Horse owners running out of time to vacate Ashwood Training Facility

Dozens of horses and their handlers at the Ashwood Training Center now have less than 24 hours to move off the property.
Published: Jun. 29, 2022 at 6:01 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Dozens of horses and their handlers at the Ashwood Training Center now have less than 24 hours to move off the property.

Less than two months ago, they received notice their lease would end. It’s now confirmed the Lexington Sporting Club’s youth soccer complex will be built on that land.

Some said they have nowhere to go, and trainers, handlers, and barn employees are racing to meet their lease’s finish line.

“You’ve got to move an entire stable. You’ve got to move families, it takes a lot more than that,” trainer Mort Shirazi said.

Israel Acededo is taking in his wall of winners inside the barn. He said he feels mostly sad because there’s a lot of people who are losing jobs, a lot of horses are going back to the farm and they can’t have a future.

Many of the trainers we talked to said they have issues with the timeline of this ordeal.

“We were told everything is fine and then after all the stall apps had been closed in the first part of May, we’re told, ‘you have to move in about 50 days,’” Shirazi said.

Shirazi said the trainers wished they had more of a heads up about the sale of the property.

“They could’ve told us six months ago that, ‘hey this is the plan, you can stay but it’s going to happen,’” Shirazi said.

He said some trainers had luck and moved elsewhere, but many more don’t know where they’ll land.

“There’s about 60-70 people that don’t know where to go and they have to figure out something by the end of tomorrow,” Shirazi said.

Acededo said even if he’s seen as the little guy in the horse racing industry, he’s proven to himself that he’s a great trainer.

He’s worried he and others will be forced out of the job, and their horses forced out of the stalls that will soon be soccer fields.

We reached out to both the owner of the property and the owner of the Ashwood Training Center business. We’ve not yet heard back.

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