Tony Stewart Foundation Awards $20,000 to Friends of Ferdinand To Fund the Retirement of 10 Thoroughbred Racehorses in 2010
Indianapolis, IN -- (ReleaseWire) -- 03/22/2010 -- Tony Stewart, owner and driver of the No 14 Old Spice/ Office Depot Chevrolet Impala in the NASCAR Sprint Cup and owner of Stewart/Haas Racing is also a winner on a different kind of track. In 2010, the Tony Stewart Foundation awarded $20,000 to Friends of Ferdinand Inc in order to support the retirement and adoption of thoroughbred racehorses.
Tony remarks that “these are animals that are all racehorses that have been retired versus being destroyed. Friends of Ferdinand is a great organization that will take these horses, rehabilitate them, fix their injuries and get them trained and adopt them to new homes. Their racing careers may have ended, but their lives don’t have to.”
This award is the continuation of a program called Tony’s Ex-Racers, which began in 2008 with the retirement of 10 thoroughbreds from Indiana’s racetracks. With the 2010 grant, a total of 20 thoroughbred racehorses, whose futures are otherwise uncertain, are provided safe-haven, training and new homes through Friends of Ferdinand. Kalista Tyann, Woodman’s Star, Sunny Thoughts and Friendly Neighbor are the most recent horses to arrive at their foster homes located in the Indianapolis area, bringing the number of Tony’s horses to his favorite number – 14. Six additional thoroughbreds will be identified in the coming months.
Joni Thompson, Executive Director of the Tony Stewart Foundation comments, “Friends of Ferdinand is an all-volunteer run organization that puts the horses first. We are pleased to support their work and do our part to ‘Accelerate Change’ and encourage the humane and responsible retirement of racehorses in Indiana.”
Friends of Ferdinand Inc is an Indianapolis based non-profit organization that works alongside Hoosier Park and Indiana Downs to provide options for horses whose racing careers are coming to an end. Horses accepted into Friends of Ferdinand’s adoption program are provided with veterinary care to identify and attend to any injuries or health issues. The horses are then, evaluated for temperament and ability and provided professional re-training for second careers. Through FFI’s programs, more than 250 horses have been transitioned from the track into new homes and careers – as show or pleasure horses, dressage competitors and beloved companions.
According to Sara Busbice, President of Friends of Ferdinand “The volunteers and horses of Friends of Ferdinand thank Tony Stewart for his continued support and generosity. It truly validates our efforts and has enabled us to provide caring and permanent homes for some of thoroughbred racing’s deserving retirees.”
Friends of Ferdinand 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. Tragically, a few years later, Ferdinand was slaughtered for human consumption. Friends of Ferdinand provides opportunities for rehabilitation and transitional training for horses who are no longer competitive on the racetrack. More information about Friends of Ferdinand may be found at http://www.friendsofferdinand.org.
The mission of the Tony Stewart Foundation is to raise and donate funds to help care for critically ill children, drivers injured in motorsports activities and to support other charitable organizations in the protection of various animal species. More information about the Tony Stewart Foundation may be found at http://www.tonystewartfoundation.org.