Friends of Ferdinand Inc.
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Web Address: http://friendsofferdinand.org
Phone:888-612-7402 or 317-679-8521
Paypal link: please use the "donate" link on the homepage of our website
“Retired from racing, not from life” is our slogan. Friends of Ferdinand Inc. (FFI) is an Indianapolis-based 501(c)(3) organization run entirely by volunteers with a common goal: to foster and promote the humane treatment of Indiana's horses by providing options and educating individuals. FFI is a horse rescue organization that was established in 2005 in response to the fact that a common practice among racehorse owners and trainers desiring to divest themselves of injured or poorly performing horses was to send them to slaughter in exchange for a few hundred dollars. These horses are young, healthy and have viable options as athletes in other equine disciplines. Friends of Ferdinand Inc. (FFI) is dedicated to providing Indiana's horses that are not able to fulfill their intended purpose a chance at life through second careers or a dignified retirement.
The name “Friends of Ferdinand” is in recognition of a Thoroughbred named Ferdinand who, in 1986, raced to victory at the historical and prestigious Kentucky Derby. One year later, Ferdinand won the Breeder's Cup and was also named Horse of the Year. He captivated the American Public and rekindled the dreams of horse racing internationally. As a racehorse, Ferdinand won eight of 29 starts and earned $3,777,978, retiring as what was then the fifth leading money winner of all time. In 1989 he was retired from racing and sent to stud at Claiborne Farms near Paris, KY. Unfortunately, his foals did not perform well on the track and in 1994, he was exported to Japan for use as a stud in their developing thoroughbred racing program. Still, his offspring did not perform at the track and in 2002, this king of Thoroughbred racing was led to slaughter for human consumption.
FFI was founded with a primary mission of providing alternatives to slaughter to racehorse owners. Our program is currently functioning in all of its 3 planned phases. The first phase is to offer a free, equine sale-listing service to racehorses owners who would like to find a new home for their horses who would otherwise be sent to slaughter. Volunteers network with race owners and trainers on a weekly basis. Currently we have helped move 92% of horses listed with us into new homes. Second, we will accept donated horses to Friends of Ferdinand. These horses begin their rehabilitiation and retraining while in our care. They are adopted into carefully screened and monitored homes. The third phase involves providing retraining and transitioning services to horses who are no longer competitve racehorses. This retraining and transitioning program was able to get underway thanks to a $20,000 grant received in 2008 from the Tony Stewart Foundation.
While FFI’ s primary purpose started as an interest in providing racehorse owners with an option to slaughter by accepting and transitioning racehorses into second careers, FFI does not restrict its mission to racehorses only. In 2005, five malnourished and neglected non-race horses were rescued from the Shipshewanna slaughter auction by FFI volunteers. These horses were nursed back to health and all but one has been adopted in loving homes as pleasure horses. If a horse is in need of help finding a new home, FFI will list the horse on the internet and assist in the adoption process. If a horse is in jeopardy and FFI has the funds and placement, we will accept the horse and do everything we can to provide it a new opportunity.