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Godolphin’s Commitment to Lifetime Care of Thoroughbreds

Godolphin’s Commitment to Lifetime Care of Thoroughbreds

By: Jay Privman

With a worldwide operation encompassing North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia, Godolphin is involved in Thoroughbred aftercare on many fronts, particularly in the United States, where Godolphin was in on the ground floor of the founding of Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance and remains steadfast in its support to this day.

“It’s like the Good Housekeeping seal,” said Jimmy Bell, who was president and racing manager for Godolphin USA when Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance was founded and who is a past president of Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance. “Facilities have to be inspected to be accredited. You’ve got to do something to get it, and you’ve got to do something to keep it.”

“About 16,000 horses have come through the program. There’s 86 facilities currently accredited. Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance has distributed more than $30 million,” Bell said. “Aftercare is important for the overall health of the industry. Not only is it a great story, it’s the right story.”

At Godolphin’s United States headquarters in Kentucky, Katie LaMonica, Godolphin’s charities manager, worked closely with Bell prior to Bell’s retirement in late 2021, and she has been the point person for Godolphin regarding aftercare for more than a decade.

“I remember when Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance was founded. Jimmy had a meeting with me and said, ‘This is the way to go,’” LaMonica recalled. “The accreditation is what wins you over.”

“Overall, aftercare – Godolphin calls it ‘lifetime care’ — has come so far. Things are in place now. With events like Thoroughbred Makeover, demand has been created. It has an impact.”

Godolphin has a multi-pronged aftercare set-up, including its own Godolphin rehoming. Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance is an essential aspect of Godolphin’s commitment to aftercare.

“We’ve shown that these horses can have second careers. They are versatile,” LaMonica said. “And there’s a demand for them.”

Among the former Godolphin runners who have gone to successful second careers is Hieronymous, named for G.D. Hieronymous, an Eclipse Award-winning broadcast production journalist who retired three years ago after 20 years as Keeneland’s director of broadcast services. The equine Hieronymous, a Godolphin homebred gelding who won 5 of 9 starts, including two stakes at Fair Grounds and one at Canterbury, won the competitive trail horse competition at Thoroughbred Makeover in 2022. He is now a “full-blown Western trail horse,” LaMonica said.

Underscore, a homebred by Uncle Mo who was retired after one start, is now a dressage horse owned by Natalie Voss, the multiple Eclipse Award-winning journalist for the Paulick Report.

“He’s doing awesome,” LaMonica said.

“We strongly believe in Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance,” LaMonica said. “We absolutely believe in their mission.”

Asked if it was gratifying to see how far Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance has come since inception, Bell said he preferred another word: “thankful.”

“To know there are real second careers for these horses is very important,” he said. “It gives dignity to them. Roping, dressage, this, that, there are numerous things they can do, and it’s to everyone’s benefit.”

Learn more about Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance’s supporters:

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