NYTHA Adds Per-Start Fee to Support Aftercare

Owners now paying $5 per start to the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance.

The New York Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association said owners that race at New York Racing Association tracks will donate $5 per start to the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance.

The donations began with the opening of the Belmont Park spring meet May 1. Officials said the tax-deductible donations are expected to total $100,000 per year.

"The TAA is less than two years old, and already so many members of the racing and breeding industries have stepped forward to help us get closer to our goal of providing a long-term plan for Thoroughbred aftercare," TAA board of directors president Jack Wolf said in a release. "We want to thank the New York horsemen, and their president, Rick Violette Jr., for adding their support to this important initiative.

"Because of the enthusiastic response from the owners, breeders, and trainers, as well as the stud farms, sales companies, and racetracks, what we envisioned in 2012 is approaching reality more quickly than we could have imagined."

Violette, who heads the New York THA, noted New York horsemen are active in equine aftercare with creation of the TAKE2 Second Career Thoroughbred program and the TAKE THE LEAD Thoroughbred Retirement Program.

"Five dollars per start is a small price to pay to ensure that our racehorses are well cared for when they retire from the track," Violette said. "Joining the TAA is a natural extension of our efforts on behalf of the horses. We are pleased to be able to support an organization that has, in a very short time, had a profound impact on the lives of retired racehorses."

The Lexington-based TAA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization designed to serve as both an accrediting body for aftercare facilities that care for Thoroughbreds following the conclusion of their racing careers, and a fundraising body to support these approved facilities. In December 2013 the TAA awarded $1 million to 23 accredited organizations managing 80 aftercare facilities across the U.S. and Canada.