01/24/2012 3:25PM

Owner-breeder Saylor offers to match Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation contributions

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Thoroughbred owner and breeder Paul Saylor has agreed to match any financial gift to the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation, up to $50,000 in total, as part of a fundraising challenge to benefit the charity for retired racehorses.

Funds donated to the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation Saylor Challenge will go to support the TRF’s herd of more than 1,000 former racehorses. Donors also may earmark their funds for “Olivia’s Herd,” a group of TRF horses who require special care or feeding due to physical or age-related issues.

“I am issuing this challenge to motivate people in the racing industry and Thoroughbred lovers to donate to the TRF,” Saylor said in announcing the challenge grant. “Thoroughbred racing as a business needs to show that caring for retired racehorses is a priority. I am pleased to be doing this work through the TRF, which I have found to be under sound management and on reasonable financial footing, given the difficulties that most charities are experiencing raising money in these times.”

Donations can be made online at www.trfinc.org, by check mailed to TRF, P.O. Box 3387, Saratoga Springs, N.Y., 12866, or over the phone at (518) 226-0028.

The TRF, founded in 1983, recently has been embroiled in a public dispute with executors of the Paul Mellon Estate, the TRF’s largest benefactor. The estate’s executors have alleged mismanagement at the TRF, most prominently in a 2011 New York Times article that contended ex-racehorses under the group’s care had been neglected and even starved. Earlier this month, the TRF sued the estate’s executors for slander, alleging that the executors “engaged in a campaign of vilification” after the TRF’s board refused to agree to their proposed amendments to the agreement governing the estate’s endowment to the fund.