September 3, 2015
The subject of aftercare is fresh on my mind as the NY Thoroughbred Breeding and Development Fund mails nearly $3.2 million in award money following the conclusion of the fourth period (July and August) of 2015. The amounts below reflect 90% of the awards generated by your horses. The Fund imposes a 10% holdback on awards in order to ensure that all earners can be paid at an equal rate throughout the year; we expect to return the holdback in full in early 2016.
_________$ Awarded (90%) # of Awards
Breeder 2,293,223.02 1,311
Stallion 545,221.80 702
Owner 359,719.92 204
Total 3,198,164.74 2,217
The Fund’s state-bred award program is widely recognized as the best in the country. I hope you help set the example for other states by thinking about how you can help provide a useful life for your racehorse when he’s ready to leave the track.
On September 1, the NYS Gaming Commission conducted a summit on retired racehorses to provide a platform for retraining and rescue organizations to compare ideas on aftercare solutions for both Thoroughbreds and Standardbreds.
While NYS can boast that the Finger Lakes Thoroughbred Adoption Program is a great example of how racetracks can help transition racehorses from the track to a second career, one speaker noted that it can only take in sound horses.
There was widespread consensus among the summit’s attendees that horsemen need to transition racehorses before their problems become so severe that they will prevent a useful retirement that could last 25 or 30 years.
Some organizations, such as ReRun, do have the means to provide a let-down period for racehorses followed by skilled training that makes them desirable as adoptees. In fact, ReRun has announced that it will be opening a second location in NY. New Vocations is expanding its facility in Pennsylvania, and it estimates that 25% of the horses it helps come from the New York circuit. The Thoroughbred Retirement Fund continues to provide a haven for horses whose post-track ailments may make retraining impossible.
The Fund has supported many of the presenting organizations at Tuesday’s program through promotional spending, including Akindale Thoroughbred Rescue, Equine Advocates, Finger Lakes Thoroughbred Adoption Program, Old Friends at Cabin Creek, ReRun and TRF/Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation. Since 2011, the Fund has also encouraged the grassroots efforts that led to the All Thoroughbred Classes at local horseshows ranging from Horse Heads in the Southern Tier of NYS to Berne in rural Albany County to the Saratoga Springs Horse Show in Northeast NY. We’ve also supported the NY-bred string of polo ponies ridden by the Western NY Girls Interscholastic Polo Team, and the exhibit by Thoroughbred Renaissance LLC at Equine Affaire held in Springfield, MA. And, of course, the Fund supports NYTHA’s excellent Take2 Program through our sole-source promotional relationship with the NYTB, Inc.
Since its inception, Take2 has provided hundreds of thousands of dollars in prize money for Thoroughbreds in show rings in 21 states. This has helped create significant demand for Thoroughbreds in the hunter/jumper world, thus providing new jobs for horses that may have been retired as young as two years of age.
I am proud that so many players in the NY racing industry are voluntarily setting the example in aftercare support. A special thanks to all the breeders who have retired horses in your barns and paddocks. This is a tremendous contribution to aftercare!
Ensuring that Thoroughbreds have sufficient aftercare resources will improve the public’s respect for horseracing and dispel the notion that our athletes are disposable. Through our actions we can prove that our industry respects horses at every stage of life.
Tracy Egan, Executive Director