Industry groups create Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance

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A broad-based group of Thoroughbred industry stakeholders announced today the establishment of the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (TAA)—an organization designed to serve as both the accrediting body for aftercare facilities that care for Thoroughbreds following the conclusion of their racing careers and a fundraising body to support these approved facilities.

Funded initially by seed money from Breeders’ Cup, Ltd., The Jockey Club, and Keeneland Association, the TAA is comprised of owners, trainers, breeders, racetracks, jockeys, aftercare professionals and other industry groups.


“It is our responsibility as owners, tracks, breeders, trainers, jockeys, bloodstock agents, and anyone who has a stake in the game to take responsibility for the aftercare of these great animals who are the keystone of our sport,” said TAA board President and Thoroughbred owner Jack Wolf. “Securing support and funding from Breeders’ Cup, The Jockey Club, Keeneland and so many other great organizations speaks to the credibility and importance of our effort and is so greatly appreciated.”

Additional support of the TAA has been provided by Adena Springs North, CARMA, Fasig-Tipton, The Jockeys’ Guild, New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, The New York Racing Association, Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company and Thoroughbred Charities of America. The organization also received staff support from Thoroughbred Charities of America, the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association and the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA). The NTRA will continue to provide that support on an ongoing basis.

The TAA will accredit aftercare facilities based on a Code of Standards covering operations, education, horse management, facility services and adoption policies. Simultaneously, the TAA will raise funds on behalf of accredited facilities via institutional contributions that are to be directed 100% to program services rather than to fundraising or general administrative costs.

“The Breeders’ Cup is proud to be one of the initial funders for the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance and fully support the TAA goals of an industry-wide, annually funded program committed to the placement or second-career retraining of retired Thoroughbreds on a national scale,” said Craig Fravel, President and CEO of Breeders’ Cup, Ltd. “Through the contributions of our sport’s stakeholders, we can help ensure that our horses are treated in a dignified manner throughout their lives.”

“The Jockey Club’s involvement and support of the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance is a natural extension of our other ongoing efforts in the area of Thoroughbred aftercare,” said James L. Gagliano, The Jockey Club’s President and Chief Operating Officer. “The accreditation and proper funding for aftercare facilities will greatly enhance the well-being of our equine athletes, and we encourage other groups and individuals from all segments of our sport to support this Alliance .”

“Thoroughbred aftercare is something that touches us all,” said Nick Nicholson, President and CEO of Keeneland. “We are proud to do our part, and I know that virtually everyone else will be equally proud to do theirs in order to make the TAA an ongoing success.”

The TAA, a 501 (c) (6) non-profit organization with a 501 (c) (3) subsidiary, will fill out its staff and provide additional updates in the coming months. The TAA offices will be based in Lexington, Ky.

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  • Frank L.

    This is a great idea. One
    additional aspect needs to be explored — namely an additional ½
    percent take out, nationally, to finance this project and keep it
    going.

    Since the bettors on this
    site continually “exclaim” that it is they that are “essential”
    to the sport, and without them, there is NO sport, then, they also
    should be held responsible for the aftercare of those horses that can
    no longer “support” THEIR sport — NO EXCEPTIONS!! Time to make
    the bettor “accountable” for their sport!!

    • Stanley inman

      The individuals and groups making this happen are to be commended.
      Taking Action, showing responsibility for what others fail to assume.

      Therein lies the problem-the more successful taa becomes the “easier” it will be for last owner to abrogate his or her responsibility.
      In effect taa will become “enabler” for the wrong choice.
      Owners will rationalize dumping because they know there is an industry-wide safetynet. The numbers will grow precipitously.
      Instead,
      We need to raise consciousness so ALL owners Become embarrassed and change behaviors; at the same time initiate chip identification, and expose last owner to ridicule and make it unacceptable.

      • Robin

        Owners need to be made to pay up front whether its via a percentage at the point of sale, through breeder registration fees, entry fees or whatever mechanism is consistent and necessary for them to operate as owners of a racehorse.  Then that money will be there already and not an afterthought and a point of contention at the point when a new career is the alternative.  I work with a group, I know how difficult it is NOW to get a donation from an owner who is just thinking of all the money he has paid out already.  I suggested above or below god knows where it appears that there be monies gotten from owners to offset support for the horse for a period of 3-4 months after the horse finishes its racing career.  Perhaps if the JC collected money when ownership was transferred and REQUIRED ownership transfers that that is a point at where it could be collected?

    • Caroline

      Hey Frank, I think we should also tax all homophobic, horrible, trainers and commentators on this site 1/2 of one percent. Why not? They tax me with their continual repetitions of how GREAT and IMPORTANT their opinions are? They also tax my local media with their outrageous homophobic contributions which I really don’t need to read. How about it Frank L?  

  • Frank L.

    This is a great idea. One
    additional aspect needs to be explored — namely an additional ½
    percent take out, nationally, to finance this project and keep it
    going.

    Since the bettors on this
    site continually “exclaim” that it is they that are “essential”
    to the sport, and without them, there is NO sport, then, they also
    should be held responsible for the aftercare of those horses that can
    no longer “support” THEIR sport — NO EXCEPTIONS!! Time to make
    the bettor “accountable” for their sport!!

