More than 20 accredited racehorse retirement facilities will share in $1 million in grants, the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance announced Dec. 11 in Tucson, Ariz.
It's the first round of grants from the TAA, which was formed in early 2012. The 23 accredited facilities were announced earlier in December.
Madeline Auerbach, chair of the California Retirement Management Account and vice president of the TAA board of directors, made the presentation during the University of Arizona Symposium on Racing and Gaming. She indicated the TAA has come a long way rather quickly in its attempt to engage the Thoroughbred industry in supporting retired racehorses.
"Everyone who benefits from these horses has a shared responsibility," Auerbach said. "I'm proud to be a part of the TAA. It takes a small portion from every segment of the industry and uses that portion wisely."
"We're very pleased to award these grants to our accredited facilities, to recognize and support their efforts to care for our retired Thoroughbred athletes," TAA president Jack Wolf said in a release. "Since the TAA was formed nearly two years ago, many people have been working diligently to fulfill the TAA's mission of accrediting aftercare facilities and financially supporting them, and I'm thrilled to say that vision became a reality today."
Auerbach said the accreditation process is serious. Those who operate the accredited retirement facilities "went through some very rigorous times."
She also said the TAA is an example of what the Thoroughbred industry can do without government intervention and issued a warning.
"There are a lot of us who don't want the federal government to tell us what to do with our retired Thoroughbreds," Auerbach said. "We want them to stay out of our business. What needs to be done is the right thing—and we haven't always done the right thing. If we don't find a way to take care of our Thoroughbreds, the federal government will impose a way."
The TAA said the grants are the result of contributions from Breeders' Cup, The Jockey Club, Keeneland, stallion farms, sale companies, racetracks, owners, breeders, and racing fans.
Specifics of individual grants weren't immediately available.