Jockey Club, industry organizations increase support of Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance

Jockey Club/TAA press release:

 

Starting on January 1, 2013, The Jockey Club will increase fees by $25 for nearly all registry-related transactions, including foal registrations, and these funds will be provided to the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (TAA).

 

The TAA is an organization designed to serve as both the accrediting body for aftercare facilities that care for Thoroughbreds following the conclusion of their racing careers and a fund-raising body to support these approved facilities.

 

The Jockey Club’s board of stewards made this decision based on its determination that the TAA’s mission and activities are consistent with The Jockey Club’s Thoroughbred aftercare objectives.

 

In coordination with The Jockey Club of Canada, funds raised from Canadian customers of The Jockey Club will be directed to Canadian Thoroughbred aftercare organizations to supplement on-going aftercare activities for Canadian Thoroughbreds.

 

Additionally, The Jockey Club will contribute $300,000 in 2013 to the TAA from its commercial companies and will maintain the voluntary retirement checkoff option on foal registrations for owners and breeders to continue those Thoroughbred aftercare contributions.

 

In addition to the retirement checkoff program, The Jockey Club’s other retirement initiatives include Tattoo Identification Services, Thoroughbred Connect and the Thoroughbred Incentive Program.

 

The change from $200 to $225 to register foals of 2013 will be the first change since 2000 when the standard, or on-time, registration fee changed from $175 to $200. At that time, DNA typing replaced blood-typing and the entire breeding stock population was retested. Foals of 2012 registered within one-year from their actual foaling date will be grandfathered at the $200 level.

The Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance also announced Thursday that several industry groups, including 13 prominent breeding farms in Kentucky, two racetracks of the Stronach Group, the California Retirement Management Account (CARMA), Keeneland Association, Fasig-Tipton, Barretts Equine Limited and Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company (OBS), have developed plans to provide funds beginning in 2013 to support the TAA’s mission to accredit and raise funds for Thoroughbred aftercare facilities.

 

“This is an important first step, and we are grateful to these organizations for their commitments,” said Jack Wolf, President of the TAA. “We are hopeful other industry stakeholders will follow their lead in this important endeavor.”

 

The TAA received seed money from Breeders’ Cup, Ltd., The Jockey Club and Keeneland Association and some of those funds will be used for initial site inspections and accreditations planned for the last few months of 2012.

 

“Our objective is to develop sustainable funding from all points on the life cycle of the Thoroughbred from breeding and registration to sales, racing and all points in between, including veterinary care and transportation,” said TAA Executive Director Mike Ziegler. “Thanks to the seed capital generously provided by Breeders’ Cup, The Jockey Club and Keeneland Association, and ongoing administrative and technical support from the National Thoroughbred Racing Association and The Jockey Club, virtually all of our 2013 contributions will be directed straight to the horses—which is as it should be.”

Thirteen prominent Kentucky breeding farms (see list below) have pledged to the TAA a payment in the amount of 25% of each of their stallions’ advertised stud fee, effective with the 2013 breeding season. Breeders’ Cup Limited has agreed to facilitate the collection of fees contributed by all stallion owners. BCL will also implement a fan contribution initiative surrounding the November 2-3 Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Santa Anita Park.

Keeneland, Fasig-Tipton, Barretts and, OBS, beginning with the 2013 sales calendar, will enable buyers and consignors to automatically contribute .05% of their respective purchases or gross sales directly to TAA.  The sales companies will contribute an additional .05% from their gross sales receipts as well.  For those who do not wish to participate in the program, there will be a voluntary opt-out provision.

In addition, the TAA board announced that it has met in recent weeks to discuss sustainable fund-raising strategies with a broad cross section of industry organizations including Breeders’ Cup, New York Thoroughbred Horsemen Association and owners of stallions standing in New York, California and Florida.  Meetings with racetracks and other trade associations, representing jockeys, regulators, trainers and owners, will be held later this year to encourage the broadest possible participation.

 

“Everything we do in this industry begins and ends with the horse,” said Jimmy Bell, President of Darley America. “It’s time for the industry to make a tangible, long-term commitment to Thoroughbred aftercare, and I am proud of these 13 stallion farms in central Kentucky that have done just that.”

 

“We are proud to support the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance and feel strongly about its mission,” said James L. Gagliano, President and Chief Operating Officer of The Jockey Club. “These very modest financial commitments at various checkpoints in a Thoroughbred’s career will make a significant difference in giving our equine athletes the lives and second careers they deserve after their racing days are over.”

 

“We feel that establishing an automatic mechanism by which to fund aftercare is both the right thing to do and the only way to do it right,” said Boyd Browning, President of Fasig-Tipton. “Our customers on both sides of every purchase share a common love for Thoroughbreds, and this systematic approach makes it easy for all to do their part in a fair and equitable manner.”

 

“The fundamental principle behind this initiative, and our entire industry, should be to do what is best for the horse.  That is truly the impetus behind our willingness to not only provide seed capital to this organization, but also be a sustaining member  with the widespread support of our consignors and buyers, to ensure there is a continued emphasis on aftercare, new careers and other programs for our very special athletes,” stated Bill Thomason, President/CEO of Keeneland Association.

 

“We are proud to support the TAA,” said Kim Lloyd, General Manager of Barretts Equine Limited. “We want to do right by the horses. They are at the heart of everything we do.”

 

“OBS is delighted to join the many industry organizations stepping up on behalf of Thoroughbreds,” said Tom Ventura, President of OBS. “We are pleased at the breadth of commitment being demonstrated today.”

 

“As one of the initial funders for the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance, Breeders’ Cup supports the development of an industry-wide, annually funded program committed to the placement or second-career retraining of retired Thoroughbreds on a national scale,” said Bob Elliston, Chief Operating Officer of Breeders’ Cup Ltd. “Thoroughbreds deserve to be treated in a dignified manner throughout their lives.”

 

“We believe strongly in the mission and spirit that is guiding the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance,” said Mike Rogers, President of The Stronach Group. “The TAA represents a unique opportunity for our industry to work together in providing second careers and aftercare to these extraordinary athletes. It also is another step in insuring that every Thoroughbred will be treated with dignity and decency throughout its entire life.”

Kentucky breeding farms pledging 25% of its stallions’ advertised, 2013 stud fee to the TAA:

Adena Springs

Airdrie Stud

Castleton Lyons

Darby Dan Farm

Darley

Gainesway

Hill ‘n’ Dale

Millennium Farms

Pin Oak Stud

Taylor Made

Vinery

Walmac Farm

WinStar Farm