(Edited press release)
Owner and breeder Madeline Auerbach has been named chairman of the 12-member board of directors overseeing a newly established charity fund to care for retired Thoroughbreds, the California Retirement Management Account.
CARMA was formed to help Thoroughbred rehabilitation and retirement facilities that care for and retrain horses whose careers have ended after competing in the state. A deduction of purse revenues of .3% on Thoroughbed races in the Golden State was authorized by the California Horse Racing Board in December 2007. CARMA will manage a grant request process and disburse funds to qualified retirement facilities caring for such horses.
An owner can refuse to participate by informing CARMA of the decision to opt out of the account.
Marsha Naify (vice chair), Doug O’Neill (chief financial officer), Jennifer Hagan (secretary), and Ron Charles, Drew J. Couto, Trevor Denman, Jan Hawthorne, Guy Lamothe, John Sadler, Samantha Siegel and Gary Stevens (members) were also named to the board of directors. CARMA held its first meeting at Santa Anita Park on March 20.
“For the first time, owners are stepping up to the plate and saying we need to take care of our horses – everyone’s horses,” said Naify, who is chairwoman of the Thoroughbred Owners of California, the organization that originally brought the proposal to the CHRB last summer.
Now officially a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity, CARMA is also seeking contributions.
“Even though the rule change provides for owners to opt out of the program, I feel that owners support for CARMA is strong and most will participate,” said Auerbach.
It is anticipated that other industry organizations, including trainers, jockeys and racing associations, will financially support CARMA as well. Tax deductible donations are now being accepted, and may be sent to: CARMA, P.O. Box 1086, Sierra Madre, Calif., 91025-9086. (Tax I.D. #80-0146395).
A kick-off fund-raising event – including a poker tournament and silent and live auctions – is tentatively scheduled for Aug. 21 in Del Mar. For further information, please phone (626) 574-6618.