Organizers of the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation gala held Aug. 7 in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., said the event raised about $500,000 through ticket sales and an auction of stallion seasons and travel packages.
More than 600 people attended the event, organizers said.
“It was rewarding to see the whole industry come together for this event,” said Thoroughbred owner Earle Mack, who co-chaired the event. “We had tables of leading jockeys, tables of trainers, and tables of racehorse owners and breeders all united because everyone who benefits from this sport is starting to understand we have a responsibility to the horses.
“We did not solve the problem but we did restore confidence in the TRF to lead in rehabilitating, retraining, and re-educating racehorses.”
During the event Mack presented owner, breeder, and racetrack operator Frank Stronach with the inaugural Earle Mack Retirement Foundation Champions’ Award for his leadership in starting the first in-house retirement program at Adena Springs Farms. Each of Stronach’s retired racehorses is evaluated to determine whether they should be rehabilitated or retrained.
Mack noted Stronach also partnered with horsemen at Gulfstream Park and Santa Anita Park to establish retirement programs for horses.
“I am honored to receive this award, especially from Earle, who has been a real champion for the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation,” Stronach said. “Each of us has a responsibility to see that our horses are cared for after racing. When some in the sport do not meet their responsibility, then it is up to the rest of us to support programs like the TRF that serve as a safety net.”