I have another fun post with pictures planned, but this came up today and I want to make it very clear.
I got River directly off the racetrack. He was free. I did not rescue him. Rescue means the horse was in a bad or dangerous situation. That was not the case with River. Did he need a new career? Yes. But he was not in any danger. He was cared for--not ready to go into the A show ring, but adequately cared for. He was not abused, he was not in danger of going to slaughter, he was not sick or injured. He was simply an older horse who could no longer earn a living racing.
Don't suggest that a horse who comes from the track or didn't cost anything is a rescue. It cheapens the meaning and insults the trainers and grooms. I have nothing but good things to say about River's trainer. I do not believe for a moment that River was ever in danger of a bad ending.
The bottom line: Off the Track =/= Rescue