The Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation announced Jan. 26 that it signed a non-binding letter of intent to relocate as many as 600 horses from facilities throughout the United States to the care of Thoroughbred breeder-owner Tom McKenna at his 45,000-acre Cucharas Ranch near Walsenburg, Colo.
According to the announcement, McKenna’s proposal would help the TRF fulfill its mission and significantly reduce costs. TRF said further negotiations and detailed onsite review of the ranch, which is deed-restricted from development for at least 60 years, are scheduled in the near future.
TRF, which last year acknowledged financial problems had resulted in delayed payments to some of the farms caring for the more than 1,000 horses under the organization’s auspices, has seen a recent increase in overall financial contributions to the charity.
In addition to its regular stream of contributions, the TRF said it has received major new donations and payments from Darley Stud, The Jockey Club, New York Thoroughbred Breeders, and private donors totaling more than $350,000. Thoroughbred owner and breeder Paul Saylor also has agreed to match any financial gift to the TRF, up to $50,000, to spur additional support.
“Notwithstanding a difficult economic environment, all of the major stakeholders and many prominent sportsmen in the Thoroughbred breeding and racing community have rallied around the TRF and collectively taken steps to ensure the future financial stability of the TRF and the success of the TRF mission,” said John Moore, chairman of the TRF in a statement. “I am enormously grateful to everyone who has shown unflagging support for the TRF and the important work we do.”
“It’s gratifying to see that so many leading industry participants are actively supporting our work and addressing the difficult and important issues posed by caring for retired Thoroughbred racehorses who gave us all so much pleasure and excitement during their brief racing careers,” said TRF president Mike Lakow.