03/26/2013 12:57PM

Emerald Downs plans three new aftercare initiatives


Emerald Downs, in Auburn, Wash., is planning three new initiatives that will help to showcase Thoroughbred ex-racehorses and to transition them into second careers.

The track is working on plans for a Thoroughbred Showcase, to introduce potential adopters to available horses; a Thoroughbred-only show to demonstrate the horses' prowess in second careers and to reward their owners; and a 100-day trainer challenge to re-train horses for new careers.

The Thoroughbred Showcase will be held Aug. 31, beginning at 10 a.m. Pacific at the Emerald Downs Sales Pavilion. Horses that are available for re-homing will be paraded, and their owners and trainers will be on hand to answer questions. Emerald Downs anticipates that about 30 horses will be available.

The track will make its veterinarian available to discuss common racehorse injuries, such as bone chips, and track announcer Robert Geller will also give a talk about the breed.

The Thoroughbred-only show will take place on Oct. 5, following the conclusion of the Emerald Downs racing season, allowing show rings to be constructed on the main track. Thoroughbreds will compete against one another in various English and Western disciplines.

The 100-day trainer challenge, which is modeled after the nationally-recognized Retired Racehorse Training Project, will begin in June and will culminate with the show on Oct. 5. Participants will re-train Thoroughbreds for participation in in-hand and under-saddle classes.