Stronach Group To Ban Owners And Trainers Who Ship Horses Via Cargo Ship, Citing Welfare Concerns - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Stronach Group To Ban Owners And Trainers Who Ship Horses Via Cargo Ship, Citing Welfare Concerns

An example of the cargo ships used to send horses to Puerto Rico

1/ST Racing Chief Operating Officer Aidan Butler distributed the following letter to racing connections at facilities owned by The Stronach Group on Aug. 17. The movement of horses via cargo ship has recently become a topic of discussion in the equine welfare community, as it has been the chosen method of transport for some entities moving horses from the mainland United States to Puerto Rico. 

To Our Valued Owners, Trainers and Connections,

At 1/ST RACING, one of our top priorities is to protect the welfare and safety of horses that train and race at our venues. We believe this duty of care extends to horses during their racing careers and beyond, as they leave our facilities to race and train elsewhere or to retire.

As part of 1/ST RACING's ongoing and steadfast commitment to achieving the highest standard of horse care and safety in Thoroughbred racing, we reviewed the shipment of horses via cargo ship to race and train in other parts of the world. In consultation with our Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr. Dionne Benson, we have determined that the conditions in which these horses are transported via cargo ship are inappropriate, inhumane and represent a significant risk to their health and welfare.

Accordingly, effective immediately, any trainer or owner who is associated with shipping horses via cargo ship will no longer be welcome at any of our training or racing facilities. Trainers and owners shipping horses are responsible for performing the required due diligence to ensure horses in their care are transported in safety by humane methods.

Failure to prevent the shipping of horses via cargo ship will result in the immediate removal of the associated owner or trainer's horses from any, and all, 1/ST RACING venues.

I have communicated with the horsemen's groups in each of our jurisdictions in California, Florida and Maryland and have received their full support on this issue. If you have any questions regarding this policy, please connect with me directly via email at [email protected]. As industry stakeholders, it is our collective responsibility to protect these amazing athletes and we thank you for your joint commitment to their health and welfare.

–Aidan Butler

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