  • HappyHarriet

    This is a good start, but it’s a power grab.  No only do they want to establish help for aftercare, but they want to be the “accrediting agency” for anyone else who has been slogging through the trenches all these years and operating on thin air and potato peelings while begging for help.  I dunno – I think this is gonna be not as good as you may think because where politics meet control you get corruption and misery.  Meanwhile, WHAT ABOUT THE HORSES!!!!  I hate anything that smacks of forced payment of anything whatsoever, BUT – I’ve felt a small % of everything wagered, or paid out, at every track, OTB, etc. should be set aside for the welfare of these incredible all-heart horses.  It would require a state to state cooperation and (yikes) some type of a National Oversight Financial Board (big yikes) to administer, one would think.  And then you’d be back to corruption and power grabs.  Argh.  Hopefully some of this money will actually find its way to the feed trough and stalls and the veterinarians, grooms, and dedicated horse caretakers, where it is MUCH NEEDED.

    • Mundah

      HappyHarriet is right.  It seems to me the same people are trying to run this that run everything.  Most of these boards have the same people on them.  Are they going to take a cut for themselves under the banner of “I am doing the work so I get a piece of the pie”  We need new blood.  We need to take a look at the people that have been working hard at doing this already   OLD FRIENDS

      • Robin

        Do we even know what the accreditation process would be?  Perhaps it will be as easy as the established 501C3′s sending in their information.  I certainly understand that there are many that do great work with little but air to pay for it.  They need to be the first to be approved and accredited for financial support from this TAA

    • Barbara Wood

      Yes. It should be about the horses first and foremost.

    • Robin

      I agree Harriet – needs to be across the nation and have a governing/administering body – in deed a tough call and difficult to find someone and to create an organization that does not have it’s own, unseen agenda.

    • Noelle

      There is corruption and misery now.  This won’t fix it; maybe it’s just another group that will hold meetings, pat itself on the back, and achieve little; but maybe it’s a step in the right direction.  At least racing’s poobahs are aware that the industry’s current indifference to the fate of OTTB’s is unacceptable to the public.  

  • HappyHarriet

    This is a good start, but it’s a power grab.  No only do they want to establish help for aftercare, but they want to be the “accrediting agency” for anyone else who has been slogging through the trenches all these years and operating on thin air and potato peelings while begging for help.  I dunno – I think this is gonna be not as good as you may think because where politics meet control you get corruption and misery.  Meanwhile, WHAT ABOUT THE HORSES!!!!  I hate anything that smacks of forced payment of anything whatsoever, BUT – I’ve felt a small % of everything wagered, or paid out, at every track, OTB, etc. should be set aside for the welfare of these incredible all-heart horses.  It would require a state to state cooperation and (yikes) some type of a National Oversight Financial Board (big yikes) to administer, one would think.  And then you’d be back to corruption and power grabs.  Argh.  Hopefully some of this money will actually find its way to the feed trough and stalls and the veterinarians, grooms, and dedicated horse caretakers, where it is MUCH NEEDED.

  • Amante2me

    WHat can one say but BRAVO to the Thoroughbred Industry!

  • Amante2me

    WHat can one say but BRAVO to the Thoroughbred Industry!

  • Mundah

    HappyHarriet is right.  It seems to me the same people are trying to run this that run everything.  Most of these boards have the same people on them.  Are they going to take a cut for themselves under the banner of “I am doing the work so I get a piece of the pie”  We need new blood.  We need to take a look at the people that have been working hard at doing this already   OLD FRIENDS

  • Barbara Wood

    Yes. It should be about the horses first and foremost.

  • Stanley inman

    The individuals and groups making this happen are to be commended.
    Taking Action, showing responsibility for what others fail to assume.

    Therein lies the problem-the more successful taa becomes the “easier” it will be for last owner to abrogate his or her responsibility.
    In effect taa will become “enabler” for the wrong choice.
    Owners will rationalize dumping because they know there is an industry-wide safetynet. The numbers will grow precipitously.
    Instead,
    We need to raise consciousness so ALL owners Become embarrassed and change behaviors; at the same time initiate chip identification, and expose last owner to ridicule and make it unacceptable.

  • Robin

    Involvement should be mandatory in each and ever state that has TB racing and/or participates in breeding TB’s for the horseman from breeders, consignors, sales, org.s, pinhookers, trainers and owners and should have a designated funding stream that is obligatory either through registration fees, entry fees, percentages of sales but most likely all of the above as well as have owners put an amount in escrow for a 3-4 month support of a horse they own after his racing days are done to support efforts of the aftercare facilities that are re-training and placing these horses in good homes.

    • equine

      Owners need more awareness that keeping noncompetitive horses in training increases the risk for injury and seriously compromises the horse’s chance at a second career.  Most trainers are not making much if anything on their day rate.  If an owner can think forward for his horse, he/she will often be able to secure a safe spot at a reputable rescue/adoption facility if they are willing to donate those saved last 3-4 months of training fees to help support the horse. 

  • Robin

    Involvement should be mandatory in each and ever state that has TB racing and/or participates in breeding TB’s for the horseman from breeders, consignors, sales, org.s, pinhookers, trainers and owners and should have a designated funding stream that is obligatory either through registration fees, entry fees, percentages of sales but most likely all of the above as well as have owners put an amount in escrow for a 3-4 month support of a horse they own after his racing days are done to support efforts of the aftercare facilities that are re-training and placing these horses in good homes.

  • Robin

    Do we even know what the accreditation process would be?  Perhaps it will be as easy as the established 501C3′s sending in their information.  I certainly understand that there are many that do great work with little but air to pay for it.  They need to be the first to be approved and accredited for financial support from this TAA

  • Robin

    I agree Harriet – needs to be across the nation and have a governing/administering body – in deed a tough call and difficult to find someone and to create an organization that does not have it’s own, unseen agenda.

