TOBA Announces Educational Seminars for 2023

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association announced today the schedule for its 2023 educational seminars.  These events feature various topics for prospective, new, and established Thoroughbred owners and breeders.

The 2023 schedule is listed below:

  • March 19-20 – Ocala, Florida
  • June 23-24 – Toronto, Canada
  • July 27-28 – Del Mar, California
  • August 10-11 – Saratoga Springs, New York*
  • October 23 – Lexington, Kentucky

*Tentative dates for Saratoga; All others confirmed

“We are excited to announce some great venues for the 2023 educational seminars” said TOBA Director of Marketing, Events & Partnerships Samantha Smith. “We hope to reach more people by expanding the agenda to both ownership and breeding topics at each seminar, as well as offering a variety of locations across the U.S. and Canada.”

Specific topics, speakers, and sponsors for each seminar will be announced individually closer to each event. Each seminar for this year will cover topics pertaining to both Thoroughbred owners and breeders. Possible topics may include, but not limited to: racing and stable management, common training practices, common breeding practices, foaling and farm management, owner and trainer communications, horse selection with a bloodstock agent, common veterinary concerns, nutrition and health topics, partnerships, pedigree theory, conformation analysis, and equine business matters such as accounting and insurance.

Educational seminars are open to both members and non-members, with discounts for members of TOBA or any hosting/sponsor organizations. Meals, materials, and a TOBA gift bag are included with registration.

Pricing is as follows:

  • 2-Day Seminar: $295/Non-Member         $245/Member
  • 1-Day Seminar: $145/Non-Member         $99/Member

There will be a special promotion for any individual who attends all five seminars this year. If an individual registers for all seminars throughout the year, they will receive the last seminar free. Registration is available on the TOBA website at:

Questions about TOBA’s educational seminars, or inquiries for seminar sponsorship may be directed to Samantha Smith at or (859) 276-6793.

The Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (TOBA), based in Lexington, Ky., was formed in 1961 and is a national trade organization of leading Thoroughbred owners and breeders. TOBA’s mission is to improve the economics, integrity and pleasure of the sport on behalf of Thoroughbred owners and breeders. Projects managed by TOBA include the American Graded Stakes Committee, Claiming Crown, Educational Seminars, OwnerView, Owners Concierge, US-Bred and the Sales Integrity Program. TOBA provides international representation for U.S. owners and breeders on the International Grading and Race Planning Advisory Committee, International Cataloguing Standards Committee and International Thoroughbred Breeders’ Federation. Thoroughbred Charities of America (TCA) is the charitable arm of TOBA. TOBA Media Properties, a subsidiary of TOBA, is the co-owner of BloodHorse LLC.

