07/07/2011 3:06PM

Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation says it's current on farm payments


The Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation, which faced allegations of neglect earlier this year, says it is now up to date in its payment to satellite farms around the nation that care for retired Thoroughbreds under the foundation’s auspices, according to an e-mail sent out by a public relations representative for the organization.

Some satellite farm operators told the New York Times in March that the foundation had asked them to cut their cost to $3 per horse per day and had fallen well behind on payments. The retirement foundation’s president, Tom Ludt, acknowledged at the time that a growing and aging herd of about 1,200 horses had strained the foundation’s funds during a time of economic downturn. As of March, the foundation had paid satellite farms’ board fees through the end of 2010, according to Ludt.

The Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation is supported by an endowment from the late Paul Mellon’s estate but can access only 5 percent of the endowment’s total amount annually, giving the organization a funding base of about $350,000 each year. That covers approximately 12 percent of the foundation’s total annual funding needs. The organization also holds fund-raisers, including an annual Saratoga gala set for Aug. 7 this year, and accepts donations at any time.