  • Robin

    Owners need to be made to pay up front whether its via a percentage at the point of sale, through breeder registration fees, entry fees or whatever mechanism is consistent and necessary for them to operate as owners of a racehorse.  Then that money will be there already and not an afterthought and a point of contention at the point when a new career is the alternative.  I work with a group, I know how difficult it is NOW to get a donation from an owner who is just thinking of all the money he has paid out already.  I suggested above or below god knows where it appears that there be monies gotten from owners to offset support for the horse for a period of 3-4 months after the horse finishes its racing career.  Perhaps if the JC collected money when ownership was transferred and REQUIRED ownership transfers that that is a point at where it could be collected?

  • TBDancer

    I agree with HappyHarriet, Mundah and others. We don’t think we have to reinvent the wheel. Look at groups like Tranquility Farm, Old Friends (for permanent retirement facilities), New Vocations, LOPE of Texas, After The Finish Line and all the others that have programs that work and emulate those. 

    • JC

       Please, anyone that can, give $$ to LOPE.  They are trying to recover after the recent flash-flooding near Bastrop, TX.  FYI I don’t represent them, I just give. 

      http://www.lopetx.org

      THANK YOU

  • TBDancer

    I agree with HappyHarriet, Mundah and others. We don’t think we have to reinvent the wheel. Look at groups like Tranquility Farm, Old Friends (for permanent retirement facilities), New Vocations, LOPE of Texas, After The Finish Line and all the others that have programs that work and emulate those. 

  • Noelle

    There is corruption and misery now.  This won’t fix it; maybe it’s just another group that will hold meetings, pat itself on the back, and achieve little; but maybe it’s a step in the right direction.  At least racing’s poobahs are aware that the industry’s current indifference to the fate of OTTB’s is unacceptable to the public.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/SaveStallions Mary Adkins-Matthews

    Second careers are not possible for all the horses that leave racing. There are some that leave the track with injuries that can not go into second careers. These are the horses that are MOST at risk to end up in slaughter. What about them? There needs to be something in place for theses horses, not just the ones that are easily placed. Many rescues will not touch horses that come from certain tracks. This is a HUGE problem since they are the ones in the most need of help. 

    A
    comprehensive aftercare program must include a sustainable method of funding (percentage of the purse
    devoted to aftercare or a per-start fee charged to the owner etc), and must include
    an alliance with rescue organizations that are capable of taking the horses
    into their facilities for rehab, retraining, and rehoming. For the horses that can not .. there needs to be an option of euthanization for them, not a kill buyer picking them up on the backside or down the street from the track. The problem will not go away until these horses are considered. The industry needs to stop ignoring these facts or change the rules that allow a horse to run until it is destroyed.

    • JC

       THANK GOD there is some continued effort to address this issue.  Full agreement with Ms. Matthews above and PLEASE would people understand that horses no longer ride-able are valuable, too.  Even with the economy, many people out there can still afford to keep companion horses, and I recently read a beautiful story where an elitist, crabby group of dressage types critically picked apart a truly ride-able mare at an OTTB rescue; stating, paraphrased, that she just did not have enough “competitive edge”…BUT, and wonderfully, the very sweet and flexible mare went home with a dear and committed family as a companion horse for their little girl with special needs, who had been devastated by the loss of another long-time horse friend.  Give these horses a chance, even if some form of riding is not their “thing”. 

      Prayers for all involved…set up the PayPal and a lot of people like me will donate, whenever there’s money left over after giving to the 4 other rescues on my “card”. 

      :-) 

      • NY Owner

        You are right on JC.  Last year I placed a 4yo filly who fractured her knee with a wonderful family that uses her for giving their 3 young girls pony rides.  The track vet recommended euthanization.  We are fortunate enough to be able to rehab our own and rested her 8 months before finding her a second career in a forever home, however humble it might be.

  • http://www.facebook.com/SaveStallions Mary Adkins-Matthews

    Second careers are not possible for all the horses that leave racing. There are some that leave the track with injuries that can not go into second careers. These are the horses that are MOST at risk to end up in slaughter. What about them? There needs to be something in place for theses horses, not just the ones that are easily placed. Many rescues will not touch horses that come from certain tracks. This is a HUGE problem since they are the ones in the most need of help. 

    A
    comprehensive aftercare program must include a sustainable method of funding (percentage of the purse
    devoted to aftercare or a per-start fee charged to the owner etc), and must include
    an alliance with rescue organizations that are capable of taking the horses
    into their facilities for rehab, retraining, and rehoming. For the horses that can not .. there needs to be an option of euthanization for them, not a kill buyer picking them up on the backside or down the street from the track. The problem will not go away until these horses are considered. The industry needs to stop ignoring these facts or change the rules that allow a horse to run until it is destroyed.

  • Jen Roytz

    This is a GREAT move forward for our industry. While many of the comments listed are good points, the TAA is a starting point for taking action. Give them a chance to get organized, gather momentum, understand ALL they’re dealing with and work out the inevitable kinks. 

    Thank you to all who are and will be part of this.

  • Jen Roytz

    This is a GREAT move forward for our industry. While many of the comments listed are good points, the TAA is a starting point for taking action. Give them a chance to get organized, gather momentum, understand ALL they’re dealing with and work out the inevitable kinks. 

    Thank you to all who are and will be part of this.