Louisiana AG Landry to give HBPA Conference keynote address

(Photo: Jeff Landry, courtesy Louisiana Attorney General’s office)
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Thursday, Jan. 12, 2023) — Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry will be the keynote speaker at the National HBPA’s annual conference March 6-10 at the Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans’ historic French Quarter, the horsemen’s organization announced.
The conference, which is hosted by the Louisiana HBPA, will be held in conjunction with the Association of Racing Commissioners International (ARCI) Annual Meeting and Racing Integrity Conference. The National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association represents about 30,000 thoroughbred owners and trainers. The ARCI is the umbrella organization which exists to assist in the coordination of the collective efforts of its members who are responsible for ensuring compliance with government laws and regulations designed to protect the general public and racing industry participants, including the equine and canine athletes.
Landry will deliver the conference’s keynote address on Tuesday March 7. As Louisiana’s attorney general, he has been at the forefront of states challenging the constitutionality of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) and the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (Authority) that the law established. In addition to constitutionality issues, Landry has expressed concern for the financial hardship that a largely duplicative bureaucracy will put on large portions of the horse-racing industry. Louisiana has four tracks that conduct horse racing.
“Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry embodies the positive vision with the inspiration and passion we seek in a keynote speaker,” said Eric Hamelback, the National HBPA’s CEO. “He has proven to be a strong advocate for horsemen and women who understands our labor-intensive industry with its substantial agribusiness, not only in Louisiana but throughout the country. He believes in a bright and better future for horse racing, and refuses to let us be trampled by special interests.”
“I am honored to be chosen the keynote speaker at the National HBPA Conference, and I look forward to visiting with so many who ply their trade in such a great industry,” said Landry, a decorated Army veteran. “I will continue fighting for them to prevent the federal government from taking over horse racing.”
The HBPA and ARCI will share panel discussions and presentations during their overlapping conferences while staging their business sessions separately. HISA will be the focus.
“Within horse racing right now, the obvious overarching topic is the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act,” said National HBPA President Dr. Doug Daniels, an equine veterinarian and racehorse owner/breeder. “Even as the challenges of its unlawfulness proceed and many in the industry fight back against the lack of transparency and overwhelming cost, we must understand portions of HISA are the law of the land everywhere but in the Fifth Circuit. Our goal in joining with Association of Racing Commissioners International at our conference is to provide a forum for frank discussions on where we are, where we’re headed, how we navigate an admittedly flawed law and process, and how everything should look after the court decisions are settled.”
One key panel could be called “what’s next?,” addressing alternative legislation to HISA and other options for a path forward for the industry. Panelists will include ARCI President Ed Martin and Amy Cook, the executive director of the Texas Racing Commission.
“A major part of the conference will be focused on laying out the issues with HISA and also how the industry can move forward,” Hamelback said. “We strongly believe there are more effective means that are constitutional. We also believe bringing the leadership of all stakeholders to the table will provide positive change that improves our industry without jeopardizing the financial health of smaller racetracks and racing stables.”
The meeting of the ARCI’s model rules committee will be open for both groups to attend. The ARCI model rules — developed with input from industry stake-holders while seeking scientific guidance and identifying best practices — are the blue print many racing commissions use for their state regulations.
Other joint sessions include a HISA litigation update, equine welfare with a focus on aftercare and scientific developments, fixed odds in horse racing and a trainers’ panel featuring Louisiana HBPA board members Bret Calhoun and Ron Faucheux and Kentucky HBPA board member Jason Barkley.
The HBPA programming will also include the annual Kent Stirling Memorial Medication Panel, which this year will delve into laboratories’ “limits of detection” and how it affects drug testing in horse racing.
The conclave kicks off with a reception on Monday March 6, followed by three days of panel discussions, presentations and meetings and an outing at the Fair Grounds for racing on Thursday March 9. The full HBPA board will meet Friday March 10 to close out the proceedings.
“The National HBPA Conference has become one of the most informative and newsworthy annual meetings on the racing calendar,” Hamelback said. “But it wouldn’t be possible without our corporate and conference sponsors. The Louisiana HBPA has gone out of its way to make the 2023 conference even more memorable.”
More information and registration is available at

LSU Vet Med instrumental in identifying toxin affecting Louisiana horses

LSU Vet Med worked with the FDA and the Louisiana Department of Agriculture

BATON ROUGE—The LSU School of Veterinary Medicine was instrumental in diagnosing and treating several horses in Louisiana infected with a suspected toxin. The investigation revealed a much wider problem, as the culprit was alfalfa cubes infected with Clostridium botulinum type C, which causes botulism. The cubes, which came from one source, were sold in several states, and horses in Louisiana, Texas, Colorado, and New Mexico have reportedly become ill and many died as a result of the toxin.

Botulism is a rare but serious illness caused by toxins released by a bacteria. That toxin then binds to nerves that affect muscles throughout the body and causes difficulty breathing, muscle paralysis, and even death. With Type C Botulism, the toxin is typically ingested from contaminated feeds and binds to nerve receptors; once this occurs, it cannot be reversed. If caught early, an anti-toxin can be used to keep free, unbound toxins from binding to the nerve receptors.

On December 3, 2022, a horse from a breeding farm in Vermilion Parish came to the LSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital and was seen by the equine emergency service. A second horse arrived on December 4. Both horses presented with neurological issues and were tested for infectious agents, including Eastern Equine Encephalitis, West Nile virus, herpes virus, and rabies. On December 5, more horses from the same farm arrived with the same symptoms. Ultimately, LSU saw 15 horses, while others were treated at the farm with approximately 20 horses in Louisiana affected.

