We are dedicated to transitioning retired racehorses into second careers and placing them in the right home. We are based in Central Indiana and have facilities in both Indiana and Ohio.
Established in 2005, FFI took its name from famed racehorse Ferdinand who earned four million dollars on the track and won the KY Derby, but was ultimately led to slaughter.
Our mission is very clear - To promote equine welfare by providing chances for second careers to retiring racehorses in Indiana, Ohio and throughout the Midwest.
We believe that it is a shame that retired racehorses who are sound, have the potential to be sound, have good minds and have options for a second career should face an uncertain future.
We love working with OTTBs.
Bred for speed, agility and intelligence, when properly trained and cared for, the TB can outperform all others. When improperly trained and managed, the TB can become a very difficult horse to keep healthy and companionable. In this situation, a TB again becomes at risk for abuse, neglect and slaughter. Mindful transitioning and placement is key for retired racehorses that are happy, successful and safe in their second careers and beyond.
Why we what we do
We are just like our adopters: we are eventers, fox-hunters, jumpers, dressage and trail riders. We love thoroughbreds, and without racing, there would be no thoroughbreds available for second careers. For us, there is no greater reward than loading a horse that we have literally poured money, sweat and tears (and sometimes a little blood) onto a trailer and watching it go to a perfect home.
Meet the Leadership Team
Head Trainer and Board Member
Lori's love of TBs started at a young age, as she rode the TBs right off the track that came through her trainer's barn. She has maintained her passion for the breed throughout her professional career, restarting numerous horses every year while competing on her own former race horses in the sport of eventing. Lori maintains Greenstone Stables, a boarding and training facility near Dayton Ohio which is home to FFI's re-training facility. The majority of our horses come to Lori's barn for temperament and under-saddle evaluation, re-training and then matching adopter and horse. Lori's philosophies are centered around matching horse and rider skills so that they can progress as a team and partnership. Lori is a graduate from The University of Findlay in Equine Business Management and has a juris doctorate from The University of Dayton. She is currently working on completing her ICP certification from USEA. >
Treasurer and Board Member
Hannah is an active hunter/jumper and former member of the Ball State Equestrian Team. She has earned a BA in Accounting and is currently pursuing her Masters/CPA in Accounting & Finance. When Hannah is not in class, or helping FFI manage our expenses and make sound fiscal decisions, she is mentoring younger riders, playing piano or swing dancing. Hannah is based in Indiana.>
Social Media/ Marketing Mistress and Board Member
Chelsey is the driving force behind FFI's social media and marketing our available horses. Since getting involved with the organization, she has worn many hats: photography, event organization and promotion, track volunteer, fundraising, and volunteer recruitment . In 2014, she began taking on a more active leadership role in the organization to learn the ins-and-outs of thoroughbred aftercare. Chelsey ultimately is aiming for a career in the racing industry. Chelsey is based in Massachusetts. >
Angela Demaree, DVM
Angela is a graduate from the Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine and previously served as the Equine Medical Director for the Indiana Horse Racing Commission. She also serves her country as a Major in the Army Reserves. Angela now combines her passion for thoroughbreds, the sport of racing and veterinary medicine by overseeing the intake and care of horses transitioning from racing to second careers. Besides overseeing the veterinary care of our horses that are housed across 2 states, Angela is focused on growing the program so that we may assist as many horses as possible transition well to a 2nd career. Additionally, Angela is working to leverage her race industry contacts to advocate for a stronger retirement program in Indiana and appropriate racehorse retirement. Angela is based in Indiana>
Board Member and Racing Industry Liason
Wendy was a student of the Renihan family at Grandview Stables in Indianapolis from grade school on. She earned her colors with the Traders Point Hunt as a young teenager and was a founding member of the Fox Hill Junior Hunt Club. A graduate of Elmira College, she also studied at I.U., The University of Glasgow and Harvard University. After working in the mental health field, she returned to horses, working at racetracks from New England to the midwest with her partner, Bill Summers for thirty-eight years. She served as secretary treasurer for the ad-hoc Indiana HBPA, before racing became a reality in Indiana. She then served on the board of the Indiana HBPA from 1996 until 2008. She currently serves as the Chairwoman of the Indiana Thoroughbred Breed Advisory Committee and serves on the board of Friends Of Ferdinand. Wendy is based in Indiana>
Shelley has extensive customer support/solutions experience in addition to non-profit director experience. She oversees the adoption of our horses, ensuring long-term success in their second careers. More importantly, she is developing and maintaining relationships with our adopters as she sees each rider/horse pair as ambassadors for Friends of Ferdinand. As an adopter herself, Shelley provides this unique perspective to effectively engage and relate to our adopters and the amateur sport horse community. Shelley is based in Ohio.>
Secretary and Board Member
Diana has volunteered with Friends of Ferdinand since 2009, fostering, rehabbing, retraining horses and fundraising. She rides hunter/jumper and has successfully competed her own OTTB at the A circuit adult amateur division. When she is not managing her full time family, her full time job, or caring for own horses, she is lending her business skills and talents to FFI. Diana helps us to manage change, make strategic decisions and find efficiencies. Diana is based in Indiana. >
President and Board Member
Sara was one of the first Friends of Ferdinand Inc. volunteers when the organization was founded in 2005. In 2006, Sara became the president and driving force behind Friends of Ferdinand. By networking with the Indiana race industry, the Indiana horse community, rescue organizations across the country, and by gathering together knowledgeable, dedicated board members and volunteers, she has been able to grow the organization each and every year. When Sara is not advocating for thoroughbred aftercare, she is employed at Eli Lilly and Co. Sara is based in Indiana.>