PTHA Approves Retirement Program

Turning for Home will accept horses from owners and trainers at Philadelphia Park.

The Pennsylvania Thoroughbred Horseman's Association unanimously approved the formation of Turning for Home, a Thoroughbred retirement program for trainers and owners at Philadelphia Park Casino & Racetrack.

Sponsored and managed by the PTHA with support from Philadelphia Park, the program will begin accepting horses May 19. Philadelphia Park is the first year-round racetrack to offer such a program.

“It is imperative that horses which are finished racing have better alternatives for retirement than to be sent through livestock auctions, and ultimately sent to slaughter,” Michael Ballezzi, executive director of the PTHA, said in a statement. “It is our hope that by basing our program right here at the track, our trainers and owners will feel more secure in the knowledge that their horses are going to be well cared for when they are finished racing.

“The PTHA is also pleased to announce that Barbara Luna has been named as administrator of our program. She brings to Turning for Home a wealth of experience and knowledge of the racing industry, as well a background in public relations and fundraising. Her passion for both racing and the welfare of the Thoroughbred horse when it is time for his retirement will be of great benefit to the organization.”

Luna, formerly executive director of ReRun, also worked for the Standardbred Retirement Foundation after many years acting as television host for Thoroughbred racing simulcast shows.

Turning for Home will place racehorses with rescue and adoption organizations that are run under guidelines established by the American Association of Equine Practitioners.