Plymouth Farm Festival
On a sunny afternoon in Plymouth, Mass. two retired ex-racehorses held court with admiring youngsters at the fall open house at the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Farm.
Suffolk Downs warhorses Red Miah and Future Fantasy, retirees in the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation’s Plymouth herd of 10, greeted and delighted children who flocked to pet the gentle animals.
“One of the things these two ex-racehorses have in common is how much they love getting attention from the public,” says Jessica Moore of the TRF. “Red Miah and Future Fantasy spent the day interacting with guests of all ages and were the perfect gentleman. They both especially love getting to interact with the younger kids.”
One little girl in pigtails bopped between Red Miah and Future Fantasy, offering snacks and attention as adults admired the horses who, before they were injured, logged many miles on the racetrack. Red Miah ran 59 times and earned $77,720 before the gray Thoroughbred was retired and welcomed as one of the first Plymouth retirees in 2009. Future Fantasy ran 47 times and earned $236,860 before retiring.
Though neither horse is sound for riding, the pair lives happily at the Plymouth, Mass. facility, participating in the TRF’s novel Second Chances program for prisoners and horses. Red Miah and Future Fantasy are cared for by inmates who learn horsemanship and life skills while interacting with the horses in the program.
And during the Sheriff Farm’s open houses, Red Miah and Future Fantasy double as spokeshorses for the TRF, raising awareness about aftercare, and the need within the horse racing industry to find second careers or retirement once a horse’s race days are ended.