  • Teri107

    At least they are getting together to really try and do something about these issues. The horse is the main attraction,gives his/her/ all,  and they have had little or no voice from ppl. in this matter for generations. Hope it helps.

  • Teri107

    At least they are getting together to really try and do something about these issues. The horse is the main attraction,gives his/her/ all,  and they have had little or no voice from ppl. in this matter for generations. Hope it helps.

  • JC

    THANK GOD there is some continued effort to address this issue.  Full agreement with Ms. Matthews above and PLEASE would people understand that horses no longer ride-able are valuable, too.  Even with the economy, many people out there can still afford to keep companion horses, and I recently read a beautiful story where an elitist, crabby group of dressage types critically picked apart a truly ride-able mare at an OTTB rescue; stating, paraphrased, that she just did not have enough “competitive edge”…BUT, and wonderfully, the very sweet and flexible mare went home with a dear and committed family as a companion horse for their little girl with special needs, who had been devastated by the loss of another long-time horse friend.  Give these horses a chance, even if some form of riding is not their “thing”. 

    Prayers for all involved…set up the PayPal and a lot of people like me will donate, whenever there’s money left over after giving to the 4 other rescues on my “card”. 

    :-)

  • JC

    Please, anyone that can, give $$ to LOPE.  They are trying to recover after the recent flash-flooding near Bastrop, TX.  FYI I don’t represent them, I just give. 

    http://www.lopetx.org

    THANK YOU

  • NY Owner

    You are right on JC.  Last year I placed a 4yo filly who fractured her knee with a wonderful family that uses her for giving their 3 young girls pony rides.  The track vet recommended euthanization.  We are fortunate enough to be able to rehab our own and rested her 8 months before finding her a second career in a forever home, however humble it might be.

  • RayPaulick

    Thanks to all of the industry groups that have joined together in support of this effort, both from a financial standpoint and by showing their resolve to move this issue to the forefront.

    To those who have already begun to question motives or structure of the TAA, I just don’t get it. Is this not what so many of you have been asking the industry to do? This is a time to support the effort to provide an industry-funded aftercare program; it is something that cannot happen without structure.

    So please give these men and women some credit for getting to this stage and encouragement to keep moving in a positive direction on behalf of the horses.

    • zraces

      Ray, right on. The model that CARMA uses in California, has helped many rescues and retraining farms with grants.  Very little administration expense, the rescues are there and getting some much needed help. Not enough, never enough, but on a national scale with mandated funding, this will help There are some really good people driving this, and all are on the same page. It is all about the horse. No politics, no grandstanding. 
       Your readers have valid concerns, and I’m sure all suggestions to the group will be appreciated. But this is a huge step in the right direction, and we should support, not demean it.

    • http://Bellwether4u.com James Staples

      AMEN BROTHER BEN!!!…ty Ray…

  • RayPaulick

    Thanks to all of the industry groups that have joined together in support of this effort, both from a financial standpoint and by showing their resolve to move this issue to the forefront.

    To those who have already begun to question motives or structure of the TAA, I just don’t get it. Is this not what so many of you have been asking the industry to do? This is a time to support the effort to provide an industry-funded aftercare program; it is something that cannot happen without structure.

    So please give these men and women some credit for getting to this stage and encouragement to keep moving in a positive direction on behalf of the horses.

  • NY Owner

    This is very exciting!  I love Frank L’s idea of 1/2 % of takeout.  I’d also support a similar deduction from purses.  Now I’m wondering, I’m an owner, trainer, breeder and a foster home.  How do I get involved beyond donations?  I’d like to see some folks on these boards that aren’t gozillionaires.

    • RayPaulick

       There are people on this board who are not gozillionaires and have been devoting countless hours to getting this done for no other reason than it is the right thing to do.

      • NY Owner

        That is great news.  Thanks Ray for championing this story!

  • NY Owner

    This is very exciting!  I love Frank L’s idea of 1/2 % of takeout.  I’d also support a similar deduction from purses.  Now I’m wondering, I’m an owner, trainer, breeder and a foster home.  How do I get involved beyond donations?  I’d like to see some folks on these boards that aren’t gozillionaires.

  • Barb3000

    The only reason  any of these organization  are offering  to help in any way is because the more the public finds out what happens to these horses the more the public will not support the sport any longer.  There are billboards going up all over the country  with two horses on it with the words in large letters STOP SLAUGHTERING US. The organization that is sponsoring these billboards with donations is getting hundreds of emails from the public that seen them saying that they had no idea horses were sent out of the country  to be slaughtered for human consumption in Europe and that means off the track thoroughbreds.

    • RayPaulick

      Does it really matter “why” they are taking action now? Again, let’s be encouraged that something good is being done and throw our support behind TAA. These meetings began last June and encompassed a broad cross-section of the industry. The people I know who have been involved are doing it because it is the RIGHT thing to do, not the politically correct thing.

    • Upstart

      Finally these organizations are!  What is the AQHA doing?  The Paint Association? How about the Paso Fino folks?  And while we’re at it what is the position on slaughter of the national vet association??  Private TB groups have been working hard to do right by these gallant horses for a long time with very little.  It’s nice to see our “industry leaders” finally step up…we’ll all be watching for the follow through.

    • tfly

      Barb, thanks for posting about Stop Slaughtering Us.   I was unaware of the effort, and will become a supporter. 
      RAY- why not do a feature on this??  Perhaps it would get picked up by the general media, and compel those outside of the horse industry to action.   Thanks.

