The Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance will be honored with the 2023 Clay Puett Award, the University of Arizona Race Track Industry Program announced Wednesday.
“Since its founding, the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance has been at the forefront of equine welfare,” said RTIP Chair Robert Hartman. “Their impactful work, alongside their accredited organizations, has significantly elevated our industry by successfully transitioning Thoroughbred athletes to new homes and fulfilling careers.”
Founded in 2012, the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance operates through a comprehensive process of accreditation, inspection, and the awarding of grants to approved aftercare organizations. Utizling industry-wide funding, this initiative facilitates the retraining, retiring, and rehoming of Thoroughbreds.
Initially funded by Breeders' Cup Ltd., The Jockey Club, and Keeneland Association Inc., the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance has garnered widespread support from owners, trainers, breeders, racetracks, aftercare professionals, and various industry groups. Since its inception, the organization has distributed $31.9 million in grants, leading to the successful retraining, rehoming, or retirement of 16,500 Thoroughbreds through accredited organizations. This year, 86 accredited organizations received grants totaling $3.8 million.
Established in 1994, the Clay Puett Award is bestowed upon a person or persons for their outstanding contributions to the racing industry. The award is named after the late Clay Puett, an Arizona resident whose innovations, including the development of the mechanical starting gate, helped to revolutionize racing around the world. The list of previous Clay Puett Award winners includes Joe Harper, Marylou Whitney, The Grayson-Jockey Club Foundation, John Gaines and Clement Hirsch.