The first horses were initially treated by Mustajab Mirza, DVM, DACVS, associate professor of equine surgery. Rose Baker, BVMS, DACVIM (LAIM), assistant professor of equine medicine, took over the care of the horses. On December 6, Matthew Welborn, DVM (LSU 1987), MPH, DACVPM, professor of food animal health maintenance at LSU Vet Med, and Christine Navarre, DVM (LSU 1990), DACVIM, professor of veterinary science, traveled to the farm to look for possible toxins. At this point, the suspicion was that the horses had been exposed to a toxin on the property, such as from toxic plants or spoiled food. Drs. Welborn and Navarre did not find an obvious source of contamination at that point and suggested additional testing of the feed. Based on these findings and the suspicions related to the toxin exposure, a request was then made to the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF). Dr. Baker began working with Jonathan Roberts, DVM, director of the commercial feed program with LDAF, to determine the cause of the illness and its source. All of the affected horses in Louisiana came from the same breeding farm; however, it is possible that other horses in Louisana were affected and those horse owners attributed illness and/or death to another cause.

Dr. Roberts worked with the farm and with LSU to coordinate the testing of alfalfa cubes. Official samples were sent both to the FDA and the California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory at the University of California, Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, which returned a positive result for Clostridium botulinum type C. While UC Davis was testing the cubes, the Louisiana Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (LADDL) at LSU Vet Med, along with Dr. Baker, tested additional samples from patients for Botulism. LADDL also performed necropsies on 12 horses with additional toxin testing to further investigate the cause of death.

LSU Vet Med has successfully treated five horses and sent them home and is still treating two horses, one of which is about to foal. These horses presented initially on an emergency basis and were triaged. Due to the herd outbreak concerns, multiple diagnostic tests and intensive nursing care were required immediately. Taking care of these horses required round-the-clock care, and a dedicated nursing staff and diligent care provided by veterinary students were critical in giving every one of these patients the best chance possible.

On December 17, 2022, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning about recalled lots of alfalfa cubes that appear to have caused illness and death in horses; at that time, the FDA reported that horses in Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, and Colorado have shown neurological signs that may be related to this issue. If you believe that your horse has been affected, please contact your veterinarian immediately or the LSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital at 225-578-9500.

On January 5, 2023, the LDAF sent out an advisory stating the cause of the illness and death was confirmed to be botulism. The quick resolution of this issue would not have been possible without the combined efforts of farm owners and staff, LSU Vet Med, LADDL, LDAF, UC Davis, and the FDA.

Information on what to do as a horse owner or how to report a horse illness

Read the FDA Advisory

Read LDAF update from January 5, 2023

About LSU Vet Med: Bettering lives through education, public service, and discovery

The LSU School of Veterinary Medicine is one of only 33 veterinary schools in the U.S. and the only one in Louisiana. LSU Vet Med is dedicated to improving and protecting the lives of animals and people through superior education, transformational research, and compassionate care. We teach. We heal. We discover. We protect.


Grade 1 Winner No Parole’s First Foal Has Arrived

(Sunset, La.) – Grade 1 winner No Parole’s first foal, a colt, was born January 9 in Louisiana.

Bred by Coteau Grove Farms, the foal is out of the well-bred Street Sense mare Naive Enough. He is a half-brother to the promising stakes-placed 3 year old Tumbarumba, who recently ran second in the Louisiana Champions Day Juvenile Stakes on December 10.

“We are so excited obviously as the breeders of No Parole himself, to also be the breeders of his first foal. He is a beautiful foal and full of energy this morning,” said Coteau Grove Farms managing partner Hunter Myers.

Coteau Grove Farms Bloodstock advisor Andrew Cary said, “We have supported No Parole with some very nice mares and will continue to do so this year and beyond. No Parole had truly elite speed and his sire Violence continues to produce top level horses every year, like Grade 1 winners Volatile and Forte among many others. He’s the only son of Violence standing in Louisiana.”

“This is a strong-bodied colt and a great advertisement for his sire. We have several more No Parole babies coming this year and are really looking forward to them. He’s off to a great start,” said assistant farm manager Jacob Cyprian.

