After four starts in the UK, Syndicated arrived in the States to train with Hall of Famer Claude R. “Shug” McGaughey III. Following his third start at Gulfstream, the decision was made by MyRacehorse to responsibly retire the Dubawi colt via Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance-accredited New Vocations. 


Syndicated arrived at New Vocations in Lexington, KY coming off the trailer in great physical shape and has taken to retirement from racing nicely. His sweet disposition and friendly demeanor certainly helped in his initial transition off the track. We caught up with Kentucky Facility Director and Trainer Leandra Cooper, who told us Syndicated has quickly proven to be eager to work and ready to listen. 


Since 1992, New Vocations has focused on offering a safe haven for retired Thoroughbreds through rehabilitation, retraining and ultimately rehoming to qualified and loving adopters. New Vocations is accredited by the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance, the only accrediting body in thoroughbred aftercare. Organizations wishing to be accredited by TAA must undergo a vigorous process, completing a TAA Accreditation Application, meeting TAA’s Code of Standards, and agreeing to both scheduled and random site inspections as part of the Accreditation process.


For the first couple of weeks, horses that arrive at New Vocations focus on settling in. They are turned out in the round pens and start to learn their new routines and meet their new friends at New Vocations. Syndicated began light work on the ground in hand, before starting more flat work under saddle. Leandra told us he’s getting used to the “slow life,” learning his new social setting and just how to be a horse out in the field. 


When it comes to the retraining process, the New Vocations team is careful to create individualized plans for each horse. These plans are created by examining a variety of factors, with the main focus being on the horse’s mental and physical status. Some horses arrive ready to work and others may need some “vacation” time before beginning the retraining process. Whatever the case may be, the team at New Vocations strives to make the transition from racing as easy as possible. Their goal is to build a solid foundation for future potential adopters and get an accurate read on how each horse can succeed in future endeavors. 


Once Syndicated begins work under saddle, Leandra and her team will evaluate him and his preferences to best formulate a retraining plan customized for him. This will help ensure they have the most accurate notes for his future adopter and will better be able to match him with the perfect home once he becomes available. 


Needless to say, Syndicated was in very capable, safe hands at New Vocations! 


As he progressed beautifully in his retraining at New Vocations, the team was overjoyed at how easily he took to everything they introduced to him. Just a couple months after arriving in Lexington, a 15 year-old girl and her family in town for the Retired Racehorse Project’s Thoroughbred Makeover went to visit Syndicated and he made quite the impression. After a short discussion with her parents, Syndicated was adopted!


Syndicated and his new owner will be working toward entering the Makeover themselves next year as he is her new Barrel Racing prospect. 


Barrel Racing is a rodeo event in which a horse and rider attempt to run a cloverleaf pattern around preset barrels in the fastest time. The times are measured either by an electric eye, a device using a laser system to record times, or by a judge who drops a flag to let the timer know when to start and stop the clock. Judges and timers are more commonly seen in local and non-professional events. 


The timer begins when horse and rider cross the starting line, and ends when the barrel pattern has been successfully executed and horse and rider cross the finish line. Success depends on several factors, most commonly the horse’s physical and mental condition, the rider’s horsemanship abilities, and the type of ground or footing (the quality, depth, content, etc. of the sand or dirt in the arena). 


Modern Barrel Racing horses not only need to be fast, but also strong, agile, and intelligent–all qualities the Thoroughbred possesses! 


MyRacehorse was ecstatic to hear of how quickly our UK horse was able to make his transition and look forward to following his progress on the Barrel Racing circuit.