A new group has been established to take care of our equine atheletes. This group, D.A.R. - Dignity After Racing is a group of breeders, owners, trainers, drivers, and fans who are concerned about the welfare of our standardbred athletes once their racing days are over.
Here is the working statement of D.A.R.:
D.A.R. - Dignity After Racing
An Organization of horsemen, breeding farms, racing centers, and horse lovers devoted to seeing these wonderful horses that so many of us benefit from have a life of dignity and love after their racing, breeding or days behind a buggy have come to an end.
1) To lobby for rule changes to help protect the standardbred race and breeding horse horses from ending up in feed lots by putting stiff sanctions and/or fines into place for owners & trainers who purposely put their horses into grade sales or sell their horses directly or indirectly to kill brokers.
2) To have all registered standardbreds with embedded with computer ID chips under the skin to help catch the few horses that slip past us at the sales.
3) To set up a safety net farm system for owners & trainers who cease operations and are unable to support their horses so they have a place to turn to before things get out of control with a long term goal of funding three regional retirement farms to be run by retired grooms.
The group realizes that all this will not be done overnight; it will take time to change attitude of some in the industry plus raise funds. A group of dreamers? No, this is a group of people who realize things need to change along with the world we live in. Society evolves, and racing needs to evolve with it. An industry that refuses to adapt dies. It goes past eliminating slaughter; it is about the dignity of the animal which allows many to make a living. Does this mean there won't be euthanasia? No, there are times it will be necessasry.
If you are interested in learning more and/or joining about D.A.R., you may visit their page on Facebook.
Anouk Busch sent this video to me showing the two standardbreds and the draft horse she purchased at New Holland. You can see at least one of the standardbreds is not in great shape. Note: For those who are sensitive, you may want to avoid the end of the video where Anouk shows the draft horse as you will see the horse's right side of the face is unsettling due to the cancer of the eye. HRU will be paying for any surgery needed (the prognosis is good).
If you want to see some pictures from Anouk's day at New Holland you an do so by clicking on the link,
Interesting conversation on Standardbred Canada's website regarding who the driver should be driving for, the owner or the bettor. The conversation has been somewhat heated.