For so many equestrians, especially those who are horse racing fans or Thoroughbred owners, included on their bucket list is riding a horse around a racetrack. If this describes you, the Finger Lakes Thoroughbred Adoption Program is offering the chance to check that one off of your bucket list with its Ride for Retirees at Finger Lakes Race Track on Sunday, October 16.
The best part, aside from fulfilling a possibly life-long dream, is that in doing so you'll be helping retired racehorses make a smooth and successful transition to their careers after racing.
For $40, participants can ride around the racetrack at their preferred pace in a safe and fun environment, get their photo taken in the Winner's Circle by the track photographer and meet others who share their love of horses, especially Thoroughbreds.
Riders will be divided into three groups based on the speed they want to go. Group I, dubbed the Funny Cide group, will be allowed to walk, trot and/or canter their way around the track. Group II, the Tin Cup Chalice group, will walk and trot only. The Zippy Chippy group, which is Group III, will be comprised of those who prefer to stay at the walk as they navigate the racecourse. For an additional $10, riders can also choose to be escorted around the track by one of the Finger Lakes outriders.
All groups will be accompanied by outriders, who will be at the ready if anyone's horse decides to relive his or her glory days of racing and needs assistance pulling back to an acceptable pace. Participants are required to wear a helmet and safety vest and all horses shipped into the track are required to have proof of negative Coggins test and a rabies vaccination within the past 12 months.
Entries must be made in advance and the deadline to enter is Sunday, October 9th. For more information, go to http://www.fltap.org/events/.
The Finger Lakes Thoroughbred Adoption Program serves horses that retire from Finger Lakes Race Track. Located in upstate New York adjacent to the track, the facility is the result of collaboration between and funding from the Delaware North Companies (parent company for Finger Lakes Gaming and Race Track), the Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, New York State Senator Michael F. Nozzolio, the American Humane Society, Wanda Polisseni's Purple Haze Stable and others.
The facility includes the Purple Haze Center, a 10,000 square foot state-of-the-art horse barn that can accommodate up to 16 Thoroughbreds at any given time. Donated by Polisseni and named after her stable, the Center was built with the comfort of recently retired racehorses in mind and features a riding arena, turnout paddocks, two round pens, a wash stall and stall doors with fold-down fronts so horses can hang out their heads and take in their surroundings.
Jen Roytz is a marketing, publicity and comprehensive communications specialist based in Lexington, Kentucky. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, her professional focus lies in the fields of equine, health care, corporate and non-profit marketing. She holds board affiliations with the Make a Wish Foundation, Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance and the Retired Racehorse Project, among others. While she currently has no plans to build an arc, she is the go-to food source for two dogs, two cats and two off-track Thoroughbreds.
Email Jen your story ideas at [email protected] or connect with her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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