More than 170 riders from across the Mid-Atlantic region, ranging in age from 2 to 80, took part in the sixth annual Canter for the Cause at Pimlico Race Course Sunday, June 2, to raise awareness and funds for the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (TAA).
Sponsored by the Maryland Jockey Club and The Equiery, Canter for the Cause offered participants the unique opportunity to walk, jog, canter or trot their horses over the same Pimlico main track that has hosted such champions as Seabiscuit, War Admiral, Secretariat and recent Triple Crown champions American Pharoah and Justify.
Riders were also able to walk their horses through the starting gate and have their pictures taken in the Pimlico winner's circle.
Georganne Hale, Vice President of Racing Development for the Maryland Jockey Club, was pleased with both the turnout and the level of enthusiasm shown by all Canter for the Cause participants.
“We had 12-hand ponies up to 18-hand horses. We had ex-jockeys, children and businessmen and women riding. We had all breeds of horses. It was such a great variety of people and animals,” Hale said. “It was a great event, the weather was perfect, and riders were grinning and smiling when they pulled up.
“It was great to see so many horse owners excited to ride on the historic Pimlico racetrack,” she added. “This event was on so many riders' bucket list. I want to thank everyone who helped make this a successful event.”
The Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that accredits, inspects and awards grants to approved aftercare organizations to retrain, retire and rehome Thoroughbreds using industry-wide funding. The TAA is supported by owners, breeders, trainers, racetracks, aftercare professionals and other industry groups.
Since 2012, the TAA has granted more than $13.8 million to accredited aftercare organizations, and more than 7,800 Thoroughbreds have been retrained, retired or rehomed by accredited organizations. Currently, 70 organizations with approximately 160 facilities hold TAA accreditation.
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