Fourteen years ago, the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association (NYTHA) created the Take the Lead program to assist with the rehabilitation and retraining of Thoroughbreds retiring from the state's racetracks. Rick Schosberg, chairman of the NYTHA Aftercare committee, has overseen the program since its inception, reports the Thoroughbred Daily News.
Aftercare of retired racehorses has always been important to Schosberg, so when Rick Violette encouraged him to help launch the Take the Lead program, he signed on immediately. Schosberg grew up with show horses and had a farm for retired racehorses. The Take the Lead model focuses on finding retired racehorses viable second careers if they are phsyically able instead of retiring them completely to a sanctuary.
Once the Take the Lead program is made aware of a horse in need of retirement options, it can take anywhere from 48 hours to 10 days to find a place for that horse to land. Take the Lead does a full vet exam and determines which TAA-accredited facility would be the best fit for the horse. They then gather all paperwork and arrange transportation to the facility.
A donation is requested from the owner of the retiring horse and the check is written to the organization where the horse will be going. Schosberg notes that between $300,000 and $400,000 of the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association (NYTHA) budget is designated to aftercare, divided evenly between the Take the Lead program and the Take2 program, which funds prize money in Thoroughbred-only classes at rated horse shows.
However, more money is needed, specifically for horses that require longer rehabilitation times before they can move into second careers. These horses generally have come through the claiming ranks, so NYTHA negotiated that 1½ percent of all claiming prices are donated to retired racehorse aftercare. These funds are split 60/40, with the larger share going to fund Take the Lead and the remainder going to the TAA.
For more information on Take the Lead and NYTHA's in aftercare, click here.
Read more at Thoroughbred Daily News.
New to the Paulick Report? Click here to sign up for our daily email newsletter to keep up on this and other stories happening in the Thoroughbred industry.
Copyright © 2020 Paulick Report.