement. The horse cannot leave our care until the adoption contract and, if applicable, boarding facility agreement have been executed.
Click here to read the TROT Adoption Contract
Click here to read the TROT Boarding Facilty Agreement
Step 6 - Transportation
Once a commitment is made, the adopter has seven days to move the horse. A daily board rate is charged beyond the grace period. Transportation is the Adopter's responsibility.
The adopter must provide the shipper's contact information and pickup date and time to TROT. A TROT representative must be at the facility when the transport truck or adopter is scheduled to pick up the horse. The adopter must notify TROT once the horse arrives at the adopter's facility.
If the adopter personally picks up the horse, the trailer must be at least 7 feet tall, be wide enough to fit the horse comfortably, have ventilation and be sturdy and safe. TROT has the right to refuse loading the horse if the trailer is unsafe or does not meet the requirements.
Step 7 - Updates
Per the adoption contract, adopters are required to send written updates with clear time-stamped photos during the first year at the 3rd, 6th and 12th month from the adoption date. This helps TROT monitor the horse's condition and progress. Copies of these reports may be sent to the donors to assure them of a successful transition of their former horse. TROT may also post this info on their website. Random farm checks may also occur to ensure the same.
After the one-year Probationary Period, written updates are no longer required but we hope that our adopters will provide periodic updates on their horse. We love to hear how our adoptees are doing.
If you have any further questions regarding adoption, please contact us.
Please visit the Available Horses page for more information regarding currently adoptable Thoroughbreds.
Please contact a TROT representative if you are interested in fostering a TROT horse.