A Thoroughbred enjoys a new career with the Square Peg Foundation, one of the TAA-accredited Thoroughbred charities. Photo courtesy TAA

OTTB charities join the growing TAA ‘network’

As part of a growing effort by the Thoroughbred industry to take care of retiring racehorses coming off the track, eight Thoroughbred charities were just recently added to a growing network of facilities deemed to have met the “high bar” of best practices and standards for Thoroughbred aftercare. Following on-site inspections of both horses and farms, the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance welcomed eight Thoroughbred charities into the fold for the first time, as well as 19 previously accredited charities. The designations bring the total number of TAA-accredited Thoroughbred charities to 64, says Stacie Clark Rogers, operations consultant. The accreditation, which indicates […]

Valerie Ashker, 60, finished a six-month, 3,300-mile ride on her OTTB Primitivo this weekend. Ashker and Peter Friedman road from California to Virginia to raise awareness about OTTBs. Photo by and courtesy Tylir Penton

OTTBs complete ‘ride of a lifetime,’ cross USA

Nearly six months since setting out from California —on horseback— to tackle the ride of a lifetime across the United States, Valerie Ashker and Peter Friedman completed the 3,300-mile journey last weekend at Virginia’s Middleburg Training Track. Ashker’s daughter and four-star Eventer Laine Ashker wept with joy, as friends, family and supporters gathered to welcome the tired travelers, and thousands more watched online, as the two unflappable Thoroughbred ex-racehorses trotted onto the track as if they’d just come in from a hack. Glistening in good health, and sporting robust figures, Primitivo, 7, and Solar Express, 17, carried Ashker and Friedman […]

Diana Pikulski has been a champion for the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation and its horses for decades.

Pikulski: All horses matter, deserve happiness

Diana Pikulski’s unwavering commitment to 825 ex-racehorses in the care of the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation is, in part, an extension of her core belief in the sanctity of animal life, a powerful feeling dating back to childhood and a memory of lamb slaughter. She was 12 years old when she and her family visited a farm to buy ducks, and she unexpectedly saw lambs being slaughtered. Decades later, she vividly recalls the scene that changed her life. “I became a vegetarian after that, because once I made the connection between what I saw that day and the food on my plate, I said, this is not food for me,” […]