I have long been a supporter of the TRF and link to the organization several places on this site; in the summer of 2010, I visited the organization’s Wallkill facility and wrote about the program’s care of retired Thoroughbreds for The Blood-Horse. I’ve donated to the organization and attended its fundraisers, and I don’t intend to discontinue my support.
Last week, I received a copy of an open letter from the TRF board of directors, responding to the Times‘ article and Attorney General’s allegations. An excerpt follows.
I know no more about what’s going on at TRF than what I’ve read, and publishing the letter is not an endorsement of all or part of its contents; I publish it in order to offer the organization an opportunity to respond to the allegations leveled against it. As with any charitable organization, those interest in supporting it should do their own research and make their own decisions.
OPEN LETTER FROM THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
In March of 2011, the TRF was the subject of a front-page story in the New York Times, in a position and size normally reserved for the start of a war or a terrorist attack on American soil.
We now know that that factually incorrect and misleading story, and its equally prominent follow-ups, were the first salvo from the paper of record on the horse racing industry, and have now led to the Attorney General of the State of New York filing a lawsuit against the foundation and its board of directors.
The wording of the most recent New York Times story on the TRF, like all of those in its front-page horseracing series, is designed for the appearance of truth with the absolute intention of misleading the reader.
That intent is clear from the moment you look at the picture accompanying the latest attack on the TRF, which shows two horses in a field, and reads, “An emaciated horse under the care of the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation at Wallkill Correctional Facility, in Ulster County, N.Y., in February.” The photo credit is from the Ulster County SPCA.
Makes you think the TRF is not feeding its horses and that the Ulster County SPCA has swept in to save them. Right?
Want to know the true story?
Click here to read the full text of the TRF’s response and for links to vets’ reports on the horses in the organization’s care.