    • equine

      Barb, I support the ban of horse slaughter and transport to slaughter.  As you may know 16% of the horses slaughtered in Can&Mex are TBs but what about the other 84%?  The entire horse slaughter industry needs to the target we can unite against.

      Whether it is good business or a moral conscience is irrelevant to me.  We are all passionate about the horses and their welfare but we cannot allow our differences to detract from our common goals.

  • Barb3000

    The only reason  any of these organization  are offering  to help in any way is because the more the public finds out what happens to these horses the more the public will not support the sport any longer.  There are billboards going up all over the country  with two horses on it with the words in large letters STOP SLAUGHTERING US. The organization that is sponsoring these billboards with donations is getting hundreds of emails from the public that seen them saying that they had no idea horses were sent out of the country  to be slaughtered for human consumption in Europe and that means off the track thoroughbreds.

  • Gail Hirt

    I agree that it is a wonderful start.  It needs to start with the breeder of these horses.  Anyone that receives any money from a particular horse is responsible for its future after racing.  Many of us in thoroughbred rescue have been bailing out these people for years taking in these horses regardless of their condition.  I do agree with Mary that euthanization stations need to be set up for these horses that are broken and can’t be fixed.  I personally have 5 in my barn that came off the track with injuries and are no more than trail horses.  One of them, the owner that made the most money with him did help to get him off the track financially, but the money that has been put into him since then, is 5 times that amount in less than 2 years. 

    • Upstart

      Lets start with the stallion owners.

  • Gail Hirt

    I agree that it is a wonderful start.  It needs to start with the breeder of these horses.  Anyone that receives any money from a particular horse is responsible for its future after racing.  Many of us in thoroughbred rescue have been bailing out these people for years taking in these horses regardless of their condition.  I do agree with Mary that euthanization stations need to be set up for these horses that are broken and can’t be fixed.  I personally have 5 in my barn that came off the track with injuries and are no more than trail horses.  One of them, the owner that made the most money with him did help to get him off the track financially, but the money that has been put into him since then, is 5 times that amount in less than 2 years.

  • RayPaulick

    Does it really matter “why” they are taking action now? Again, let’s be encouraged that something good is being done and throw our support behind TAA. These meetings began last June and encompassed a broad cross-section of the industry. The people I know who have been involved are doing it because it is the RIGHT thing to do, not the politically correct thing.

  • RayPaulick

    There are people on this board who are not gozillionaires and have been devoting countless hours to getting this done for no other reason than it is the right thing to do.

  • zraces

    Ray, right on. The model that CARMA uses in California, has helped many rescues and retraining farms with grants.  Very little administration expense, the rescues are there and getting some much needed help. Not enough, never enough, but on a national scale with mandated funding, this will help There are some really good people driving this, and all are on the same page. It is all about the horse. No politics, no grandstanding. 
     Your readers have valid concerns, and I’m sure all suggestions to the group will be appreciated. But this is a huge step in the right direction, and we should support, not demean it.

  • http://www.GumTreeStables.com/ Larry Ensor

    As a person who has been harping on this for a number of years now I see a great step in the right direction. It may or may not be perfect, time will tell. And so will the details when they come out. People, it may not be a prefect sky but it is far more then a patch of blue. And I totally agree with Ray lets look for the good in this. Yes, the industry contributes to the problem but it is far from the major contributor. Other breeds, breeders, owners, contribute far more then the Thoroughbred industry does. But the Thoroughbred industry is unfairly painted as the poster child. What exactly are they doing? The question is not meant to be sarcastic.

  • http://www.GumTreeStables.com/ Larry Ensor

    As a person who has been harping on this for a number of years now I see a great step in the right direction. It may or may not be perfect, time will tell. And so will the details when they come out. People, it may not be a prefect sky but it is far more then a patch of blue. And I totally agree with Ray lets look for the good in this. Yes, the industry contributes to the problem but it is far from the major contributor. Other breeds, breeders, owners, contribute far more then the Thoroughbred industry does. But the Thoroughbred industry is unfairly painted as the poster child. What exactly are they doing? The question is not meant to be sarcastic.

  • Upstart

    Lets start with the stallion owners.

  • Julesbekker

    As a past owner/rider of second career thoroughbreds in South Africa I know how easily they can transition to successful second careers. Aftercare is a moral requirement because these magnificent animals bring so much to the industry they support. I’m very heartened by this call to action and I truly hope that this effort will receive the support of the entire industry, along with that of competitive riders and enthusiastic amateurs.

  • Julesbekker

    As a past owner/rider of second career thoroughbreds in South Africa I know how easily they can transition to successful second careers. Aftercare is a moral requirement because these magnificent animals bring so much to the industry they support. I’m very heartened by this call to action and I truly hope that this effort will receive the support of the entire industry, along with that of competitive riders and enthusiastic amateurs.

  • Upstart

    Finally these organizations are!  What is the AQHA doing?  The Paint Association? How about the Paso Fino folks?  And while we’re at it what is the position on slaughter of the national vet association??  Private TB groups have been working hard to do right by these gallant horses for a long time with very little.  It’s nice to see our “industry leaders” finally step up…we’ll all be watching for the follow through.

  • Julesbekker

    Sorry – another comment. After reading through all the comments, both pro and con I see that there is truth in EVERY point of view. I do want to say however, that despite the conflict and obvious (and understandable) frustrations, every movement in the right direction is a good one. And if ALL the people who care co-operate for the good of the horses, the right decisions will inevitably be made. If there is in-fighting the best possible result will never be achieved. So, pull together folks, forge bridges, make friends and imagine, just for a minute, what can be achieved by your joint efforts.

