FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Brent Farley
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
TASK FORCE REPORTS ON RETIRED RACE HORSES
The New York field office for USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service has completed a survey conducted for the New York State Task Force on Retired Race Horses. The goal was to investigate the feasibility of creating a larger market and alternative employment opportunities for retired race horses.
There were 1,845 New York race horses retired in 2007 by 1,108 race horse owners, according to Steve Ropel, Director of USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, New York field office. Results of responses show 79 percent of the reported horses were retired in New York and 21 percent out of state. Major reasons given for retiring horses were injury or lack of soundness and lack of economic viability. Forty-six percent of the retired horses were geldings, 23 percent mares, 21 percent fillies, and 10 percent colts. Seventy-three percent of the horses were from 3 to 6 years old. Forty-nine percent of the retired horses had lifetime earnings of less than $25,000 and 73 percent had 2007 earnings of less than $25,000. Forty-eight percent of the respondents would pay to retire a horse and 65 percent would support a voluntary payment fund to retire horses.
The New York State Task Force on Retired Race Horses is co-chaired by New York State Agriculture Commissioner Patrick Hooker and New York State Racing and Wagering Board Chairman John Sabini. Its 13 members are charged with investigating the feasibility of creating a larger market and alternative employment opportunities for retired race horses, as well as studying the issues surrounding the installation of artificial turf on race courses.
A detailed report can be found on our web page www.nass.usda.gov/ny.