Ambassador Earle Mack responds to TRF concerns

by | 03.22.2011 | 7:56am

Earle Mack, the former ambassador to Finland during the administration of George H.W. Bush, has been a Thoroughbred owner and breeder for nearly a half-century. His philanthropic work has benefited people from all walks of life, but it also extends to the Thoroughbred world.

Ambassador Mack wrote the following letter for distribution to various publications in response to last week's article in the New York Times about the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation.

The New York Times article, March 18, about the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation (TRF), illuminated many troubling issues in animal rescue and retirement.
While I have not served on the board of the TRF, I do contribute money to it and have confidence in the people involved.
The majority of charities today are struggling with reduced funds in a down economy, however, the daily cash flow needs of a rescue and retirement organization can mean life and death to the animals in their care.
It is easy to say the TRF should have made timely payment to the farms caring for the horses. That is true, but those of us who give to the foundation, should also realize in the current environment some people are cutting back, so those of us who can, need to give more.
I will double my contribution to the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation, as both a show of support to the well-intended people who work hard every day, and for the horses whose humane care and lives depend upon our generosity.
I've been in racing and breeding for more than forty-eight years. Most racehorse owners are responsible. When their horses no longer race, they retire them to a farm or work with adoption and retirement programs. However, like some pet owners who fail to meet their humane obligation, some horses must be rescued and then responsibility falls on all the rest of us.
Let's not rush to judgment about the TRF.  They are people who are trying to do the right thing. We hope Joe Drape's piece will serve the purpose of galvanizing and motivating all participants in the proud sport of horse racing and move us onward and upward.
Earle I. Mack
Former chair, New York Racing Commission
Former trustee, New York Racing Association

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