We Care About Racehorses – And Their Aftercare
Horse owners racing throughout the state make a contribution to the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance for every start their horses make, amounts that are matched by the commonwealth’s five racetracks. The TAA is an industry-wide collaboration funded by the racing and breeding industry’s stakeholders. The TAA, whose creation was spearheaded by Kentucky HBPA member Jack Wolf, founder of Starlight Racing, accredits racehorse retirement, retraining and adoption organizations — and then provides grants to those programs. Kentucky has 10 accredited organizations.
“Racehorses are good to us, and we owe it to be good to them once their racing days are over,” says Kentucky HBPA executive director Marty Maline. “There is no finish line with aftercare, the mission is never over to make sure every racehorse has a safe and secure home following the racetrack. But the industry has made huge strides.
“Thoroughbreds are amazing and versatile athletes who are increasingly finding success as performance horses and creating demand in the show ring. Thousands of our off-the-track thoroughbreds happily adapt to slower-paced lives as trail-riding horses and provide companionship to their owners. We welcome horse enthusiasts to learn more from the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance about owning a retired racehorse.”
Beyond a structured program to get funding to deserving aftercare programs, horsemen work hard to find safe, secure homes when their horses retire. A shining example is $2.17 million-earner Brass Hat, who raced 40 times spanning seven seasons before tiring at age 9. Brass Hat, co-owned and bred and trained by Buff Bradley, made a successful transition to the show ring and remains a fan favorite while living out his life at Buff’s Indian Ridge Farm in Frankfort, Ky.
More Kentucky Resources
There are 10 Kentucky accredited facilities. KY’s TAA-sanctioned operations:
- Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance
- CANTER Kentucky, Louisville
- Central Kentucky Riding for Hope, Lexington
- Kentucky Equine Humane Center, Lexington
- Maker’s Mark Secretariat Foundation, Lexington
- New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program, Lexington
- Old Friends Equine, Georgetown and Kentucky Downs
- Our Mims Retirement Haven, Paris
ourmims.org, sanctuary for mares
- Second Stride
Crestwood SecondStride.org rehab/adoption
- Susan S. Donaldson Foundation/Mereworth Farm
http://www.horseadoption.com/1200-acre-mereworth-farm-preserved-for-unwanted-equines-and-retired-racehorses/ Lexington, sanctuary
- The Exceller Foundation, Lexington
excellerfund.org sanctuary, rehab, adoption, other
Photos this page: Brass Hat winning Keeneland’s Sycamore at age 9 / Brass Hat on display at Ellis Park with Buff Bradley and jockey Calvin Borel / Brass Hat in the show ring