FALLBROOK, Calif. (KGTV) — Hallowed Gift or Giffy is an energetic, strong, athletic, five-year-old thoroughbred who always wants to please
His trainer Kiersty Wylie is with him every day here at Sandia Creek Ranch. The two spend hours together trail-riding and practicing in this ring or the open fields on the property.
Hallowed Gift is one of 18 former racehorses currently on this 30-acre equine sanctuary in the oak-covered hills of Fallbrook.
Wylie calls these thoroughbreds amazing.
After getting time just to rest and relax, or possibly rehabilitate, she says they enjoy working on new skills for competitions or becoming personal riding horse, or sometimes just a pet.
"The best thing to do is we figure out what the horse is naturally built for, and what it enjoys the most and then let them go that route, but they can do dressage, jumping western, trail riding, and pony club," said Wylie
Each of the retired racehorses brought to Sandia Creek Ranch came through Carma, a nonprofit dedicated to racehorse retirement and aftercare. Executive Director Lucinda Lovett says the public has a misconception about thoroughbreds because all we see of them is on the racetrack.
In a word, it's possible because of retraining. Retraining by people such as Wylie whose days start at 5 a.m. and go through night-checks at 2 a.m. the next morning.
Te Rapa had a long and successful career and while he was still healthy and strong his owner brought him to Carma which placed him here at Sandia Creek Ranch.
Lovett estimates that each year 30 percent of racehorses retire from the sport, and aftercare shouldn't be an afterthought.
Hallowed Gift has found a new passion. After just four months of training with Wylie, they went to Kentucky for the completion called thoroughbred makeover.
When he's not learning new things, he is very content to walk beside Wylie and enjoy the sunshine and the next chapter of his beautiful life.
TO DONATE to the Sandia Creek Ranch Auxiliary Foundation which houses, cares for, trains, and rehabilitates former racehorses click here.
Click here to check out the Carma California Retirement Management Account.