The Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement Farm has a new program to fund the care of aging horses. The “Hoof Patrol” initiative allows members to donate to the care of horses’ hooves.

“Supporters like to fund specific items,” said Old Friends secretary Barbara Fossum. “Instead of donating a hundred dollars and not knowing where it goes to, they can donate a hundred dollars and know that money goes to support hoof health.”

Donors can join the Hoof Patrol by purchasing one of three tiered memberships. There’s the Bronze Shoe membership for $50 a year; the Silver Shoe membership for $125 a year; and the Gold Shoe Membership for $150 a year.

There are perks to joining the Hoof Patrol. All Hoof Patrol memberships include a gift of an official  key chain, a full year of email updates and information, including spotlight horse case-studies, videos and photos, “Talk to the Hoof” Q&A’s and photo opportunities with Old

Friends Hoof Patrol horses when visiting the farm. Members are also eligible for contest giveaways of shoes worn by selected Hoof Patrol horses.

There are over 120 horses at Old Friends’ main farm in Georgetown. Including their satellite locations, Old Friends is responsible for over 200 horses, said Fossum. That’s more than 800 hooves to take care of.

Older horses are prone to a lot of issues with their hooves. There are short-term issues such as abscesses, bruises, cracks, and general soreness, but also long-term issues such as chronic arthritis, Laminitis, brittle hooves, quarter cracks, issues associated with Cushing’s Disease, and other geriatric issues, according to Old Friends.

The last year has been rough on the horses’ hooves, said Fossum. With all the rain there has been this season, there are more issues with the horses’ hooves.

“Mud isn’t good for the horse’s hooves,” said Fossum.     

For additional information or to join Hoof Patrol, visit www.oldfriendsequine.org, or call the main office at (502) 863-1775.

Noah Oldham can be reached at noldham@news-graphic.com.

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