The Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation announced the formation of the National Equine Veterinary Alliance, consisting of professionals who have agreed to provide pro bono veterinary care to Thoroughbred ex-racehorses from non-profit organizations that have been registered with, and approved by, the TRF.
Equine orthopedic surgeon Patricia Hogan, of Cream Ridge, N.J., is a TRF board member and chairman of its Veterinary Liaison Committee. “Rescue and adoption organizations are doing all that they can but are strictly limited in most cases to private monetary donations, and the goodwill of local veterinarians and vendors,” said Hogan in a release. “The TRF would like to bring some structure and organization to this problem, provide an avenue for veterinary assistance for these organizations, and at the same time, shine a positive light on the veterinary professionals already working hard to help transition these horses.
“I have thought about such a program for many years, and I am thrilled that an institution like TRF is implementing this cooperative concept of ‘giving’ to the horses on a national basis.”
The TRF primarily acts organizer of the national program, and as a liaison between approved rescue/adoption groups and cooperating veterinary practices. The criteria for being an “approved” group in this program considers many factors such as reputation, registered 501(c)3 status, and dedication to transitioning Thoroughbred racehorses exclusively.
The other responsibility of the TRF is the promotion of the works of the Alliance. “Many veterinarians already contribute tirelessly to this cause without industry recognition,” Hogan explained in a statement. “Highlighting these works will serve to promote more awareness of the issue of Thoroughbred retirement, shine a spotlight on the veterinarians’ contributions to this cause, and showcase the good work that many independent organizations are doing to transition these horses into productive second careers.”
The financial problems associated with providing care to some 1,200 retired horses that are housed at satellite farms under contract with TRF surfaced earlier this year following publication in the New York Times of an article that described some of the horses as being in poor condition. That report came as the TRF was undertaking a comprehensive veterinary inspection of its herd.
Since then, board chairman Tom Ludt and president George Grayson have called for an industry-wide meeting to identify and generate significant and stable revenue streams for the care of retired Thoroughbreds. Initial steps have been taken to engage other foundations, business leaders, institutions, and Congressional members to help organize the event. The TRF also announced May 10 that Rob Hinkle had been named the new Chief Executive Officer of the organization.
For more information about TRF’s National Equine Veterinary Alliance, contact Matthew Williams, MWilliams@thoroughbredretirement.org, (859) 246-3080.