  • Julesbekker

    Sorry – another comment. After reading through all the comments, both pro and con I see that there is truth in EVERY point of view. I do want to say however, that despite the conflict and obvious (and understandable) frustrations, every movement in the right direction is a good one. And if ALL the people who care co-operate for the good of the horses, the right decisions will inevitably be made. If there is in-fighting the best possible result will never be achieved. So, pull together folks, forge bridges, make friends and imagine, just for a minute, what can be achieved by your joint efforts.

  • Bec

    BLOODY FANTASTIC!!! Well done.. now let’s see Australia follow suit!

    • joe

      Microchip all horses and track them throughout their lives. Open triage stations at all tracks and training centers. Mandate that all unwanted horses be officially relinquished by owners at triage stations where they would be treated humanely. Network their placement with accredited retirement/rehab facilities and buyers/adopters/foster farms. No more letting race horses falling through the bloody cracks. The TAA is a fantastic idea! Hopefully its funding will be adequate.  I don’t care what the principal motive is as long as the industry is changing for the better. Passing reforms to improve equine welfare and safety, offering transparency re. equine health records, boosting integrity and quality racing by banning hand-to-mouth gyp racing and all drugs not genuinely used for therapeutic purposes within 4 weeks of racing because only healthy and fit horses should run would shrink the rate of season and career ending injuries and thus help manage the size and cost of the retirement/rehab/retraining/adoption/euthanasia program along with greatly improving the reputation and popularity of the industry.

  • Bec

    BLOODY FANTASTIC!!! Well done.. now let’s see Australia follow suit!

  • Ruth_eg58

    This is a good start to making sure these horses have the care they need,,, many people take on ex race horses and like myself are happy to put the time and money into them but they do have some different needs to other horses ie,, my horse is on the way to becoming an excellent hack but I find it difficult to find someone who knows her needs to help the public also need to know where to go for help if they willing to take on a ex race horse. I dont want to let her go to a trainer ie give her away but would appreciate knowing where to get the help

    • equine

      I know exactly what you mean Ruth.  We have rehomed a number of TBs and the biggest challenge over the years is finding someone who knows how to provide top notch care as well as the skills needed to work with the horse and its new owner.  We now use one particular trainer extensively.  It would be great if a forum could be created as part of this program (or another) or some kind of listing service for new owners as a reference.

  • Ruth_eg58

    This is a good start to making sure these horses have the care they need,,, many people take on ex race horses and like myself are happy to put the time and money into them but they do have some different needs to other horses ie,, my horse is on the way to becoming an excellent hack but I find it difficult to find someone who knows her needs to help the public also need to know where to go for help if they willing to take on a ex race horse. I dont want to let her go to a trainer ie give her away but would appreciate knowing where to get the help

  • joe

    Microchip all horses and track them throughout their lives. Open triage stations at all tracks and training centers. Mandate that all unwanted horses be officially relinquished by owners at triage stations where they would be treated humanely. Network their placement with accredited retirement/rehab facilities and buyers/adopters/foster farms. No more letting race horses falling through the bloody cracks. The TAA is a fantastic idea! Hopefully its funding will be adequate.  I don’t care what the principal motive is as long as the industry is changing for the better. Passing reforms to improve equine welfare and safety, offering transparency re. equine health records, boosting integrity and quality racing by banning hand-to-mouth gyp racing and all drugs not genuinely used for therapeutic purposes within 4 weeks of racing because only healthy and fit horses should run would shrink the rate of season and career ending injuries and thus help manage the size and cost of the retirement/rehab/retraining/adoption/euthanasia program along with greatly improving the reputation and popularity of the industry.

  • SteveG

    This is a very promising development, taking shape on a wide scale, that seeks to correct a fundamental flaw in the business of racing.

    I believe the industry will discover, if the reality of aftercare lives up to the promising press release, a significant hurdle will be removed that currently keeps many potential fans of the sport away.

    Good for ex-racehorses & good for the business of racing in the long-term.
     
     
     

  • SteveG

    This is a very promising development, taking shape on a wide scale, that seeks to correct a fundamental flaw in the business of racing.

    I believe the industry will discover, if the reality of aftercare lives up to the promising press release, a significant hurdle will be removed that currently keeps many potential fans of the sport away.

    Good for ex-racehorses & good for the business of racing in the long-term.
     
     

  • http://Bellwether4u.com James Staples

    GREAT NEWS!!!…GET N IT TOGETHER???…ty…

  • http://Bellwether4u.com James Staples

    GREAT NEWS!!!…GET N IT TOGETHER???…ty…

  • http://Bellwether4u.com James Staples

    AMEN BROTHER BEN!!!…ty Ray…

  • Caroline

    Hey Frank, I think we should also tax all homophobic, horrible, trainers and commentators on this site 1/2 of one percent. Why not? They tax me with their continual repetitions of how GREAT and IMPORTANT their opinions are? They also tax my local media with their outrageous homophobic contributions which I really don’t need to read. How about it Frank L?

  • Annetrule

    Wonderful to see a co-ordinated effort to enhance the post racing life of these magnificent animals. Well done. I can only hope the Australian Racing authorities and the Thoroughbred industry here take note of your achievement.

  • Annetrule

    Wonderful to see a co-ordinated effort to enhance the post racing life of these magnificent animals. Well done. I can only hope the Australian Racing authorities and the Thoroughbred industry here take note of your achievement.

