Cross-posted from the BloodHorse.com
Written by Tom LaMarra and Esther Marr
BLOODHORSE (Jul. 13, 2010) — A growing network of horse rescue operations, anti-slaughter policies at racetracks, and other industry equine welfare initiatives have taken root in Thoroughbred racing, but keeping track of where horses go when they’re finished racing remains a serious challenge.
Volunteers do a lot of the work developing contacts at tracks and looking out for horses before they are shipped off the grounds, perhaps to local livestock auctions or kill pens. They said their efforts, however, can be stymied by weak regulation and penalty enforcement.
“We’re just out there trying to help horsemen because we understand that racing is a business, and we understand that when a horse needs to leave the track, it needs to leave the track,” said Ali Conrad of CANTER Mid Atlantic. “If they don’t have an avenue by which to advertise or find the horse a new home, what do they do? They really get in a jam.
“What is most frustrating is that we have people that are willing to work at lots of tracks in this country, and we can’t even get management to speak to us. You have to have a license to be on the backside, and we don’t want to operate without the support of the track.”
CANTER visits some tracks on at least a weekly basis. There are three to five leader volunteers per track per weekend, with 10-30 people assisting them periodically.
Through their network, the individuals can keep track of potential retirees. But once horses leave the stable area without proper documentation, they can be hard to find. Read entire article >>