We often hear about the problem of unwanted horses and horse slaughter, often discussed here in fact, but admittedly little attention is given to the 'good' ones. Well, today we salute one of the good ones, Bluestone Farm. In case you didn't read the article on the USTA website, let me direct your attention to this article which highlights the special care given to the late broodmare Swiss Queen who finally succumbed to her illness of the last fifteen years, giving her fifteen years of quality where others would have euthanized her when the problem first started. Thanks to Bluestone Farms, Swiss Queen got a good 20 years of life.
Thank you Bluestone Farms for all you do for your horses. May you be rewarded for your compassion.
I had shown you in an early blog entry the final of the Hambletonian RUS late closer, but here is another view of the race with the use of a helmet cam.
While Canada has embraced parimutuel wagering on RUS events, it is important that the barriers to parimutuel wagering in the United States be broken through as you can only depend on donations so long to keep fund purses; access to purse accounts is necessary. It is expected that the USTA will approve at the next annual meeting rules to formalize RUS racing, but it is important to get the individual states to approve RUS racing so it can flourish. If you like what you have seen this year of RUS thus far, petition your local racing commission to adopt rules for RUS racing (I'm sure a copy of the draft rules of the USTA can be obtained) and let your local racetrack and horsemen groups know you want to see RUS at their track.
With the introduction of RUS, we are getting riders from other disciplines joining the standardbred world, purchasing their own horses for the RUS racing, introducing their followers to the sport, and adding an exciting new demographic to harness racing's fan base.
Overall, the response to this year's series has been favorable. But with over fifteen states to get approval from, it will take a group effort to get RUS approved; it can't be done all by one small group. Don't leave it to someone else to voice their support. Do your part.
Drug Free in 2015: Kudos to Gulfstream Park which has decided there will be drug-free racing in 2015 for two year olds, including banning Salix. This is the first track in the United States of any breed declaring drug-free racing.