Rescue Fund

 

What happens to a thoroughbred when its racing career is (or should be) over? Many are made to keep competing in cheap claiming races when they are not able to successfully do so. Even more are merely turned into a field with no care, companionship or social worth. Some are sold to "killers" to be slaughtered for human consumption overseas.

 

Over the past decade, much progress has been made in raising the level of consciousness of owners to their responsibility for the welfare of their horses when these equine athletes' racing days are over. Many organizations such as New Vocations, Old Friends, Rerun, and the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation have been established to ensure that retired horses are cared for and live out their lives with dignity and free from pain and stress.

 

Button Down RacingMuch remains to be done. In a unique and hopefully trend-setting program, Button Down Racing pools five percent of all its partnerships' earnings to be used to claim or privately buy any of its former horses which are found to be neglected, abused or headed for the "scrap heap."

 

We monitor horses that we have lost in claimers— or privately sold— for as long as possible to try and prevent our former equine "partners" from having to endure running three times a month in $2500 claimers— able or not. When we find an "old pal" in need of help, money from the Rescue Fund is used to claim or purchase the animal. He or she is then evaluated to determine into which credible retirement or retraining program the horse should be placed and then donated to that organization.

 

BDR's Rescue Fund is maintained primarily to claim or negotiate the purchase of former BDR horses. We cannot directly come to the aid of all thoroughbreds. But by "taking care of our own," we set an example that will at least indirectly help with the universal problem of the unwanted horse.

 

The cost is minimal and is equitably spread among all partners; the more a particular partnership earns, the more money that partnership contributes to the fund. If a horse and its owners are not winning money, no contribution is made.

 

It should also be noted that Button Down encourages its members to consider donating a declining horse to a retraining program rather than "dumping" them in cheap claiming races. The financial burden of this is minimal considering there are 12-15 partners among whom the cost is spread.

 

The days of the disposable horse are numbered. Button Down Racing wants to do its part to keep those numbered days to a minimum.

 

<Happy Endings!>

 

Trainer

 

 

Button Down Racing
2000 Warrington Way
Suite 155
Louisville, KY 40222
502 326-9217
michael@buttondownracing.com

 

Copyright © 2008 Button Down Racing. All right reserved.