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Horse owners tell why they enroll in Full Circle; 5,000 milestone pending
Thursday, November 29, 2012 - by Ellen Harvey, Harness Racing Communications

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Freehold, NJ --- Nancy Schechterle, of Wilbraham, Mass., keeps track of every horse she’s ever been associated with.

“I know where all of mine are except one. I keep track of them; there is just one that I cannot locate and that’s All Time Hit.”

Schechterle has enrolled All Time Hit and others in the USTA’s Full Circle program, which allows anyone, member or not, to record their name and contact information in a horse’s database. If that horse is ever in need of assistance or their current owner can no longer care for them, the Full Circle logo by their name in the database indicates that someone from that horse’s past wants to know they need help. To date, there are 4,721 horses enrolled in Full Circle.

Enrolling a horse is free; there is no obligation on the part of the person enrolling the horse and the USTA has no stake or involvement in the outcome. Full Circle is also offered by the American Quarter Horse Association, The Jockey Club and the Morgan Horse Association.

“Full Circle is a great program that provides a safety net for a horse,” says Schechterle. “I wish more people knew to check and see if a horse is enrolled in Full Circle. I am very active on Facebook in helping horses; I’m trying to let other horse rescues know they should check and see if a horse is enrolled in Full Circle.”

Oliver Tatro, of Davison, Mich., has enrolled dozens of horses in Full Circle.

“My wife and I breed and raise these horses, so we get a lot more attached to them that way,” says Tatro. “I always try to keep track of them. When the Delaware Sale catalog comes out, I always look at it to see if any of our horses are in there.

“I want to know if they are in a situation where they need help. With the economy being so hard, especially here in Michigan, there will be some that need it.”

Dr. Norinne Daly of the University of Maine makes enrollment in Full Circle standard practice for the Standardbred mares given to the University for training as pleasure horses. Those Standardbreds, known as “UMares,” go on to lives outside the sport and outside the University, as privately owned riding horses.

“Both my personal horses (Bruizers Lil Star and Lahar’s Baby Blue) are in it and I did enroll all of the UMares as well,” says Daly. “I guess it comes from working as hard as I can to place horses once they are no longer able to race. That's when people do dumb things like changing their names, erasing their histories and essentially making them disappear, whether intended or not.

“It is so hard to trace a horse under these circumstances, yet there is always a “someone” who cares about that particular horse and wants to know that it is OK. Adding a Full Circle registration to a tattoo or a brand is one way of making sure that those who care can keep in touch with a special horse and help it out if need be.”

Tina Dennis, of Wyoming, Del., races horses with her husband George and says she enrolled her horses because of something she heard growing up.

“You know, growing up in the sport, you’d always hear people say, ‘He’s going to the glue factory,’” says Dennis. “I didn’t think anything of it at the time, but now I know it’s true.

“I don’t even want to think about it. We can’t keep every horse we’ve owned; we’d like to, but we can’t. I try to keep track of them when they leave us, but sometimes you just don’t see them racing anymore and you don’t know why or where they went. I think this (Full Circle) is a great idea and if one of ours needs help, we want to know about it. We (as an industry) can do more, but this is good.”

Mark Wooten, a central Tennessee equine veterinarian, has enrolled the now 9-year-old pacer Air McNair, who he owned from 2003 to 2008, in Full Circle. He made about $80,000 (of $311,071 total) while owned by Wooten and a partner and has since changed hands many times and been owned by 22 people.

“He’s done right by us and he continues to do well for other people (the horse is still racing at Pocono Downs),” said Wooten. “I just want to know if he needs help in the future. It seemed like the right thing to do. We have his mother (One Bad Mama Jama) here and she’s retired now. She had five foals that made a total of over $500,000.”

Wooten works and makes his home near Nashville.

“My practice is mostly hunter jumpers and some cutting horses,” he says.

Wooten encourages his clients to consider Standardbreds as riding horses.

“They think racehorse and they think Thoroughbreds,” he says. “I tell them, no, you need to get a horse from the Standardbred Retirement Foundation. They can do just about anything and they make great trail horses.”

Enrollment of any number of horses in Full Circle is free and open to anyone, member of the USTA or not. The USTA records the name of the person who wishes to be contacted if a horse needs help and provides that on request to those with custody or concern for a horse that needs assistance. There is no obligation on the part of the person enrolling the horse and enrollment can be revoked on request. For more information and to obtain the Full Circle enrollment form, go to this link or contact Ellen Harvey at ellen.harvey@ustrotting.com, 732.780.3700.


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