A chestnut Thoroughbred Mare currently on a feedlot in New Jersey, is a tattooed, ex-racer earned over $ 77,000 and is a direct descendant of Secretariat.
The New York Racing Association in a published release last Thursday, announced an official anti-slaughter policy that would introduce harsh penalties for offending horsemen. The policy would also encourage horsemen to use and support horse rescue and retirement adoptive initiatives as a recourse to sending a horse to a feedlot (knowingly or unknowingly).
According to NYRA policy any owner-trainer stabled at a New York Racing Association (NYRA) track found to have directly or indirectly sold a horse for slaughter will have their stalls permanently revoked from all New York tracks.
"We are fully committed to protecting our sport's equine athletes" said NYRA president, Charles Hayward.
Other tracks have stated similar policies, however there remains little enforcement as horses every day are sent to feedlots. Currently in New Jersey (see photo above) there are three, tattooed thoroughbreds along with a couple standardbreds. In California last Saturday, six tattooed thoroughbreds were on the lot. Several yearlings from a commercial breeder where found on the lot as well. Each state can site a tattooed, ex-racer on their lots at any given time.
The language of NYRA's policy may have a loophole in it that a horsemen could stand by, and that is stating that a horse is "sold" for slaughter. Often times an offending (or again an unwitting owner or trainer) stand by their innocence due to "giving away" a horse. The three degrees of separation is evoked often when a rescue or retirement group calls a former, owner, trainer or breeder of a located horse.
While I applaud all racing associations and race tracks that take a stance against slaughter of the very horses that employ them, I am curious how each of these tracks is actually enforcing their stances?.
Nationwide 15 race tracks have adopted no-tolerance policies that bar owners and trainers. However, the vague intrepretation and the lack of transparency into these policies by interested groups, such as The Second Race when requested, leaves public knowledge and enforcement of these same policies, difficult at best.
Time well tell, in the meantime, the thoroughbred on this page desperately needs to be saved. Her "sands of time" runs out on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. EST. Donations can be sent via PayPal to firstname.lastname@example.org
POST SCRIPT: I received word today 12/13/09 at 9:49 a.m. PST, that all of the horses that were at the auction, were saved. Including the chestnut mare. This was accomplished by using social networking sites such as Facebook, and networking emails. The sole reason for creating The Second Race, was to harness technology and the modern way we communicate, to save and help horses. Glad that this one had a happy ending!