Sunshine Horses, Inc. is a non-profit, independent adoption agency and rescue facility for horses located in Clay, NY. Founded by Kate Starr in 2003, Sunshine has found loving homes for more than 200 horses, with an average adoption rate of 18 horses a year. We specialize in retraining and rehoming retired Standardbred racehorses. However, Sunshine works with all horse breeds and prepares them for their forever homes.
Sunshine Horses, Inc. is the largest Standardbred adoption group and rescue in New York State.
Just as important to our mission of helping horses is our mission of helping people. Sunshine works with many different community organizations and agencies within the Syracuse area. Through youth and adult volunteer programs, we draw upon the strengths each participant brings to Sunshine and seek to provide personal growth and enrichment. Many program participants face unique challenges of their own, and can empathize and bond with our horses in a special way as they help prepare the horse for adoption.
Sunshine has well over 150 committed volunteers that give love and care to over 25 horses. Many different breeds make up our Sunshine herd such as former Standardbred and Thoroughbred racehorses, Appaloosas, Warmbloods, Quarter Horses and Paints. Many of the retired Standardbreds come to us because they lacked the desire or skill to be successful on the track. Occasionally they have just become too old to race, or have an injury that prohibits further racing. Along with the off the track Standardbreds some of our horses have been surrendered, as their owners could no longer care for them, while others come from true rescue situations.
Once coming to Sunshine, all of the horses are rehabilitated and/or trained for different equestrian disciplines prior to their being adopted. Many of our horses are used to being driven, and adapt well to light carts and carriages. Others readily learn to accept a saddle and rider. We strive to give each horse the basics so that they may excel in any discipline or new career they might find. We work with them daily and try our best to match each one’s unique qualities to the needs of a potential adopter.
We strive to provide all adopters with honest descriptions of each horse and do our best to find the perfect match for both human and horse.
One of the joys of adopting a retired Standardbred is that they’ve already done it all! These horses have had years of training, so they don’t typically require any additional work in leading, tying, grooming, standing for the vet and farrier, and clipping. They’re also accustomed to new sights, sounds and smells. Plus just about all of our Standardbreds are ready for carriage driving and they are quick to take on a rider.
Adoption fees range from $300-$2,500 depending on the level of training, age, soundness and potential of the horse. Prior to adoption you must fill out an interest application and schedule an appointment to see the horse. We follow a right of first refusal and do not hold horses unless the proper paperwork is filled out. Should you continue with the adoption we ask that you fill out an adoption contract and provide references. There is also a home check for the barn where the horse will be stabled. After adoption yearly vet checks are required to be emailed or mailed to us per our adoption contract. Should you need more than one month to bring the horse home we ask that you provide sponsorship for it. Please contact us for more detailed information.