In This Issue ▪ ▪ RRTP Releases First National Study of Thoroughbred Placement ▪ ▪ RRTP Receives TCA's Industry Service Award ▪ ▪ Pieces of the Puzzl

       
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A report released by Retired Racehorse Training Project (RRTP) is the first nationwide study of how Thoroughbred ex-racehorses are transitioned into second careers. It is based on a survey conducted in late 2013 titled Exploring the Bridge To Second Careers in which owners of 4,200 ex-racehorses from 47 states and Canada responded to 23 questions.

“The public believes that racing owners dump their retiring horses into auctions and that a lucky few get rescued and adopted,” said RRTP president Steuart Pittman.“Our survey tells a different story. Most of these horses were not rescued. They were sold or donated through networks of people both inside and outside of racing who work very hard to transition these animals.” Read more....

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At an awards dinner held at Keeneland Racecourse on Saturday, January 4, the Thoroughbred racing and breeding industry gave the Retired Racehorse Training Project (RRTP) one of its highest honors by awarding it the Thoroughbred Charities of America (TCA) Industry Service Award.

The TCA's mission is to "provide a better life for Thoroughbreds, both during and after their racing careers, by supporting retirement, rescue and research and by helping the people who work with them." The TCA's Industry Service Award is given yearly to an organization that exemplifies that mission. Read more...

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James Hastie, new executive director of the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance, with his cousin Haley Bell and her favorite OTTB, Sport

Each month, we will focus on the entities and individuals that are putting together the “pieces of the puzzle” in creating the big picture of off-track Thoroughbred training and placement. This month, we feature the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (TAA), a young organization that is making big waves. In January, they were awarded the prestigious 2013 Special Eclipse Award honoring extraordinary service, individual achievements in, or contributions to the sport of Thoroughbred racing. The Executive Director of the TAA, James Hastie, took a moment from his busy schedule to answer a few questions for us.

RRTP: Can you tell us a little more about the background and industry partners in the TAA?

Hastie: The Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance Foundation (TAA) is an accrediting and funding mechanism set up by leaders in the North American Thoroughbred Racing Industry. TAA got its start with seed money provided by the Jockey Club, the Breeders' Cup, and Keeneland Association. Jack Wolf and Madeline Auerbach, prominent owners in the Thoroughbred racing world, brought an impressive group of individuals together who represent various industry constituents, and founded TAA. Read more....

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Steuart Pittman and James Wofford

 
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Elissa Ogburn and Governor Jack

The stars shone brightly recently in Timonium, Maryland as the “Stars of the Thoroughbred Makeover” took center stage in the main arena at the hugely popular Maryland Horse World Expo in Timonium. Three of the 26 horses featured in last fall’s Retired Racehorse Training Project (RRTP) Thoroughbred Makeover performed under the critical eye of Olympian and eventing legend James Wofford.

“What impresses me the most about all three of these horses is how rideable they are in this difficult environment after only a few months of training,” said Wofford in his commentary. “All three of these young ladies are to be commended for quietly instilling the basic education that these horses need to become valuable partners in any discipline.” Read more.....

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Nuno Santos and Ken's Kitten

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Thoroughbreds Can't Get Fat, Right?

So, you’ve just brought home a retired Thoroughbred racehorse. You’ve probably heard that Thoroughbreds have a reputation for being “hard-keepers.” While this may have a basis in fact – Thoroughbreds and other light breed horses tend to have higher energy expenditures than heavy breeds or ponies – it doesn’t mean that you should expect your new horse to be thin. You can maintain a Thoroughbred ex-racehorse in good or moderate body condition according to the Henneke Body Condition Scoring scale; some may even surprise you and get downright pudgy if you’re not careful! Here are some things to keep in mind and some tips for feeding your new horse.

Horses in race training have a significantly higher requirement for all nutrients, but especially for calories. For example, a 500-kg horse (1100 lb) at “maintenance” as described by the National Research Council’s Nutrient Requirements for Horses (NRC) requires between 15.15 and 18.15 Megacalories per day in order to maintain normal body functions without gaining or losing weight.[1] the horse that just hangs around in the shelter all day needs the 15.15, whereas a more active animal that plays, moves around a lot or is just generally nervous (any of which could describe a Thoroughbred) will need the higher amount. This exact same horse, when in intense work requires 34.48 megacalories per day! ve got an active or lazy Thoroughbred, his energy requirement is basically double that of an idle horse. Read more...

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El Prado, photo courtesy of Adena Springs website

There is a saying in the Thoroughbred racing world that “class will always tell,” meaning that a horse with the bloodlines, the athleticism and the heart will usually cross the finish line first even if the odds say differently. As it turns out, that class often “tells” in second careers as well.

Take, for example, the stallion El Prado. A son of one of the most successful international sires of all time, Sadler’s Wells, El Prado was destined for greatness. A champion and Group I race winner at two in his native Ireland, he was then imported to the US to stand at stud. It was a gamble at the time, for El Prado came from a line of horses that preferred to run long and on the grass, hardly the fashion in the United States. Nevertheless, his new owner, Adena Springs Farm’s Frank Stronach, had faith in the horse’s class and supported him with mares of his own to get El Prado’s stud career launched successfully. Read more....

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