Louisville Kentucky - Boys Haven Equine Program

Posted by Jennifer Karlen on Sunday, February 8th, 2009 at 8:13pm.

louisville-kentucky-boys-haven-equine-program_183The Louisville Kentucky newspaper, The Courier-Journal spotlighted an article today about the Boys Haven Equine Program that is a part of the Boys Haven non-profit home located on Goldsmith Lane in Louisville Kentucky.

The equine program teaches troubled children to care for a horse - and it teaches them a little about humanity as well.  They learn that just as the horse may need their help, that its ok to ask others for help if they need it as well.

The Boys Haven home was founded in 1948 by Father James Maloney and has a long standing tradition of helping troubled children and young adults to become productive and sensitive members of our community.

The equine program was started last year by Jay Wilkinson.  Wilkinson has had prior experience as a harness & thoroughbred trainer and thought that horses would help persons that were having difficult reaching out to others, to be able to reach out to horses and in turn establish a relationship that would help them reach out to others.

The first graduate from the program is James Jones Junior, and he currently works at the Boys Haven stable that is located at the Churchill Downs Trackside Training Center which is just off Durrets Lane.  The Boys Haven stable cares for 7 horses currently and the program is gaining popularity that they will likely expand the effort.

Currently, 10 younger adults are allowed to participate in the program at a time.  Annual costs for the equine program run approximately $200,000 per year.  This money goes toward acquisition of 1 or 2 horses, as well as care/feeding, staff salaries, and stabling costs for the horses.

In March 2007, the students constructed a horse barn to help learn additional skills, as well as improving the experience within the program itself by having the students contribute toward the continued effort.

Each of the student’s tuition is funded by various grants as well as state programs.  The Boys Haven equine program is currently a 6 month study - but the students are allowed to move at their own pace because of additional factors that should be taken into consideration (mental, or physical limitations, etc).

Boys Haven currently owns 2 horses, with the remaining 5 horses in the program being owned by various persons including:

Ricky Sullivan who is located in Alabama.

9 persons that are a part of the Father Maloney Stable syndicate

A partnership owned by Wilkinson, Matthews, and Elbert

The owners of the 5 horses that the Boys Haven equine program utilize, receive 30% of any purse winnings for their horses - and are not charged anything for the horses expenses, and care.

The equine program students receive 10% which is split among the students depending on how much they worked for the care and training of the horses.

The Boys Haven Equine Program appears to be doing well.  They’ve won 6 of their last 20 starts - including most recently the race held at Churchill Downs 2nd race.