I was overjoyed to see this recent ruling by the Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission: seems that they have approved a rule that would designate about $100,000 a year out of a breeder’s incentive fund to help care for retired racehorses.
It’s about damn time.
Money would be useed from the Oklahoma Breeding Development Fund special account to help pay for the retraining and care of Oklahoma-bred thoroughbred racehorses.
The state’s legislature has final approval on this, but I can’t see why they wouldn’t do it.
Retired and unwanted racehorses have become a serious problem in Oklahoma and other states, according to Oklahoma horse racing officials.
“We can’t save all the horses in the world, but we want to do our part to take care of the ones that are Oklahoma bred,” commission member John Smicklas told the Oklahoman daily newspaper.
The number of unwanted horses has increased dramatically since the last three horse slaughter plants in the United States were closed down in 2007, Smicklas said in the newspaper.
Oklahoma thoroughbred owners recently agreed to double registration fees for Oklahoma-bred horses to fund the new program, he said.
No state funds will be used.
To receive funds to care for eligible horses, nonprofit organizations would have to meet commission standards.
Oklahoma quarter horse groups have decided not to adopt a similar program.
Why? Because people buy those breeds more than race horses. People will buy such horses for roping, barrel racing, pleasure riding and other purposes because quarter horses are very versatile.
Retired racehorses are a problem because they can be financial burdens on their owners, Smicklas said. It costs at least $1,800 a year to properly care for a horse, he said.
Because of the financial burden, many retired and unwanted racehorses have historically been sold to slaughter plants.
So why the hell aren’t other states doing things like this?
It makes me sick…