I'm a thoroughbred supporter -- after owning Harv, how can I not be? So I was a little surprised to be 'late to the party' in learning about the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance Foundation (TAA). TAA is an accrediting and funding mechanism set up by leaders in the North American ThoroughbredRacing 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.
So what is the significance for donors?
For me, one of the best things this organization does is help potential donors to identify quality thoroughbred rescues when contemplating a donation. You can view a list of accredited organizations on their web site.
What does it mean for the industry?
It's long overdue, but the TAA brings together some of the top people in the racing industry to focus attention on the animals that they are breeding and what happens to them when their racing career is over. I'm so glad the problem is gaining visibility at the top.
Does this take care of the problem of the ex-racer?
Well, I'm no industry expert, and I'm not involved in rescues/retraining programs -- but I suspect there is a long way to go. I recall reading a book about the racing industry several years ago. There was a statistic that the average race horse owner is middle class, if that. While it's great that the folks at the highest levels of racing are paying attention, there are a lot of small timers and middle-of-the-pack trainers and owners out there. How will the TAA influence and motivate them? They need to be on board, and may not have the deep pockets to do the responsible thing.