Not many people give much thought as to what becomes of racehorses once their horse racing careers are over. They simply see a horse racing, and after the announcement is made that a horse is retiring, people often just assume that they will be spending the rest of their lives grazing happily in green pastures. Sadly, the reality for many horses is slaughterhouses, abuse and neglect. However, organizations like the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation and the Thoroughbred Charities of America, work hard to assist retired racehorses in finding loving new homes and bringing hope to horses in despair.
As these organizations and many like them, are non-profit establishments, they depend on donations and assistance to continue their work. The Jockey Club supports these programs and their efforts, and has therefore announced the new check-off program, to help raise funds for these charities. They are encouraging horsemen to participate and lend their support to this worthy cause.
The check-off program will be administered by The Jockey Club and is asking all North American breeders and thoroughbred owners to participate. When an owner or breeder submits their applications for foal registrations, they will be able to either tick off an amount to donate to the cause, or fill in their own amount. Every dollar, up to $200,000 will be matched by The Jockey Club and handed to the Thoroughbred Charities of America to distribute accordingly. The Jockey Club will be taking the matching funds from its subsidiaries, which are InCompass Solutions Inc., The Jockey Club Information Systems Inc., The Jockey Club Racing Services Inc. and The Jockey Club Technology Services Inc.
The Thoroughbred Charities of America is the organization that does fund raising for various charitable organizations and they distribute their annual grants and extra funding between establishments that deal with retraining of racehorses, research into equine diseases, rescuing of horses, adoption, rehabilitation, retirement of horses, educational groups, riding programs and backstretch workers. The Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation dedicates their time and funds specifically to the retirement of racehorses, which incorporates retraining programs, satellite farms, adoption centers and correctional facilities programs. The check-off program is a voluntary program, but all breeders and owners are asked to support these organizations, as they care for the horses that have been discarded and forgotten by the horse racing industry.