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Tuesday, January 05, 2010


Calder and the FHBPA Take the Lead in Horse Rescue and Retirement Initiatives


MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (Jan. 5, 2010) – In April of 2009, Calder Casino & Race Course and the Florida Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association (FHBPA) partnered with the Florida Thoroughbred Rehabilitation and Placement program (FTRP), a Division of Pure Thoughts Horse and Foal Rescue in Loxahatchee, Fla. Since this partnership, Pure Thoughts has accepted 36 Thoroughbreds from Calder and successfully placed 15 of them into after race life homes. In less than one year, Calder and the FHBPA have raised $132,000 to assist in funding after race life initiatives to horse welfare organizations and rescues.


In September, Calder Race Course received full accreditation and recognition by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) as demonstrating industry best practices in the areas of education and awareness of post racing care of Thoroughbreds. Additionally, beginning December 1, 2009, Calder and the FHBPA established another horse care initiative, with horsemen voluntarily electing to contribute one-third of 1% of purse earnings to assist in the after race care for Thoroughbreds. Most recently, members of the Jockeys’ Guild riding in Florida committed to allocating $1 per mount to the initiative as well.

Sam Gordon, president of the FHBPA, remarked, “We are proud of the commitments made by our horsemen and by Calder to the post-racing lives of Thoroughbreds. The issue is a responsibility of everyone in the industry and we will continue to set the standard for others.”

Calder continues to take measures to assure that horsemen participating at Calder perform at a high standard. Measures include awarding stalls and participation opportunities to those horsemen who share a common value system as it relates to after race life quality for Thoroughbreds.

Despite the collective efforts of Calder and the FHBPA, there are horsemen who have made irresponsible decisions affecting the quality of after race life for Thoroughbreds under their horsemanship. Trainers who choose to operate their stables this way can expect to be restricted from racing, stabling or participating in any capacity at Calder or any other Churchill Downs Incorporated-owned facility.

“Horsemen at Calder are out in front when it comes to supporting and practicing superior after race life initiatives,” said John Marshall, Vice President & General Manager of Racing at Calder. “The poor decisions of a few are not representative of our value system at large and those few will own up to the consequences.”

Calder and the FHBPA will continue to be industry leaders in post-race quality of life efforts including, but not limited to, supporting rescue, adoption and placement efforts and an unfettered enforcement of policies related to maintaining a high level of respect for after race life care.


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