  • tfly

    This is great.  For those that have questions- look at this as a process in which the bugs can be worked out.  The horses win! 

  • tfly

    This is great.  For those that have questions- look at this as a process in which the bugs can be worked out.  The horses win! 

  • Rachel

    Great!! Now. let’s see the JC step up promotong the breed as more than a race horse that needs rescuing after its done racing.

    PS While we’re at it, how about taking care of the blue-collar humans who work so hard taking care of these atheletes.

    • Highgunner

      To Ray’s point, we should be very happy as a community that the TAA is formed.

      To Rachael’s point, you are right. The JC or other organization should be promoting the breed more. Seeing more efforts in this area from Three Chimneys, NTRA, Paulick Report and others but we need more. For us at the Thoroughbred Education Foundation, Inc, it is our passion for the breed that drives us to make a difference.

      Ken Lian, DVM (@Highgunner)
      President Thoroughbred Education Foundation, Inc.

      • equine

        Ken, Thanks for forming the TEF.  Please let us know when your website is up. 

        IMHO, we all need to come together in supporting the TAA.  At times, it has seemed like an insurmountable problem but those of us with a passion for the breed can help in making it a reality by promoting not only the breed but TB welfare.  We cannot hide from the public the reality that many of our horses have been tossed away like garbage; that is already a well known fact.  But we can do is step forward and say we are taking steps to correct the past with this program.  One of the simplest and most cost effective means to achieving our goals is to enlist the help of racetracks and simulcasting centers.  A short video segment shown multiple times daily on the closed circuit tvs costs almost nothing.  It could explain about the program and how to make a donation, promote available horses, and feature local rehoming locations where someone could go to learn about acquiring a TB.   Many, many years ago, our parents would drag us along to the harness races.  In every program, there was a short story about a famous horse.  For a young child, those personal stories of famous horses were a treasured insider’s view and led to a lifetime involvement with both standardbred and thoroughbred horses.  It’s a simple low cost idea but easy enough to utilize in rehoming OTTBS by promoting famous pedigree bloodlines even 4-5 generations back.  

  • Rachel

    Great!! Now. let’s see the JC step up promotong the breed as more than a race horse that needs rescuing after its done racing.

    PS While we’re at it, how about taking care of the blue-collar humans who work so hard taking care of these atheletes.

  • Highgunner

    To Ray’s point, we should be very happy as a community that the TAA is formed.

    To Rachael’s point, you are right. The JC or other organization should be promoting the breed more. Seeing more efforts in this area from Three Chimneys, NTRA, Paulick Report and others but we need more. For us at the Thoroughbred Education Foundation, Inc, it is our passion for the breed that drives us to make a difference.

    Ken Lian, DVM (@Highgunner)
    President Thoroughbred Education Foundation, Inc.

  • NY Owner

    That is great news.  Thanks Ray for championing this story!

  • tfly

    Barb, thanks for posting about Stop Slaughtering Us.   I was unaware of the effort, and will become a supporter. 
    RAY- why not do a feature on this??  Perhaps it would get picked up by the general media, and compel those outside of the horse industry to action.   Thanks.

  • R.A.C.E. Fund, Inc.

     At last, the beginning of a united effort amongst some in thoroughbred racing industry to start to address racehorse retirement or what some may call after care.  However, many questions remain concerning the structure of this new organization and who all will be involved.    Fundraising is fine but is it is not going to raise enough funds for racehorse retirement and rehabilitation on an ongoing basis. There still needs to be mandatory substantial perpetual funding mainly from a percentage of the purse structure and mandatory fees from breeders, etc. In addition, all of the horses must be addressed, not just the soundest ones and there must be monitoring of the facilities and horses.  Quick turnover programs do not provide the safety net mechanisms that need to be in place for the horses to ensure their safety down the road.  Furthermore, there must be fair and equal participation for horse rescue/facility and horse advocacy organizations to participate and not just a select few Each step toward a better future for the horses and their safety and welfare is a positive  step in the right direction. A united effort is always better than a divided one.
    At last, the beginning of a united effort amongst some in thoroughbred racing industry to start to address racehorse retirement or what some may call after care.  However, many questions remain concerning the structure of this new organization and who all will be involved.   
     
    Fundraising is fine but is it is not going to raise enough funds for racehorse retirement and rehabilitation on an ongoing basis. There still needs to be mandatory substantial perpetual funding mainly from a percentage of the purse structure and mandatory fees from breeders, etc. In addition, all of the horses must be addressed, not just the soundest ones and there must be monitoring of the facilities and horses.  Quick turnover programs do not provide the safety net mechanisms that need to be in place for the horses to ensure their safety down the road.
     
    Furthermore, there must be fair and equal participation for horse rescue/facility and horse advocacy organizations to participate and not just a select few
     
    Each step toward a better future for the horses and their safety and welfare is a positive  step in the right direction. A united effort is always better than a divided one.

  • R.A.C.E. Fund, Inc.

