02/27/2013 3:35PM

Jockey Club amends rule book with 'retired from racing' clause


The Jockey Club has amended its rule book with a new clause that allows an owner to permanently retire a Thoroughbred from racing without affecting its breeding privileges, the organization announced Wednesday.

The clause modifies Rule 18 of the Principal Rules and Requirements of The American Stud Book from Sold Without Pedigree to Sold as Retired from Racing. Under the previous Rule 18, the Certificate of Foal Registration for a horse sold without pedigree was returned to The Jockey Club and cancelled, and the horse was no longer considered a Thoroughbred for breeding or racing purposes.

Under the amended Rule 18, the owner of a Thoroughbred can request that The Jockey Club attach a special notation to the Certificate of Foal Registration to indicate the horse should no longer be considered a Thoroughbred for racing purposes. Unlike the previous Sold Without Pedigree, horses that are retired are still considered Thoroughbreds for breeding purposes.

“For myriad reasons, owners may not want their Thoroughbred to race again, but they do want the horse’s offspring to be eligible for registration with The Jockey Club,” said Matt Iuliano, executive vice president and executive director, The Jockey Club. “We developed the Sold as Retired from Racing rule with that in mind.”

To sell a horse as retired from racing, the owner must send a signed and notarized Sold as Retired from Racing form, a set of photographs of the horse, and the horse’s Certificate of Foal Registration to The Jockey Club within 60 days of the sale. The Jockey Club will stamp the certificate “Retired from Racing” and forward it to the purchaser. A copy of such stamped certificates will be made available by The Jockey Club for interested industry stakeholders.

The rule change comes as welcome news to owners, horsemen and organizations dedicated to aftercare.

“I recently tried to sell a horse for breeding purposes only, but the horse ended up back at the track,” said Thoroughbred owner Earle Mack. “This new rule will help owners do what they believe is in the best interests of their horses. We surely owe our horses that.”

“This is a valuable tool to protect the future of retired racehorses,” said Rick Violette Jr., president of the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association. “It will simplify the transfer process and give owners the peace of mind of knowing the horses they retire will not race again.”

Mike Ziegler, executive director of the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance, notes that with the rule change, pedigree papers can travel with a horse as it moves to a second career, aiding in identification purposes without the risk of the horse returning to the racetrack.

“This rule will greatly enhance Thoroughbred aftercare efforts,” Ziegler said. “Many owners and rescue organizations were hesitant about sending pedigree papers with a horse because they were worried the horse would end up back on the track. Now, the papers can travel with the Thoroughbred to its second career, making it easier to identify and more appealing to new owners.”

To read the rule amendment in its entirety, click here.