Raced by Maggi Moss and Greg Tramontin and trained by Tom Amoss, No Parole won the Woody Stephens S. (G1) in 2020 among his 6 wins in 13 career starts. He stands in partnership at Carrol Castille’s Whispering Oaks Farm in Carencro, Louisiana for $3,500 live foal stands and nurses.

no parole the woody stephens credit susie raisher2 3.jpg

No Parole Winning the Woody Stephens S. (G1) © Coglianese photo

FDA Confirms Botulism Found In Alfalfa Cubes Tied To Deaths Of Nearly 50 Horses

The Louisiana Department of Agriculture & Forestry (LDAF), in cooperation with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the California Animal Health & Food Safety Laboratory (CAHFS), has confirmed the presence of Clostridium botulinum type C in alfalfa hay cubes linked to the death of at least 20 horses in Louisiana. This incident, which has evolved into a multi-state epizootic of Equine Botulism linked to the same alfalfa hay cubes, has also been connected to at least 28 similar horse deaths in New Mexico, Texas, and Colorado, with many other horses becoming clinically ill.

Equine Botulism is a condition caused from a bacterial toxin produced by Clostridium botulinum. In this incident, the condition was likely caused from direct ingestion of the toxin produced by the vegetative bacteria through contamination of the alfalfa hay cubes.

The FDA began their investigation, in conjunction with state departments, after reports that horses in Colorado, Louisiana, New Mexico, and Texas showed neurologic symptoms consistent with botulism. During LDAF’s investigation, LDAF Investigators received information of possible alfalfa hay cube adulteration with animal remains. LDAF Investigators subsequently confirmed the presence of animal remains in an unopened 50 lb. bag of “Top of the Rockies Alfalfa Horse Cubes” (Lot # 111422), produced by Manzanola Feeds LLC, a feed manufacturing firm in Manzanola, CO. This finding indicated that material from an animal or animals may have been incorporated into the cubes during alfalfa harvesting. Clostridium botulinum, the bacterium that causes botulism, is commonly present in decaying animal carcasses.


Read Paulick Report Article

2023 TAA Accreditation Application Now Available

The 2023 application for accreditation by the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance is now available on OpenWater and can be accessed HERE.

Thoroughbred aftercare nonprofits interested in applying must complete the application by the closing date of April 1 at 6 p.m. ET. Since TAA accreditation is only granted for a specific period of time, organizations with accreditation status ending in 2022 that want to remain accredited need to re-apply.

“Going into our 11th year of accreditation, the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance looks forward to working with new applicants and returning organizations to reach the highest standard of aftercare,” said TAA Accreditation and Grants Manager, Janice Towles.

Accreditation status is determined after a complete review of five areas of an aftercare organization: operations, education, horse health care management, facility standards and services, and adoption policies and protocols. Organizations passing the application review will be subject to site inspections of all facilities housing Thoroughbreds.

Organizations that receive accreditation are eligible to receive financial grants from the TAA, but prior grants awarded are no indication of potential future awards. In 2022 the TAA awarded $3.6 million to accredited organizations as grants earmarked specifically for equine care, totaling more than $28.1 million awarded since 2012.

Any organization interested in applying for TAA accreditation must fulfill the following five minimum requirements:
1. Organization must have a current status as a 501(c)(3) federal not-for-profit (U.S.) or must be a registered charity within the meaning of the Income Tax Act (Canada).
2. Organization must have been in operation for at least three years. The TAA will confirm operation information, including with the secretary of state or provincial business registry.
3. At time of application, organization must either (1) currently exclusively own and provide care for a minimum of 5 registered Thoroughbreds, or (2) currently exclusively own and provide care for at least 3-4 registered Thoroughbreds AND must have exclusively owned and provided care for at least 10 registered Thoroughbreds over the previous 12 months. Registered Thoroughbreds leased by the organization or owned by third parties at the same facility should not be included.
4. Organization must have a written euthanasia policy consistent with the American Association of Equine Practitioners.
5. Organization, or a principal of the organization or individual directly related to the organization, shall not have any current legal proceedings pending against them which adversely impact the aftercare operations, the organization’s standards of care, or the 501(c)(3) status of the organization.

For more information on the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance accreditation process, click here.

