Council & Associations
NEW Thoroughbred Retirement program opens in South Florida
|Wellington, FL - The Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association (FHBPA), with the support of Gulfstream Park, Calder Race Course and the South Florida jockey colony, recognizing the need for a South Florida based Thoroughbred retirement program, has formed TRAC, a retirement, retraining and placement group dedicated to horses that end their racing careers at one of the two race tracks.
TRAC (Thoroughbred Retirement and Adoptive Care), also has strong support from professional jockeys who race in Florida and throughout the United States, industry professionals, businesses and horse lovers. Horses entering the TRAC program receive hands-on care, professional retraining and the chance for a second career. The program strives to find suitable adopters and homes for every horse. Many retired Thoroughbreds move on to second careers in the show world as hunters, jumpers, eventers or dressage horses. Some achieve success on the polo field, on trails, in therapeutic riding programs or simply as loving companions.
"Our efforts depend on a strong alliance between race tracks, industry officials, horsemen, owners, trainers, jockeys and fans," said Phil Combest, TRAC Advisory Committee member, race horse owner and FHBPA official. "The racing industry is demonstrating its support through purse contributions and annual donations. But we need everyone's to make sure all our retired horses receive basic care, retraining, and veterinary care," continued Combest.
The program requires that potential adopters are screened and provided with a legal adoption contract. Affordable adoption fees vary per horse. After a horse is placed in an adoptive home, TRAC continues to monitor their progress and care.
"At no time in the history of our sport has the racing industry been more involved in the aftercare of our equine athletes," added Celia Scarlett Fawkes, whose racing stable includes 2010 Breeders' Cup Sprint champion horse Big Drama. Fawkes, a TRAC Advisory Committee member said the group's main goal is "to make sure that no Thoroughbred is ever turned away from the program to face an uncertain future or tragic death."