Round $65,000 in donations and a big dedication from the Puerto Rico Racing Fee made in late November and December have saved Caribbean Thoroughbred Aftercare from closing, after its coffers had been almost depleted as a result of a file inflow of cheap racehorses to the island final yr.
The group that finds new properties for retired racehorses from Camarero Race Monitor usually handles 40 horses yearly. In 2021, CTA took in 73 horses as a result of giant purses and exceptionally huge bonus incentives tied to deal with sparked a flood of imported horses. Most of those horses had been cheap claimers that had been already towards the top of their racing careers.
For the primary six months of final yr, CTA’s bills had been round $208,000 however its donations totaled $163,000, based on CTA co-founder Kelley Stobie. By September the group was operating $10,000-$12,000 within the pink every month and consuming away at its reserves. Stobie mentioned again in September the prospect of getting to close down CTA in the beginning of 2022 was an actual risk.
“We had an excellent December, and so we’re nonetheless in enterprise,” Stobie mentioned.
Two $25,000 donations made up the majority of the December windfall. One donation got here from Camarero Race Monitor, which made a test presentation throughout the Dec. 4-5 Clásico Internacional del Caribe, a very powerful two days of racing for members of the Confederacion Hipica del Caribe. The second donation got here in late November throughout a gala hosted by a number of householders within the Bahia Seaside Resort in Rio Grande who’ve change into supporters of the CTA’s mission.
CTA additionally acquired a $50,000 dedication from the Puerto Rico Gaming Fee via June, which is the top of federal authorities’s fiscal yr.
“It really works out to $7,000 a month for which we ship them invoices and receipts and we get reimbursed,” mentioned Stobie. “The $7,000 a month is big. It can pay all my hay, my feed, the alfalfa, shavings, and a few vet provides.”
Stobie mentioned she is hopefully the gaming fee will reauthorize the $50,000 allocation for the subsequent fiscal yr, although that quantity will probably be unfold throughout 12 months as an alternative of six. She additionally continues to have conversions with Puerto Rico’s two homeowners teams about offering an everyday dedication.
She truly has had higher luck getting help from homeowners within the U.S. and Gulfstream Park.
“I’ve acquired seven horses in quarantine and for 2 of the horses Gulfstream Park donated as a result of they ran quite a bit at Gulfstream. Between homeowners there and the observe, they coated the quarantine and airfare prices,” Stobie mentioned.
CTA has gotten a little bit of break as a result of the inflow of imported horses has slowed. Some homeowners have stopped utilizing cargo ships out of the Port of Jacksonville to convey their horses to Puerto Rico from the U.S. due to rising criticism amongst tracks homeowners and horsemen concerning the inhumane situations the horses being shipped this fashion need to endure. Additionally a few cargo planes used for normal shipments had been grounded as a result of repairs and solely not too long ago will begin working once more, based on Stobie.
“We’re nonetheless combating for normal funding as a result of there’s extra we need to do,” Stobie mentioned, noting the CTA nonetheless desires to develop a sanctuary just like Michael Blowen’s Outdated Associates Thoroughbred Retirement Farm in Georgetown, Ky., for Puerto Rico’s retired racing stars and it hopes to broaden with an aftercare outlet on the island of St. Thomas.
“There’s extra to do for the 1000’s of racehorses that want aftercare within the islands and that we’re dedicated to assist,” she mentioned.