There is nothing "standard" about Standardbreds

The Standardbred horse is athletic and intelligent, well suited for many uses beyond pulling a driver on a racetrack. They are accustomed to standing patiently in cross ties for hours and are satisfied to leave the premises alone. They have been bathed, shipped, and shod extensively and usually have exceptional ground manners. These horses excel on trails and do not spook easily. Standardbreds are very durable, with exceptional endurance. They can cover miles of trails with little effort. However, this breed has a well-developed trot or pace and does not canter easily without additional training.

The United States Trotting Association is the governing body of the Standardbred horse. Everyone buying a Standardbred for racing or breeding purposes must become a member of USTA. The horse’s registration papers are duly transferred upon approval of membership. USTA also offers services for non-racing and -breeding owners.

Life After Racing

The Standardbred Equine Program (SEP) was established in 1996 to promote the use of Standardbreds in disciplines other than racing. 

The SEP has partnered with national discipline organizations to establish breed awards and recognition for people that use their Standardbreds in non-racing activities. 

Standardbred Pleasure Horse Organizations (SPHOs) are located across the country and promote their enthusiasm for transitioning ex-harness horses to pleasure and competitive riding and driving horses.

View the SPHO directory to find an organization near you.

"If a horse can do it, a Standardbred can, too!"

"English, Western Pleasure and Competition. Dressage, Hunter Jumping. Barrel Racing, 
Team Penning. You name it, they do it!"


The USTA has a number of programs and resources to help its members horses. Learn about resources such as  Pleasure Registration, Standardbred Placement and Adoption by clicking here. 

If you acquire a Standardbred and want to learn more about its racing or breeding history, the USTA can help.

Pathway is the USTA’s online database of racing and breeding information. It provides a free search to find basic information about a horse:

Free Horse Name/Tattoo Search

If you need more help identifying your Standardbred, you can call the USTA offices. Please have as much information available, including a freeze brand or lip tattoo, color, sex, white markings, etc. Contact the USTA’s Information & Research Department:(877) 800-8782 x4 or

Off The Track Standardbreds

This is an open Facebook group for owners of Off The Track Standardbreds to tell stories about them and share their Standardbreds. Standardbreds are not given enough credit when they come off the track. Feel free to invite friends.  Click here to join the group. 

Find A Standardbred Resource in or near NY

Sunshine Horses

Located in Central Square, NY, Sunshine Horses, Inc. is a non-profit, independent adoption agency and rescue facility for horses located in Syracuse, NY. Founded by Kate Starr in 2003, Sunshine has found loving homes for more than 150 horses. We specialize in retraining and rehoming retired Standardbred racehorses. However, Sunshine works with all horse breeds and prepares them for their forever homes.

Country Acres Animal Shelter
Homer, NY

Country Acres Animal Shelter is a 501C(3) not for profit animal shelter. Country Acres Animal Shelter was established in 2009 to provide the care for the stray animals that became available for adoption after their redemption period from Country Acres Pet Services. We also take in horses and find them their perfect forever home. Most of the horses that come to us are Standardbreds, however, we will surprise you once in a while with a different breed I am sure!

WNY Standardbred Placement
Western NY

This page was create in an effort to help retiring Standardbred race horses find their way to new careers as riding/driving/pleasure horses. The Standardbred breed is a tough and durable one, and the horses are well known for being sensible, trainable, and relatively easy to care for. They traditionally break to saddle quickly, and are used to all kinds of commotion from life at race track. The horses listed here are not for sale for racing, as the owners wish to retire them from the track and let them start new careers. Contact information will be listed with each horse.

Won by One
Saratoga, NY

This page is inspired by the One Answer Project and networks Standardbred horses that are available for sale or adoption by their owners.

Heading For Home

Located in the heart of Saratoga, the jewel of the New York state racing, Heading for Home supports both the community and the racing industry by preparing off the track race horses to lead productive second careers.

New Vocations

To stand in the gap for noncompetitive, often injured racehorses providing a peaceful environment and skilled hands to assist in their development as pleasure mounts. To place these horses in experienced loving homes that will continue their education so each has a skill and therefore, a future. New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program believes in the talent and potential of these horses. It endeavors to stand in the gap providing a transitional haven, skilled hands, loving care, and a future of hope and a brighter tomorrow.

Purple Haze Standardbred Adoption Program

Located in Oxford NY, it is a 501c3 Standardbred Adoption Program created to ensure that retired Standardbred horses find a second calling and profession. Contact info: (518) 669-2715. 

Standardbred Retirement Foundation
Cream Ridge, NJ

The Standardbred Retirement Foundation is a non-profit, tax exempt organization created to care for, rehabilitate, and secure lifetime adoption of non-competitive racehorses, to ensure their proper care with follow-up, and combine the needs of youth at risk with these horses in therapeutic equine programs to benefit both.

Alyssa Hedges created this group to help promote the Standardbred breed in the Rochester, NY area. (That is where the name “ROC The Standardbred’ came from, ROC being Rochester for all you non-local people.)

Hodges’ primary goal for ROC the Standardbred is to promote the breed via her Facebook group, along with educational events.  In doing so, the breed will become more widely accepted and open to other retirement options.  Unfortunately, the biggest market for the breed is with the Amish.  She hopes to support other groups who assist in retraining retired harness racers for their next career, those who adopt/place available Standardbreds and/or those who aid in the rescue of at-risk Standardbreds.  She would also like to get like-minded people together to tackle different areas to positively impact our retired/retiring horses and get people focused on the aftercare of these athletes as they retire from their racing career.

Click here to visit the ROC The Standardbred website. 

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