TAKE THE LEAD Thoroughbred Retirement Program (TTL) just closed its 2019-20 fiscal year with a new mark of 135 former racehorses transitioning to second careers for the year. The previous record for the program, which was created by the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association (NYTHA) in 2013, was 98 retirees for the fiscal year of 2016-17.
Also celebrating its milestone 500th successful retirement last year, TAKE THE LEAD has now been responsible for 603 horses passing through its program. President Rick Schosberg oversees each retirement, which recently included popular New York MGSP gelding Uncle Sigh (Indian Charlie). New Jersey resident Chelsea Crozier is hoping to turn him into a show hunter, if the $648,686-earner is so inclined.
“The past year has been a true representation of how the New York horsemen and women have realized the full benefits of our TAKE THE LEAD Program,” said Schosberg. “The record number of retirees proves the ease of the process, and the high percentage of sound but ‘noncompetitive’ candidates show that the owners and trainers are indeed retiring horses earlier. This makes for decreased rehabilitation time and quicker adoptions for sound purposeful second careers.”
TAKE THE LEAD is part of the TAKE2 Second Career Thoroughbred Program and works with the horsemen competing on the NYRA circuit to find homes for retiring racehorses with Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (TAA)-accredited facilities.
“It is incredibly rewarding to hear how happy our retired racehorses are in their new careers-and how much their adopters love them,” said TAKE2 Executive Director Andy Belfiore. “We are grateful to everyone who contributes to these success stories, from the owners and trainers and veterinarians at the track, to the aftercare organizations, to the wonderful Thoroughbred enthusiasts who provide them with their new homes.”