A horse stable owner is helping former race horses re-adjust to life after the track.
Laura Wiencek is the owner of Win-Seek Performance Horses in Cortland. She’s been working with one thoroughbred horse for a couple months, with much success.
Wiencek has worked with horses nearly all of her life. But now, for the first time ever, she’s working with a former racehorse.
She brought Spade back from Kentucky in March as part of the Extreme Race Horse Makeover program started by one of her friends.
“It’s retired race horses off the track that we bring them home and we have a hundred days,” said Wiencek. “There are 12 trainers. We have 100 days to take this horse and make it something other than a race horse.”
The goal is to give horses a good life after the track. It’s a tough adjustment for the animals.
Spade had been racing for two years.
“Bring them home. Give them a chance to relax. To settle down,” said Wiencek.
She wasn’t sure she’d be able shake Spade out of her old race horse habits in only 100 days. However, she’s improving every day.
“We wouldn’t have done this in February where we would be standing here. She was hyper, and she wanted to bite,” said Wiencek.
Wiencek drove all the way to Kentucky to rescue spade, and she is somewhat paying it forward by helping with the fight against cancer. Three of her students lost parents to cancer. In August, she will be riding Spade in a barrel race. If she wins, she’ll donate all of the money to the American Cancer Society.
She said the girls helped rehabilitate Spade. And Spade also helped them during their rough time.
“The horses made a change for them. They’ve made a change for the horses,” said Wiencek.
Terri Wilder is one of those students, she lost her father.
“There’s so many kids that have to go through what us three girls went through,” said Wilder. “And, just being able for her to work with us and for it to happen, it’s really good.”
Wiencek recently purchased another race horse. She hopes she can change his life too. And, with the Racino coming to Austintown, she believes she’ll be able to rehabilitate many more race horses that are no longer fast enough for the track.
“It’ll be nice with me being as close as I am to be able to help place these horses and work with the owners and trainers in Austintown and get these horses placed with people in the area,” said Wiencek.