    At last, the beginning of a united effort amongst some in thoroughbred racing industry to start to address racehorse retirement or what some may call after care.  However, many questions remain concerning the structure of this new organization and who all will be involved.    Fundraising is fine but is it is not going to raise enough funds for racehorse retirement and rehabilitation on an ongoing basis. There still needs to be mandatory substantial perpetual funding mainly from a percentage of the purse structure and mandatory fees from breeders, etc. In addition, all of the horses must be addressed, not just the soundest ones and there must be monitoring of the facilities and horses.  Quick turnover programs do not provide the safety net mechanisms that need to be in place for the horses to ensure their safety down the road.  Furthermore, there must be fair and equal participation for horse rescue/facility and horse advocacy organizations to participate and not just a select few Each step toward a better future for the horses and their safety and welfare is a positive  step in the right direction. A united effort is always better than a divided one.
    At last, the beginning of a united effort amongst some in thoroughbred racing industry to start to address racehorse retirement or what some may call after care.  However, many questions remain concerning the structure of this new organization and who all will be involved.   
     
    Fundraising is fine but is it is not going to raise enough funds for racehorse retirement and rehabilitation on an ongoing basis. There still needs to be mandatory substantial perpetual funding mainly from a percentage of the purse structure and mandatory fees from breeders, etc. In addition, all of the horses must be addressed, not just the soundest ones and there must be monitoring of the facilities and horses.  Quick turnover programs do not provide the safety net mechanisms that need to be in place for the horses to ensure their safety down the road.
     
    Furthermore, there must be fair and equal participation for horse rescue/facility and horse advocacy organizations to participate and not just a select few
     
    Each step toward a better future for the horses and their safety and welfare is a positive  step in the right direction. A united effort is always better than a divided one.

  • Audreyd1

    Long overdue. I am so happy to hear this. I just hope that the needs of the rescues who pick these poor OTTBs up off feedlots and at auction will be well supported.

  • Frangipanihorses

    would love to see something like this happen in Australia – we have regularly taken in horses from the racing industry lately that have been given to well meaning people who run into trouble with them,  to help them adjust after they have been given away to people who do not understand the specific and special needs and care required to help these horses adjust to their new lifestyles.  It is no good the RSPCS stepping in and say all owners are not feeding them when the horse is crashing due to total change of lifestyle.  Most of the horses don’t even know how to graze in a large paddock and have been stabled and handfeed every day of their life.

  • http://www.facebook.com/andreacun Andrea Cunningham

    I wish that we could start funding these programs by putting an extra dollar on all licenses, including vets, blacksmiths, grooms exercise riders jockey owners etc. They all make money from these great animals and should help with their aftercare. Its a way to get everyone involed.

    • equine

      Everyone licensed person in the media should be required to contribute at least a small amount annually.  Amounts in the range of $5-25 for hotwalkers through trainers as well as racetrack vendors on the front and backside, anyone asking for media privileges etc.  The sales companies should jump on board as well for every consignor, bloodstock agent, transportation company, veterinarians, etc.  Every one of these individuals’ livelihoods is dependent upon the racing and or breeding industry. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/andreacun Andrea Cunningham

    I wish that we could start funding these programs by putting an extra dollar on all licenses, including vets, blacksmiths, grooms exercise riders jockey owners etc. They all make money from these great animals and should help with their aftercare. Its a way to get everyone involed.

  • equine

    Everyone licensed person in the media should be required to contribute at least a small amount annually.  Amounts in the range of $5-25 for hotwalkers through trainers as well as racetrack vendors on the front and backside, anyone asking for media privileges etc.  The sales companies should jump on board as well for every consignor, bloodstock agent, transportation company, veterinarians, etc.  Every one of these individuals’ livelihoods is dependent upon the racing and or breeding industry.

  • equine

    Ken, Thanks for forming the TEF.  Please let us know when your website is up. 

    IMHO, we all need to come together in supporting the TAA.  At times, it has seemed like an insurmountable problem but those of us with a passion for the breed can help in making it a reality by promoting not only the breed but TB welfare.  We cannot hide from the public the reality that many of our horses have been tossed away like garbage; that is already a well known fact.  But we can do is step forward and say we are taking steps to correct the past with this program.  One of the simplest and most cost effective means to achieving our goals is to enlist the help of racetracks and simulcasting centers.  A short video segment shown multiple times daily on the closed circuit tvs costs almost nothing.  It could explain about the program and how to make a donation, promote available horses, and feature local rehoming locations where someone could go to learn about acquiring a TB.   Many, many years ago, our parents would drag us along to the harness races.  In every program, there was a short story about a famous horse.  For a young child, those personal stories of famous horses were a treasured insider’s view and led to a lifetime involvement with both standardbred and thoroughbred horses.  It’s a simple low cost idea but easy enough to utilize in rehoming OTTBS by promoting famous pedigree bloodlines even 4-5 generations back.

  • equine

    I know exactly what you mean Ruth.  We have rehomed a number of TBs and the biggest challenge over the years is finding someone who knows how to provide top notch care as well as the skills needed to work with the horse and its new owner.  We now use one particular trainer extensively.  It would be great if a forum could be created as part of this program (or another) or some kind of listing service for new owners as a reference.

  • equine

    Barb, I support the ban of horse slaughter and transport to slaughter.  As you may know 16% of the horses slaughtered in Can&Mex are TBs but what about the other 84%?  The entire horse slaughter industry needs to the target we can unite against.

    Whether it is good business or a moral conscience is irrelevant to me.  We are all passionate about the horses and their welfare but we cannot allow our differences to detract from our common goals.

  • equine

    Owners need more awareness that keeping noncompetitive horses in training increases the risk for injury and seriously compromises the horse’s chance at a second career.  Most trainers are not making much if anything on their day rate.  If an owner can think forward for his horse, he/she will often be able to secure a safe spot at a reputable rescue/adoption facility if they are willing to donate those saved last 3-4 months of training fees to help support the horse.

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