The Thoroughbred Adoption and Retirement Association (TARA), which assists and accredits organizations that find new homes for former racehorses, has sanctioned its first five groups. They are the Glen Ellen Vocational Academy of California and the New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program in Ohio, plus TARA's co-founders California Equine Retirement Foundation, Days End Farm Horse Rescue, and ReRun. The national association is a 501 (c) 4 non-profit organization based in Kentucky.TARA was formed to establish, apply, and monitor standards of accreditation for Thoroughbred adoption and retirement organizations, to serve as a liaison to the Thoroughbred industry to facilitate charitable assistance to retired Thoroughbreds, and to promote the versatility of the Thoroughbred breed."With the growing number of owners and trainers seeking assistance placing their ex-racehorses, we felt that the time is now to lend guidance to new adoption and retirement programs, and to establish standards for those already in existence," said veterinarian Dr. Nathan Slovis, vice-president of TARA. "This should offer a level of security to all involved parties-donors of horses, people seeking to adopt a horse and the Thoroughbred industry, which is the major source of funding for most adoption and retirement organizations."Founding board members include Slovis of Hagyard-Davidson-McGee equine hospital, attorney Chip Cameron, and financial analyst Rick Bowman who also form the accreditation committee.Adoption and retirement groups applying for accreditation must submit financial and legal documents, which are required by the IRS as a matter of public record. A veterinary check of the farms also is required to insure quality care of the horses retired or waiting to be adopted.TARA is negotiating "benefits" for groups that are accredited, which may include discounts with feed suppliers, insurance companies, veterinarians and tack and supply stores, links on the TARA website, and exposure in all TARA brochures.For more information, call (859) 865-4577.