09/18/2014 10:10AM

CANTER to assist in re-homing Suffolk racehorses


The New England branch of the Communication Alliance to Network Thoroughbred Ex-Racehorses (CANTER) will host a showcase event on the backstretch of Suffolk Downs on Sept. 27 to assist horsemen in re-homing racehorses when the track shutters at the end of the month.

The struggling East Boston racetrack lost its bid for a casino license earlier this week. Without the license, track management has said operation is no longer financially feasible. The track’s final day of live racing will be Sept. 30. As local horsemen, faced with the industry’s uncertain future in Massachusetts, wind down operations or trim their racing strings, approximately 100 Thoroughbreds will need to be re-homed.

“[Suffolk Downs vice president of racing] Sam Elliott is on board to do whatever it is we need to do to make sure the horses end up in the right place,” Kim Rigolini of CANTER New England told offtrackthoroughbreds.com.

CANTER New England has a long-standing relationship with Suffolk Downs – the first track in the country to adopt a no-slaughter policy – and earlier this month, held its ninth annual Thoroughbred showcase on the backstretch, with 58 ex-racehorses offered.

In the showcase format, horses are paraded for viewing before prospective buyers in three sessions. Interested parties then visit the trainer’s barn to speak with the conditioner directly about the horse’s suitability for a second career.

The second showcase date on Sept. 27 was quickly established after the casino vote was held on Tuesday. Dover Saddlery will offer gift kits for buyers who purchase a Suffolk horse out of the event.

More information on the showcase was expected to be released later Thursday by CANTER New England. For details, click here.