NYTB’s aftercare drive raises $14,000

Saturday, April 3rd, 2021

NYTB logoBy Melissa Bauer-Herzog

The New York Thoroughbred Breeders Inc.’s annual aftercare drive posted record-breaking returns as members donated $14,000 to four different New York-based Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance-accredited organizations.

The $14,000 was more than double the second largest amount in the drive’s history, that coming in 2019 when $6,225 was raised. The donation was split between four organizations –$5,000 to ReRun Thoroughbred Adoption and $3,000 each to the Thoroughbred Retirement Fund, Akindale Thoroughbred Rescue and Finger Lakes Thoroughbred Adoption.

Many members of the NYTB are not only breeders but participate in other parts of the horses lives, so making sure they are cared for after their racing or breeding career is over is of upmost importance to the organization.

“The majority of our members are breeders, but many also foal, break and train the Thoroughbreds that compete in New York and across the nation,” said NYTB President Thomas J. Gallo III. “As breeders of these amazing athletes many of us become quite attached to the foals that we deliver and the families that we cultivate over generations of a bloodline. Many of us like to know that when a horse leaves our care whether it be through auction sales, private sales or claiming ranks that they’re still properly cared for.

“As an organization, we want to ensure that all equine athletes that compete continue to receive the best care possible when they retire from racing. We know our members appreciate that which is why we’ve been able to raise the money we have each year for this cause.”

Selection the organizations who receive the money every year is an involved process for the NYTB board. First researched by the executive director, the programs are then discussed by the board during a December meeting.

“All aftercare programs in the state are eligible and researched by our executive director, but of course we take into account which programs are accredited by the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance,” Gallo said. “Once our evaluations are made, we vote as a board on which programs will receive donations and for how much.”

The donations made by the NYTB membership is then matched by fellow NYTB members Michael Lischin and Anya Sheckley of Irish Hill and Dutchess Views Farm. Gallo credits the pair for helping the aftercare drive make such a big impact every year.

“They both have their finger on the pulse of the industry and this is an important part of their continued participation in our great state-bred program,” he said. “We wouldn’t be able to make the impact we’re able to on a yearly basis without their matching donation. They are one prime example of those who are willing to support our industry in any way they can and take action to do so. We are extremely lucky and thankful to have their support.”

For Finger Lakes Thoroughbred Adoption, the donation will go to helping the horses with both regular and unexpected medical needs. The $3,000 donation will help pay those bills until June.

Finger Lakes Thoroughbred Adoption President Kim Delong noted that donations make up 12.5% of their yearly budget with it costing approximately $12,000 per month to care for the horses that enter the program.

“We are very grateful for the support of the New York Breeders, we would not be able to be as successful as we have been this past year with 49 adoptions of mainly New York-breds,” Delong said. “Especially with the pandemic in 2020 and now leading into 2021, this donation will allow us the ability to make sure each retired Thoroughbred that comes into our program has the proper care they need to be able to transition into their new career or forever home. We know also that we can count on the NYTB should we have questions regarding a certain problem.”

ReRun Thoroughbred Adoption’s Program Director Lisa Molloy said their $5,000 donation was a welcome surprise. The program had to curtail its fundraising activities in 2020 even with its costs rising. With feed rising $4 a bag just in the past month, Molloy said the donation will go directly to a local hay supplier.

“The basis of our program is a good feed regimen and we firmly believe that the horses should have good quality forage 24-7,” she said. “Not only does it do wonders for weight gain, it relieves boredom and prevents ulcers. We use over 500 bales per month and just like feed, hay is at a premium at the moment. We are very fortunate that we have a local hay dealer named Mike that has kept us stocked with very good quality hay despite the shortage and at the same time, done everything possible to keep it reasonably priced. The NYTB donation will be used to buy two loads of locally grown New York hay.”

Molloy credits New York breeders not only for helping the program with this donation but also through other actions. From fundraising to volunteering, she said NYTB members are critical to keeping the program running.

“They say it takes a village to make a difference and NYTB is our village,” she said. “From the board to the membership, they have been so supportive and really embraced the program. We have had syndicates such as Parting Glass and Dream Maker independently raise funds, members volunteer and support events, local farm Irish Hill & Dutchess Views Farm provide new paddocks. As the official voice of the Thoroughbred industry in New York, NYTB have done so much to advocate for the safe retirement of horses in our state.”

The Thoroughbred Retirement Fund is mostly funded by private donations so the $3,000 it received goes a long way toward taking care of the TRF herd. TRF Executive Director Pat Stickney noted that the donation is just one of many things NYTB has done to help the program through the years.

“The NYTB has been a good partner in promoting our organization and helping raise awareness on Thoroughbred aftercare,” Stickney said. “We are extremely grateful for their contribution and any support we receive as that goes directly towards the care of the horses. We are looking forward to continuing to work with the NYTB in 2021 to have a meaningful impact on the herd under our care.”

For Gallo, the NYTB supporting New York’s aftercare programs is a no-brainer. The programs play a big part in making sure the horses continue to be cared for as they transition to a second career. As an added bonus, many of the aftercare organizations also keep connections apprised of how their horses are doing in second careers.

“It’s nice to know that these generations of babies that we deliver whether they are big winners, unraced or champions that they can look forward to being loved and cared for the rest of their lives,” he said. “That alone makes a difficult day a little easier to get through. We are sincerely grateful to all the accredited retirement organizations that we donate to and my only wish would be that we could give more.”

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