MJC issues letter regarding horses sold for racing in Puerto Rico

Monday, May 13, 2024

The following letter to trainers and owners was released April 4 by the Maryland Jockey Club. It was signed by Dr. Dionne Benson, Chief Veterinary Officer for 1/ST Racing, and Mike Rogers, MJC Interim President.

Recently, 1/ST Racing was contacted by a group of individuals concerned about horses who last raced at our properties that were subsequently sold for racing in Puerto Rico. As you may know, there are significant concerns with aftercare for Thoroughbred racehorses once they finish racing in Puerto Rico. We share the concerns of those individuals and in the past 1/ST Racing paid to ship some horses back to aftercare programs in the continental United States. However, it is much better for horse welfare and more effective for all of us to prevent horses from being sent to Puerto Rico--particularly those who no longer belong in racing due to injury, age, or poor performance.

We will review the number of horses that end up in Puerto Rico from trainers and owners who have horses at the Maryland Jockey Club on an annual basis. Even if those horses do not end up coming back to the United States, MJC and 1/ST Racing reserve the right to mandate that a trainer and/or owner make a donation for each horse to a TAA accredited aftercare. Moreover, trainers and owner with injured or infirm horses that end up in Puerto Rico may be subject the loss of stalls at 1/ST Racing facilities.

Please be reminded that horses that are no longer fit to race should be retired through The Jockey Club. A form with instructions for completion is available at: https://www.registry.jockeyclub.com/registry.cfm?page=pdfViewer. Please note: This form must be signed and notarized by the seller and the buyer within sixty (60) days of the sale. If you retire a horse from racing in this way it is not eligible to race in the United States or Puerto Rico. There is a notary available at the MTHA office if you need one for this form to be completed.

We also encourage our trainers and owners to utilize the services of the on-site aftercare coordinator to ensure that horses retiring from racing safely end up in second careers. If you have a horse that needs to be retired, please contact Jessica Hammond at (301) 776-0404. Horse welfare and safety is a priority for all stakeholders. We hope these policies will help all our Thoroughbreds find second careers.

Latest Posts

MTHA Board of Directors Meeting To Be Held June 17 at 11am

The next Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association Board of Directors meeting will be held Tuesday, June 17, at 11 a.m.