West Point Thoroughbreds has formed the Congie Black and Gold Fund, named in honor of Congie DeVito, a West Point employee who died in February 2011 due to complications from Osteogenesis Imperfecta (also known as brittle bone disease).
The new program secures retirement of past, current, and future horses bought and/or raced by West Point Thoroughbreds. Click here to learn more and to see former runners that have been successfully placed in retirement homes by our stable.
Beginning Feb. 16, financials for each new partnership formed by West Point will include a $1,000 donation to the fund. Going forward, $10 per start per horse will be drawn from the partnership to be placed into the fund on behalf of that runner’s future, while West Point will match that amount.
“Congie DeVito was our first employee,” said West Point founder and president Terry Finley. “He bravely faced his physical challenges, was a real inspiration to all of us, and absolutely loved horses--they were a huge part of his life. I can’t think of a better way to honor his memory than to secure a safe future for all runners that campaign under the black and gold.”
Financial aspects of the Congie Black and Gold Fund will be administered by the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation. These funds will go toward new homes, retraining, shipping, and daily care and maintenance for horses no longer competing on the track. All donations are tax deductible. West Point Thoroughbreds will also allocate resources to monitor horses lost by sale or claim, ensuring their safe retirement to the fullest extent possible.
“We can evaluate and analyze the horse retirement situation until the cows come home, but the bottom line is that individual owners have to step up and take complete responsibility for the horses that carry their colors,” Finley said. “In a fragmented industry, I don’t see this issue being solved on a national basis any time soon, but that doesn’t diminish owners’ responsibility to their equine athletes.”
For more information on the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation, click here.