Thoroughbreds are the real stars of our sport. Their beauty, athleticism and competitive spirit compel fans to follow them throughout their racing careers and beyond. So when it comes time for these magnificent horses to retire from the race track, Keeneland, in partnership with the Thoroughbred industry, assists aftercare programs that transition them to loving homes and often, productive second careers in other equine disciplines.
In 2012, Keeneland joined a broad-based group of Thoroughbred industry partners to establish the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (TAA) – an organization designed to serve as both the accrediting body for aftercare facilities for retired Thoroughbreds and as a fundraising body to support these approved facilities.
Based in Lexington, Kentucky, the non-profit Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance accredits, inspects and awards grants to approved aftercare organizations to retire, retrain and rehome Thoroughbreds using industry-wide funding. Funded initially by seed money from Breeders’ Cup Ltd., The Jockey Club, and Keeneland Association, Inc., the TAA is supported by owners, trainers, breeders, racetracks, aftercare professionals and other industry groups. To date, 56 aftercare organizations supporting more than 180 facilities across the U.S. and Canada have been granted accreditation and received funding from the TAA. To learn more about the TAA, visit thoroughbredaftercare.org.
Keeneland, its longtime partner, Maker’s Mark Distillery, philanthropist and horse owner Marylou Whitney and Dr. Tony Ryan’s Castleton Lyons Farm joined forces in October 2004 to launch the Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center at the Kentucky Horse Park. The Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center is dedicated to retraining and showcasing adoptable Thoroughbreds.
Visit these sites to learn more about Thoroughbred retirement programs: