Caesars Entertainment Corporation announced May 22 the launch of Empire of Hope, a new program designed to help raise awareness and funding for the care of horses after their racing careers are over. Developed with support from accredited racehorse aftercare programs, Empire of Hope will directly assist efforts to relocate, rehabilitate, and repurpose retired horses.
“Empire of Hope is a direct reflection of the appreciation and pride we have for the horses that participate in Caesars’ racing program,” said Rick Moore, Vice President and General Manager of Racing at Harrah’s Hoosier Park. “Our equine athletes are the stars of our sport and we want to ensure that when they retire, they are placed in productive and loving environments to live out a long and healthy life.”
Horses that compete at Caesars’ racing properties range in age from 2 through 14; they retire on their 15th birthday. It is estimated that more than 15,000 horses annually are placed in existing aftercare programs after their racing careers are complete. Funding to relocate, rehabilitate, and repurpose these equine athletes can cost several thousand dollars per horse. Through Empire of Hope, Caesars will provide funding and support to accredited non-profit racehorse aftercare organizations, including Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance and Standardbred Transition Alliance.
“Thanks to the support of our industry stakeholders, the TAA and our accredited organizations are making a difference in the lives of thousands of retired Thoroughbreds,” said TAA president Mike Meuser. “With the launch of the Empire of Hope program, Caesars is helping us make sure that these horses receive the specialized and dedicated care they need to live healthy, happy lives after they retire from racing.”
During their tenure at Caesars’ racing properties, the horses are cared for by multiple staff members on behalf of individual trainers and owners, who provide the utmost care through feeding programs, veterinary care, horseshoeing needs, and other essential requirements for their overall physical condition. Individual trainers and owners make the decision on the next step for their horses after their racing careers are over, and often reach out to aftercare programs as the best option for a second career.
“The Standardbred Transition Alliance (STA) is so pleased that Caesars has embraced this initiative of recognizing and bringing awareness to horses that are now moving into different careers after racing,” said David Reid, president of STA. “We are hopeful this will ignite more racing and casino companies like Caesars to see this example and follow suit in our joint effort as an industry to assist our equine athletes as they proceed into new careers after racing.”
Empire of Hope will be launched at four of Caesars’ racing properties: Harrah’s Louisiana Downs in Bossier City, LA; Indiana Grand in Shelbyville, IN; Harrah’s Hoosier Park in Anderson, IN; and Harrah’s Philadelphia. With a goal to raise $30,000, Empire of Hope activities will range from food and drink specials to entertainment and promotional activities. Each property has designed numerous ways to accept donations and raise funds during the weekend of Saturday, July 20 and Sunday, July 21, 2019.
Photo: Dean Gillette