From the time of its creation, Equestricon has committed itself to the cause of aftercare and advancing initiatives that support the well-being of retired racehorses. To that end, and for the second year in a row, the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance has been named the Official Charity Partner of Equestricon.
Horse racing’s only convention and fan festival, Equestricon 2018 will be held at the Kentucky International Convention Center in Louisville on Monday, October 29, and Tuesday, October 30. In addition to hosting the 2018 Rood & Riddle Breeders’ Cup Position Draw, uniting racing fans with their favorite racing personalities, and delivering a program featuring more than 50 events over the course of two days, Equestricon will also feature an expanded lineup of aftercare attractions presented by the TAA.
The highlight of the scheduled TAA program is a TED Talks-style speaker series called Track Talks. It will feature some of the most prominent figures in the world of aftercare. The TAA’s Stacie Clark Rogers will serve as a session host to a series of short, inspirational, and motivational speeches delivered by TAA-accredited Old Friends‘ Michael Blowen, TAA-accredited Square Peg Foundation‘s Joell Dunlap, former NFL player and OTTB owner Jeff Tow-Arnett, and combat veteran James Stewart.
“We are honored to be able to utilize this unique platform created by Equestricon to share success stories in aftercare,” said Clark Rogers. “We are also eager to see so many of our accredited organizations and share with them best-practices learned through the important work we’ve undertaken in recent years to prioritize the welfare of our retired racehorses.”
In the interest of advancing education among its accredited organizations, the TAA will host a “Beyond the Track” Racehorse Retraining Seminar. The session will be open to all convention guests and highlight the various steps and stages of retraining retired racehorses. The seminar will be led by TAA-accredited New Vocations‘ Anna Ford, the Retired Racehorse Project’s Jen Roytz, and Kristin Werner Leshney from The Jockey Club Thoroughbred Incentive Program (TIP).
“When you look at the depth of experience in racehorse rehoming and retraining that each one of our speakers possesses, this truly is a can’t-miss event for anyone looking to learn more about aftercare,” said Kathryn Sharp, co-founder of Equestricon. “The TAA continues to lead the way in this area and it’s incumbent upon us, as people who are working to advance the sport, to put aftercare out front.”
Available to all convention attendees will be the popular “Aftercare Row,” which returns to Equestricon for the second consecutive year. Lined by the booths of nearly two-dozen accredited charities from all over North America, Aftercare Row is expected to represent the largest gathering ever of TAA-accredited organizations.
The row will be presented this year by event sponsor Red Brand Fence (www.redbrand.com). A premium line of agricultural fencing products, Red Brand doesn’t just produce the most recognizable brand of farm fence in the United States, the company is also a regular supporter of aftercare initiatives and organizations including Old Friends Farm.
“We pride ourselves on keeping equine athletes injury-free and on-course,” said Mark Otto, Executive Director for Red Brand. “Naturally, we have a vested interest in wanting to engage with the racing industry and to get behind events like Equestricon, which shine a spotlight on aftercare and bring the industry together in celebration of the horse.”
A detailed listing of participating nonprofits in the TAA Aftercare Row can be found below.
TAA-Accredited Aftercare Organizations Scheduled to Participate in Equestricon:
Akindale Thoroughbred Rescue
Equine Rescue of Aiken
Friends of Ferdinand
Kentucky Equine Humane Center
LongRun Thoroughbred Retirement Society
Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center
Mid-Atlantic Horse Rescue
Out Side In Inc.
Remember Me Rescue
South Florida SPCA
Square Peg Foundation
Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation