By Nigel Reid
The New Stride Thoroughbred Adoption Society received some welcome news last week when the Kentucky-based Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (TAA) re-accredited the organization, making New Stride one of only 71 officially sanctioned aftercare programs in North America.
The TAA, which is backed by Breeders’ Cup, The Jockey Club and the Keeneland Association, as well as a host of high-profile industry stakeholders, is the only accrediting body in Thoroughbred aftercare.
Beginning with just 21 accredited organizations in 2012, the TAA now has 71 accredited organizations in the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico that operate with the highest standards – and New Stride is one of just two accredited aftercare programs in Canada.
With the rigorous accreditation and inspection process, the TAA accreditation seal is recognized as the gold standard in Thoroughbred aftercare.
The TAA-accreditation process has made aftercare organizations stronger, more efficient, and has helped them raise more funds and grow responsibly, allowing them to help more horses exiting the racetrack.
The news of New Stride’s reaccreditation comes hot on the heels of a recent motion adopted by the British Columbia Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (TOBA), to substantially increase, and guarantee, a level of financial commitment to New Stride’s program going forward.
The unanimously accepted motion, raised by Glen Todd, came as a total surprise but is typical of Todd’s generosity-of-spirit and forward thinking approach to our sport. Like everyone connected with New Stride, Mr Todd understands that, from this point forward in the Thoroughbred industry, everyone involved with horseracing in North America will no longer be judged only on the care we take of the horses during their racing careers, but on how we embrace the lifetime management of each and every horse under our supervision.
Thoroughbred advocacy has gone about its business on the fringes of the racing industry for many years, but has found itself thrust into the spotlight of late. It is becoming obvious, to even the most skeptical, that the lifetime care and management of our noble equine athletes is going to be an essential and integral part of any future horseracing has.
After all, the question of what happens to racehorses once they have finished their racing careers has never been more often asked – and that’s certainly a good thing.
A registered charity, New Stride has been working behind the scenes at Hastings Racecourse in Vancouver for the past 18 years, and has retrained and rehomed more than 160 Thoroughbreds during that time.
New Stride’s work, and the work of every TAA accredited aftercare program, is dedicated to the development of transitioning strategies for horses who are no longer suited to the demands of racing. Its collective undertaking to advocate on behalf of the racehorse for its entire life is not just important, it has become essential. No less than the very existence of our sport is at stake.
Dear thoroughbred industry stakeholder:
Great Canadian is pleased to announce, in conjunction with the City of Vancouver, that we have executed a lease extension for Hastings Racecourse.
The term of the new extension is for five years, with a five year option to renew thereafter. It also calls for investments in the backstretch over the course of the term, and Great Canadian has worked diligently in recent months to generate a capital investment plan, in consultation with the breed associations, to determine the areas of the backstretch in greatest need.
The thoroughbred industry has a long and storied history in BC, and Great Canadian, in partnership with the City of Vancouver and the industry’s breed associations, feels the lease extension is an important stepping stone to ensuring the sustainability of the industry longer term.
We thank the City of Vancouver for the new lease extension and we look forward to working with industry stakeholders over the next five years and beyond.
Raj Mutti Exec VP Operations
Great Canadian Gaming