By Lucas Marquardt
The Thoroughbred Charities of America raised $737,500 through a live auction at its annual Select Stallion Season auction and dinner at the Keeneland Entertainment Center on Saturday night, capping off a successful week that included an online season auction. Up for bid for no-guarantee seasons to Blame, Bodemeister, Candy Ride (Arg), Carpe Diem, Curlin, Into Mischief, Malibu Moon, Medaglia d’Oro, Speightstown, and Super Saver. Topping the event was the Medaglia d’Oro season, which was hammered down for $235,000 and came with a 2017 breed-back season if the mare doesn’t get in foal, or fails to produce a live foal. Medaglia d’Oro stands at Darley for a fee of $150,000.
“I think we did great tonight,” said TCA President Dan Rosenberg. “The Medaglia d’Oro season was obviously huge, and we are so grateful for Darley’s perennial strong support. They’ve been right there behind us for years.”
Also on offer was a two-year lease to a Dodge vehicle, a John Deere lawn tractor, a Triple Crown tickets package, an African vacation package, and an Equine Air Transportation package from Tex Sutton.
Tom Durkin emceed the event, at which Bourbon Lane Stable was honored with the Allaire du Pont Leadership Award. The award recognized the work Bourbon Lane’s partners undertake to find second careers or suitable homes for any horse that raced in the stable colors, regardless of whether the horse was retired racing in those colors. Managing partners Mike McMahon and Jamie Hill invited a dozen or so Bourbon Lane partners on stage with them to accept the award, and gave them credit for being willing and responsible horse owners.
The TCA Industry Service Award was given to The Jockey Club’s Thoroughbred Incentive Program (TIP), which provides awards for Thoroughbred-only divisions and classes at horse shows and competitions across the U.S. and Canada. Establish in 2011, the TIP is funded by an annual contribution by The Jockey Club.
Rosenberg said both awards were well-deserved.
“At the beginning of the TCA, very few people in the industry admitted there was a problem,” he said. “Twenty-six years ago, no one really gave a second thought to these horses when their careers were over. Then we started talking about unwanted horses and rescue, and now we’re talking about aftercare and re-purposing. I think the TIP program being a recipient of our award tonight is really significant, along with the Retired Racehorse Project, in creating a demand for Thoroughbreds in the sport horse world. When I was growing up in the show world, if you weren’t riding a Thoroughbred in the ring, you weren’t getting a medal. And then, essentially, the Warmblood people out-marketed us, and Thoroughbreds started being undesirable. It used to be that if you had a horse who wasn’t very fast but who was sound, someone would come and say, ‘Hey, that’s a good-looking horse–would you take $5,000 for it?’ The auction’s platinum sponsor, at a donated cost of $30,000, was LNJ Foxwoods, the racing and breeding operation run by Jaime Roth and her parents Larry and Nanci Roth. All were present at the dinner.
“They’re incredible,” said Rosenberg. “They contacted me and said they’d like to be involved, and asked what we needed. I said, ‘Well, right now we need a platinum sponsor.’ And they said yes–and that was it. They’re terrific people who obviously really care about their horses and all horses. They’ll continue to be involved in a very meaningful way, not merely contributing money, but rolling up their sleeves and helping.”
Rosenberg also gave credit to the TCA Board of Directors. “This works because we have a great board,” he said, noting that 95% of the TCA’s expenditures go to program services. “Our board cares passionately about horse welfare and we’re able to keep our administrative expenses so low because our board members are willing to work so hard at this.”
For more on the TCA, visit www.tca.org.