ARCANUM, Ohio — Starting Gaits Standardbred Transition Program, located in Arcanum, Ohio, has launched a new program called Safe Passage in an effort to make doing the right thing for horses even easier for owners than before.

Founded in 2013, Starting Gaits is a private organization that has placed more than 600 Standardbreds into new homes by providing transitional training under saddle and adopting into approved homes with a contract.

The idea started when Starting Gaits was contacted to help a horse whose owner was willing to send him to the program, but unable to pay for the shipping to get him from New York to Ohio. A couple of local horsemen stepped up and offered to care for the horse until arrangements to ship to Ohio could be made, and he arrived safely at the Starting Gaits farm less than a week later.

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There are local representatives at each track willing to help put owners in touch with the program.

Starting Gaits Safe Passage horsemen will take immediate possession of the horse and care for it until they can be transported to the Starting Gaits farm in Ohio, where they will receive rehab if needed. They will then be transitioned and trained under saddle, and adopted as a pleasure horse to an approved home.

This program is only for horses currently racing, 14 years of age and under, but older horses will be considered on a case by case basis with sponsorship as they just take a little longer to place. Horses must also have a clean bill of health.

Starting Gaits is also looking for a bigger trailer so they can more economically ship horses to Ohio. To donate to the trailer fund go to

To enroll a horse in the program, contact the appropriate horsemen below. To ship directly call 937-417-5271.

Tioga & Vernon — Allie Howard, 315-404-4388

Buffalo & Batavia — Jake Baumeister, 716-420-5293

Phiadelphia & Pocono — Sabine Spring, 609-456-3214

Meadowlands & Freehold — Stacy Chiodo, 732-642-7788

Saratoga — Becky Burgess, 518-956-0210

Meadows — Kim Martino, 724-747-2059

To support this program and help provide shipping for horses that need a safe place to land, send donations to

Starting Gaits will continue to accept horses through the normal process as they always have, but hope to help intercept more horses before they end up in a place where their future has limited options for full recovery.

For questions, contact Mandi Cool at 937-417-5271 or e-mail Follow Starting Gaits on Facebook at

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