At the close of the second Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit in March 2008, the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation and The Jockey Club, underwriters and hosts for the event, released eight recommendations, developed by the working groups that participated in that summit held in Lexington, Kentucky.
Recommendation #7 reads: “Find solutions for unwanted Thoroughbreds.”
Two years later, at the 2010 Summit, the fate of Thoroughbreds post-racing was still a concern, but the focus and the language had changed dramatically. Among the recommendations emerging from that summit was, “Transitioning Thoroughbred Racehorses to Second Careers.”
And two years after that, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association’s Mike Ziegler stood in front of those assembled at the 2012 Summit and introduced them to the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance, the first industry-wide initiative to support the care of Thoroughbreds who could no longer race.
In the three years since that announcement, the TAA has brought together sales companies, consignors, Thoroughbred buyers, and breeding farms to fund Thoroughbred retirement, retraining, and adoption. In an industry that seldom finds common ground, the TAA is slowly but surely uniting its myriad stakeholders in a purpose with which few can quibble: making sure that retired racehorses have safe, comfortable, productive lives in the decades they are likely to live when their racing days are over.
Continue reading at Thoroughbred Racing Commentary…