Beginning on February 1, racehorse owners registered in the state of New York will be required to watch a video detailing responsible aftercare practices, according to ABC News 10 in Albany.
Presented by the New York Horseracing and Gaming Commission, the video is hosted by track announcer Larry Collmus and features Michael Blowen of Old Friends, Jack Knowlton, managing partner of Sackatoga Stables, the ownership group of Funny Cide, Hall of Fame trainer Nick Zito, Kelly Holt of Sunshine Stables Retraining Program, Lisa Molloy of ReRun Thoroughbred Retirement, Andy Belfiore and Rick Schosberg of the TAKE2 program and others.
The video starts by offering an overview of the life cycle of a racehorse – both a Thoroughbred and a Standardbred – and highlights the fact that a horse's racing career often accounts for just 1/3 or less of the animal's lifespan. A variety of known horse personalities discuss the issue of proper racehorse retirement, the funds needed by aftercare organizations and how they are used to transition racehorses to riding horses and the many different programs available for racehorse retraining. The video discusses the many options for post-racing care of Thoroughbreds, as well as the responsibility racehorse owners have to care for their horses once they are no longer successful on the track.
“People spend a lot of money on these well-bred horses [at the sale or when a racehorse is young and full of promise]. Put a little of that away for that horse later in life,” says Michael Blowen in the video.
Zito follows that idea up with his view that it is a racehorse owner's responsibility to follow a horse, even after they are no longer the owner of the horse, throughout its career and help it to retire once the time comes for its career to conclude.
Trainer Nick Zito, Michael Blowen and others talk specifically about the idea of having a pension plan for each horse that passes through an owner's stable, so that the money can then be put toward that horse's retirement and retraining. Others in the video talk about the many options horses retired from the track have for productive second careers once their time on the track concludes, and also of the importance of retiring the horse before an injury occurs in order to give the horse the best chance at productivity and longevity throughout the rest of its live.
The entire video, which runs 12:32, can be viewed on YouTube.
Read more about the new regulation at ABC News 10.
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