OTRP Fundraiser to Feature Artwork of Oklahoma-bred Star Highland Ice

Highland Ice shows off his artistic talent
Highland Ice shows off his artistic talent

The Oklahoma Thoroughbred Retirement Program will be participating in the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) national Help A Horse Day with a two- day event, competing for a chance to win up to $10,000 in grant prizes to assist with their efforts to protect Thoroughbred racehorses off the race track.

To start the celebration, the Oklahoma Thoroughbred Retirement Program will host a Meet and Greet from 11am to 3pm on Saturday, April 25 at the OTRP satellite facility, C K Thoroughbreds in Guthrie, Okla. The community will have the chance to meet many OTRP adoptable horses, pucker up for Murphy the donkey in the Kiss My A$$ Kissing Booth, and witness Highland Ice, a Oklahoma Horse Racing Hall of Famer and OTRP permanent retiree, display his artistic skills as a painter. There will be an Art Exhibit featuring paintings by OTRP horses, live entertainment by Clay Masters, raffle items and refreshments.

The festivities will continue on Sunday, April 26 at Remington Park in Oklahoma City, Okla. as the OTRP and Oklahoma’s top horse racing facility team up to celebrate Help A Horse Day. The day spotlights Extreme Racing featuring Camel, Ostrich, Pig, Zebra and Dinky Donkey racing. The Express Clydesdales will make their first appearance in an exhibition match race with an old-fashioned flag start before the races at 1pm. Highland Ice will also be on hand at Remington Park to meet all his fans. The now 22-year-old gelding was a fan favoite at the Oklahoma City track where he won 15 times during his illustrious career.

This nationwide competition is for equine rescues and sanctuaries to raise awareness about the lifesaving work they do year-round to care for at-risk horses in their community who have often been abused or neglected. Horses have been central to the ASPCA’s work since its founding 149 years ago, when Henry Bergh stopped a cart driver from beating his horse, resulting in the first successful arrest for the mistreatment of a horse on April 26, 1866.

“Taking part in this national event is another example of the work of the OTRP in continuing efforts to raise awareness for retired racehorses and their lives once they leave the racetrack,” said Dana Kirk, OTRP publicist. “The ASPCA Help A Horse Day contest is a wonderful opportunity for our team to welcome the residents and businesses of central Oklahoma, as we help in seeking forever homes for at-risk horses in our community. These horses are majestic and affectionate animals. We hope our local supporters will come out on both April 26 and 27 to help us earn a $10,000 grant that will assist our lifesaving efforts.”

Dedicated to providing new opportunities for retired Thoroughbred racehorses, the Oklahoma Thoroughbred Retirement Program (OTRP) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization started in 2007 by a veteran group of Oklahoma horsemen concerned about the future of Oklahoma’s ex-racehorses.

The majority of the Thoroughbreds that enter the OTRP program have sustained an injury that may limit their future abilities. These injuries require months of rehabilitation, before knowing if the horses who have sustained them can be ridden again. Our goal is to transition non-competitive thoroughbreds off the racetracks into new careers and new homes through rehabilitation and retraining as either Sport or Trail horses. We also provide permanent sanctuary for horses not suitable for adoption. The OTRP cares for more than 50 horses at various satellite facilities across the state.

The OTRP is an organization made up entirely of volunteers. There are no salaried employees, expenses for offices, or overhead associated with staffing. 100% of all funds donated to the OTRP are used for the care of the horses.

For more information about the Oklahoma Thoroughbred Retirement Program, please visit www.otrp.info.