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Hallway Feeds' Support for Racing Aftercare

Hallway Feeds' Support for Racing Aftercare

By: Jay Privman

Over the years, the family-owned Hallway Feeds had donated to several organizations that in are in the Thoroughbred aftercare space, but in recent years the company has stepped up its involvement via Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance, most notably including prominent sponsorship at the Preakness Stakes festival at Pimlico in May.

Hallway sponsored a stake on Black-Eyed Susan Day, sponsored awards for best turned-out runners in each race, had its logo on the jackets worn by outriders, and had signage throughout the facility. Sure, it was a great way to promote the popular company. It also had the satisfying benefit of helping a cause that Lee Hall believes the entire sport needs to get behind.

“We feel like people are going to say, ‘If the feed guy is doing that, maybe we should, too,’” said Hall, the vice-president of Hallway Feeds, which is based in Lexington, Kentucky. “We all have an obligation in this area.”

Hall, a fifth-generation farmer, said Hallway’s increased activity started at the prompting of long-time client Craig Bandoroff of Denali Stud. A subsequent meeting with Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance board members, including president Jeffrey Bloom, resulted in the type of sponsorship on display at the Preakness.

“Aftercare has become a far more prominent issue the past 10 years,” Hall said. “Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance qualifies facilities, sets standards. It’s better than giving a little here, there, and yon. They set the standards.”

But as much as Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance does, Hall realizes that the funding for all aftercare needs in the Thoroughbred world are still insufficient.

“Raising money for these things is difficult. Often it’s the same people giving,” he said.

To that end, Hall would love to see racing adopt a mandated, across-the-board funding mechanism. He said the Beef Checkoff Funds, established in 1985 by the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board, offers a template. It has been a raging success. In the 2022-23 fiscal year, ending last September, it raised nearly $43 million, according to the organizations financial statements. The pork industry has a similar checkoff fund.

“There’s a fee of $1 the seller contributes every time there’s a sale,” Hall said of the Cattlemen’s Fund. “When sold as a calf, $1. Sold to the feedlot, $1. Harvested, $1. Each time that animal is sold.

“We need sustainable funding in the horse industry for aftercare. You just can’t keep going back to the same people over and over.”

The price per sale at all auctions would need to be adjusted to reflect the funding required for aftercare. And private sales would have to be addressed. But the framework is there, and Hall believes running it through Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance would allow aftercare to scale up to the level needed.

“The model is there for sustainable funding,” he said.

In the meantime, Hall said Hallway Feeds will do whatever it can to support aftercare.

“We can’t do business as usual,” Hall said. “We have to show that we are taking care of these animals differently than in the past. We as an industry have to support these kinds of things.

“We are very blessed being able to sell to the racing industry. We feel the need to give back. It’s the culture of our business.”

Learn more about Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance’s supporters:

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