A lot has been made recently about thoroughbred aftercare and how it can be paid for; of all the equine “fields” the far and away leader for most expensive is the racing industry and all associated costs are equally as large. Millions are spent on wagering, auctions, races, and ticket sales with the horses that fall through the cracks often not seeing a dime of their efforts when it comes to retiring.
My proposal is a “Half a Percent” tax on ALL activities pertaining to racing: purchases/sales at auctions, tickets for big racing days or weekends, off of any wagering winnings over $1,000, and on stallion profits passed thirty mares covered.
This “half a percent” tax would create a pool of money intended only for horses that need to be rehomed outside of racing as OTTBs either for sport/pleasure riding or as pasture pals. A governing board would be established to keep track of all the horses that would be “unregistered” from the sport and to whom they would be going; money would only be dispursed if proper documentation can be provided of good living conditions and the ability to care for the horse long term can be established. This information will all be made public and easy to access for anyone wanting to find the information.
In order to receive the requested funds (the amount can be a pre-established cost for healthy horses) long-term intent to keep the horse must also be present. This is intended to help individuals rehabilitate and retrain their OTTB a little easier since the average cost to completely prepare a thoroughbred for starting a new career is roughly $3,000 (if they’re healthy).
Prior TAA registered rescues and charities will be exempt from paperwork since they undergo strict guidelines to receive the accreditation from the mentioned TAA (Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance) anyway.
The only person with access to these immediate funds will be the manager of the bank(s) the money is streamed in to and only they will be issuing the checks with a signature from the Head of the Board before it is sent to the new, proud OTTB owner.
Anyone with a known history of shipping or selling to slaughter is automatically denied funds, and will instead be provided a list of organizations that will gladly take their horse into the program and find him a good home with no cost to the “owner” or “trainer”.
This is only a jumble of thoughts right now, but would this be something that would appeal to you: the readers, the owners, the trainers, the OTTB rescues, and the fans? Let me know in the poll below and send it on to your friends. I’m interested to see how this is received.