More than 100 equine enthusiasts participated Saturday morning in Gulfstream Park’s first Canter for the Cause, a unique opportunity allowing horse owners to walk, canter or trot their horses across the legendary South Florida track.
Participants came from as far away as Ocala to ride their horse across the same track as champions like California Chrome, Arrogate, Spectacular Bid, Barbaro and Holy Bull. Each rider was given jockey silks and a commemorative saddle towel before taking their horse around the track and then taking a picture in the winner’s circle.
All proceeds went to Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance and Whispering Manes Therapeutic Riding Center in Miami.
“It was great to see so many participants and their friends and family come out for our first Canter for the Cause,” said Mike Lakow, Vice President of Racing at Gulfstream and the former President and CEO of the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation. “Everyone enjoyed themselves. It was great to see the community come together and raise awareness and funds for such great causes.”
Jim Wilk brought his retired Thoroughbred Oceana Indica to Canter for the Cause. The 12-year-old mare raced at Gulfstream as a 3-year-old before being retired. Oceana Indica is now a show horse.
“This was a lot of fun. I was very impressed,” Wilk said. “We’d definitely do it again. We were in the first group and it was very organized.”
Erin Shea of TAA said: “The TAA was thrilled to be the co-beneficiary of Gulfstream Park’s Canter for the Cause. It was such a fun day for us and for the participants. And we’re thankful for Gulfstream Park and Florida’s commitment to Thoroughbred aftercare.”