season of giving is upon us and I would like my gift to be that the Horse
Racing Nation community will join together to make a significant statement
about the importance of racehorse retirement.
all appreciate the grace, beauty, and competitive fire of the thoroughbred. We
all get a great deal of enjoyment from horse racing. In December, during this
holiday season, I would like all of us to seriously consider making a gift to
one of the thoroughbred retirement organizations. Think about how much we spend
on gifts for our loved ones. Now, let’s set aside some money, at least
something for the horses.
is always outrage when we hear the story of a horse like Monzante, the former California grade one stakes winner who
was euthanized at Evangeline Downs this year. However, for every Monzante there
are countless other horses that slide down the claiming ladder and go unnoticed
at tracks around the country. So many horses disappear without public
I have included profiles of five retirement organizations that I have
financially supported over the years. I am not wealthy by any means. I have a
family, mortgage, and car payments like everybody else, but I have always found
some money to send to these retirement groups.
Retirement organizations will not survive without the financial help
from all of us. Now it is our turn to make a difference and support one of
these groups or another of your choosing.
The Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation is
one of the very first thoroughbred retirement groups having been founded in
1983. From the beginning TRF has had a dual mission combining the care of
racehorses with the rehabilitation of prisoners. Today, close to 1,000
thoroughbreds are retired on their farms and at correctional facilities in 10
states prisoners are improving their life skills.
ReRun was founded in 1996 and
believes that when thoroughbreds’ racing days are over, they don’t need to be
sent to auction or slaughter but can be retrained to pursue second careers with
their adoptive families. ReRun has farms in NJ, NY, and VA. Horse Racing Nation
Managing Editor Brian Zipse is a
member of the ReRun Board of Directors.
The Exceller Fund was formed by a group of
racing fans in September 1997, three months after Exceller was killed in a
slaughterhouse in Sweden. Exceller had career earnings of $1,654,003 and won 11
grade one races on the grass and on the dirt in the US and Europe. Exceller lost his life because he was
no longer useful as a stallion.
The Our Mims Retirement Haven focuses their efforts on the care of thoroughbred
mares. Their name came from their first retiree, the multi-grade one winning
Calumet Farms mare, Our Mims. In
addition they recently acquired one of my favorite horses, the 1997 Breeders’
Cup Sprint champion, Elmhurst.
Old Friends operates thoroughbred retirement centers in
Kentucky and near Saratoga Springs, NY. They now have 130 horses, most of them
stallions whose racing and breeding careers came to an end. The farm attracts
nearly 20,000 tourists annually to meet stars like Gulch, Sunshine Forever,
Commentator, and Rapid Redux, along
with Zippy Chippy, who failed to break his maiden in 100 tries.
am asking that after you have made a decision that you share your pledge in the
comment section and that this one time we reserve the comment section for
pledges only. Just let us know which organization will receive your check, it
is not necessary to include the dollar amount. Be sure to click on the links
for further information and to find out how to send your money to the groups.
me make the first pledge:
promise that I will make a contribution the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation
in December 2013.
advance I thank you for being part of Horse Racing Nation’s effort to make a
difference for the horses that give us so much enjoyment throughout the year.