Saratoga Springs pledges to help OTTBs

Diana Pikulski, center, vice president of the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation, and Mayor Yepsen announce the city of Saratoga Spring's stewardship of racehorses.

Diana Pikulski, center, vice president of the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation, and Mayor Yepsen (holding proclamation) announce the city of Saratoga Spring’s stewardship of racehorses.

PRESS RELEASE—The City of Saratoga Springs, N.Y., under the leadership of Mayor Joanne Yepsen, will become the first city to address responsible racehorse stewardship in an official city pledge.

Beginning in 2015, in recognition of the impact that horse racing has on the economic vitality and quality of life in Saratoga Springs, the City will join Racehorse Aftercare Charities of Saratoga, an alliance of local charities involved in racehorse aftercare and retirement.

Through this initiative, the City of Saratoga pledges to increase awareness of racehorse aftercare among its residents, businesses and tourists and foster ways that these groups can engage with and support the local retired racehorse organizations.

Thoroughbred charities united under the umbrella of Racehorse Aftercare Charities of Saratoga.

Thoroughbred charities united under the umbrella of Racehorse Aftercare Charities of Saratoga.

Among the ways the City will advance this initiative will be to include racehorse aftercare as part of the tourism draw to the city, encourage local events to promote racehorse aftercare, and to encourage beneficiaries of racing in Saratoga to develop sustainable plans to assist local charities with aftercare. The City will also encourage the Saratoga Springs public school system to include racehorse aftercare as part of a humane education curriculum.

“There is no question that Saratoga’s economic vitality is strongly influenced by horse racing,” Yepsen said. “Saratoga Springs is proud to be a racing community and grateful to the Thoroughbreds and Standardbreds who enhance our quality of life. The least we can do for the horses that work so hard for us is embrace the cause of aftercare. The City is honored to lead this charge.”

“The New York Racing Association is fully committed to equine advocacy and aftercare for our all-important and beloved thoroughbred athletes,” said New York Racing Association Community Relations Manager Joanie Omeste. “We are proud to support the charitable programs most closely aligned with our industry and encourage all those who benefit from this great sport to support these magnificent athletes in their retirement years.”

Old Friends at Cabin Creek has also joined with the Saratoga charity.

Old Friends at Cabin Creek has also joined with the Saratoga charity.

On Sept. 4, the New York Racing Association has invited the five aftercare charities who are collaborating in this initiative to join together at the Community Outreach Booth at Saratoga Race Course to educate thousands of guests and collect donations to support their causes. On Sept. 5, the 5K “Run for the Horses” to benefit participating local racehorse retirement charities will take place in SPA State Park.

“Racehorses are a part of the fabric of Saratoga all year – not just in the afternoons during August.” said Suzie O’Cain a board member of the New York Thoroughbred Breeders and the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation. “Saratoga is home to breeders, owners, retirement and retraining organizations and horse lovers who are actively engaged with these wonderful horses every day. We all want to be sure that racehorses have great homes after racing. So we applaud the efforts of Mayor Yepsen and we are excited to see where it leads.”

The Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation has helped lead the charge to form a Saratoga-based racehorse charity uniting aftercare organizations.

The Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation has helped lead the charge to form a Saratoga-based racehorse charity uniting aftercare organizations.

Racehorse Aftercare Charities of Saratoga; a coalition of charities based in Saratoga dedicated to providing quality off the track life alternatives for retired racehorses.

Participating groups include ACTT Naturally, contact Valerie Buck at 570-578-6377; Heading for Home Racehorse Retraining and Adoption, contact Joe Battaglia at 518-265-3539; ReRun at North Country Horses contact Amanda Vance at 518-441-5959; Old Friends at Cabin Creek, contact JoAnn Pepper at (518) 698-2377; Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation, contact Diana Pikulski at 518-226-0028; and Saratoga War Horse contact Katherine Pelham at 518.886.8131.

Contact Saratoga Springs Mayor Joanne D. Yepsen at 518-587-3550 or www.saratoga-springs.org. For more information contact: Diana Pikulski at the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation 518-226-0028.

5 responses to “Saratoga Springs pledges to help OTTBs”

  1. Lynne Jones

    God Bless All that is working on this effort. I hope one day we will see all horses that get hurt and aren’t what their breeders think they should be will find a rescue or new home with a loving family. This is a dream of mine, but unfortunately I don’t have the funds to make it happen. I save horses too but wish I could save many, many more. One day, I hope that there will be no BLM killing horses by chasing them with helicopters, no horses dying being locked up in corrals in hot desert areas, and all wild horses being able to stay with their families on their home ranges. They are America’s icons, and they deserve this. And all breeders should be responsible for all the horses they bring in this world, by following their racing careers, and when they need help, they are required to step in and take care of them until a new loving home is found

  2. Dana Linker

    Grand Idea! Go baby GO!

  3. Jan Berman

    Finally a huge indication that our education and awareness efforts are working! This is just wonderful and hopefully leads to more racing municipalities working to raise awareness of the needs of these wonderful athletes. I especially like the education in the schools. This gives us a whole new generation with an entirely new outlook and understanding of the importance of these animals and their care. Kudos Saratoga Springs!

  4. tiggy1998

    As they should! The large OTTB Rescue and aftercare Organizations have the benefit of Press while smaller concerns, such as mine and 100’s of others, scrimp to keep the lights on while caring for our Horses. They all have fabulous Pedigrees but at least 2, one is a great granddaughter of ‘Secretariat’ is a Lifer with me as I refuse to release a horse to a new home if I can still see pointy hip bones. She has gastric ulcers and now is being treated by diet. I am glad that Saratoga is picking up the slack, it is great for the Horses!

  5. Marilyn Lee-Hannah

    Fabulous!

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