Edited from Keeneland Press Release--The Keeneland Foundation, in partnership with the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association, Thoroughbred Charities of America, Starquine, and the Casner Family Foundation, announced Oct. 26 the results of a hurricane relief effort launched during the September Sales. To date, $1,036,676 has been raised to assist in relief efforts following the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina in late August of 2005. TOBA chairman and WinStar Farm co-owner Bill Casner and his wife, Susan, challenged the Thoroughbred industry by offering to match up to $1-million raised during the September Sale at Keeneland. Funds committed during the sales netted $518,338 with the largest donations coming from the proceeds of a Starquine stallion season auction that netted more than $142,000; a $100,000 donation from Bob and Beverly Lewis; $57,412 from Keeneland and Keeneland employees; $50,000 from Louisiana horseman Thad Ackel; $50,000 from TCA; $25,000 from Taylor Made Farm, and $13,027 from TOBA. The Casner matching pledge swayed many to donate to the Keeneland relief fund. "We got a number of calls from some of the larger donors asking how we planned to distribute the funds," said Fran Taylor, executive director of the Keeneland Foundation, "and all mentioned that the Casner challenge had motivated them to give more and to choose this particular vehicle." Proceeds will be distributed to the following areas and organizations: Equine Welfare - $110,446 (LVMA Equine Committee - Horse Hurricane Relief; AAEP - Hurricane Katrina Horses; USEF Hurricane Katrina Equine Fund); Animal Welfare - $11,500 (Best Friends and Noah's Wishes); Human Services - $690,334 (American Red Cross, Catholic World Mission, Catholic Charities, Community Foundation of South Alabama, Baton Rouge Community Foundation, Greater New Orleans Community Foundation, Foundation for the Mid South); Louisiana Thoroughbred Industry Relief - $224,336 (Louisiana HBPA).Some disbursements have already been made, but it is expected that the balance will be made in November for this phase of the hurricane relief effort. Committed proceeds are still coming in from a number of sources.
A second and final phase of the relief effort will be completed after the sale of two stallion seasons from Fusaichi Pegasus and Elusive Quality that have been donated to the Fasig-Tipton Fall Selected Mixed Sale in November. The Casner Family Foundation will also match the proceeds from those sales. "I am greatly encouraged," said Bill Casner of the relief effort. "Our membership continues to remember and support."