Two Scholarships to be Awarded at Louisiana Premier Night

Registration On Site at Delta Downs Saturday, February 4, 2023
(VINTON, La.) – Delta Downs Racetrack & Casino will host Louisiana Premier Night Saturday, February 4, with a post time of 4:50 p.m. CT. Plenty of activities are planned for a big day of championship Louisiana bred racing. Eleven races will be contested including ten stakes.
The stakes races are as follows with over $800,000 in guaranteed purses are on the line.
  • LA Bred Premier Ladies Starter – $60,000 Purse
  • LA Bred Premier Gentlemen Starter – $60,000 Purse
  • LA Bred Premier Ragin Cajun Starter – $50,000 Purse
  • LA Premier Bon Temps Starter – $50,000 Purse
  • LA Premier Prince – $100,000 Purse
  • LA Premier Distaff – $125,000 Purse
  • LA Premier Starlet – $100,000 Purse
  • LA Premier Championship – $150,000 Purse
  • LA Premier Sprint – $100,000 Purse
  • LA Premier Matron – $100,000 Purse
In addition on Premier Night, the Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association (LTBA) will award two scholarships, each valued at $1,000, to college students.
“We want you to enjoy these races with Louisiana’s best equine superstars,” said Roger Heitzmann, secretary/treasurer for the Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association. “These championship races often help decide our Horse of the Year standings by our members and our scholarship awards continue to fund the education of our youth in Louisiana.”
Requirements for the scholarship are as follows:
  • Must be a college student enrolled full-time in an Accredited College, University or Community College for Spring 2023 or Summer 2023
  • Scholarships will be awarded by random draw.
  • Must be in good standing with the college or university.
  • Must be present to win at the Winner’s Circle when the announcement is made.
  • Must have college ID and government-issued ID.
  • Must have University ID number or Social Security number.
For Louisiana Premier Night:
  • Registration: 3:50 p,m. – 4:50 p.m. at the designated booth
  • Races begin: 4:50 p.m.
  • Drawing Time: The scholarships will be awarded after the fifth race.The scholarship will be deposited directly into the student’s account at the college or university. The student is asked to know the name and address of the college that they are attending.
Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association manages the best incentive program for breeding thoroughbreds in the United States. Since the organization formed, this has led to increased purses, better quality horses, and increased interest in racing and breeding horses. The thoroughbred racing and breeding industry generates over $1 billion and employs over 60,000 people in the state of Louisiana.
For more information about Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association visit or call (504) 947-4676.
calzone | | (337) 235-2924 |

Free Like a Girl takes watered down Bob F. Wright Memorial

Free Like A Girl with jockey Pedro Cotto, Jr. aboard wins the Bob F. Wright Memorial Stakes. Hodges Photography / Lou Hodges, Jr.

With Ova Charged away, Free Like a Girl will play

With the overwhelming favorite Ova Charged scratched late morning, the door was open for Gerald Bruno, Jr., Carl J. Deville, Jerry Caroom and trainer Chasey Pomier’s Free Like a Girl, and she took full advantage, taking the $75,000 Bob F. Wright Memorial for Louisiana-bred filly and mare sprinters over just two rivals.

“When we checked on her this morning, she had a fever,” trainer Jose Camejo, whose Ova Charged, easily handled Free Like a Girl in the Ladies Sprint on Champions Day. “It’s disappointing, but we have to do what’s right by the horse.”

With both Ova Charged and Snowball scratched, Free Like a Girl needed to defeat only Spirited Beauty and Winning Romance to get the win, and she did just that.

“I think she (Ova Charged) is amazing, but we were ready,” Pomier said. “This is a business. We are all competitive. I hope everything is fine with her and that she comes back good.”

Away alertly, Free Like a Girl went to the lead, but she was quickly challenged on the inside by Spirited Beauty through opening splits of :22.34 and :45.56. She put that foe away and darted away under regular rider Pedro Cotto, Jr. to win away by 2 ¾ lengths in a final time of 1:11.26 for six furlongs over a fast track. Winning Romance failed to menace and finished a distant third.

“I was trying to get her as relaxed as I could and just go from there,” Cotto, Jr. said.

Just one week ago, Free Like a Girl finished second in the open company Pago Hop around two turns. Entered as a “main track only”, she ran when the race was washed off the turn.

“We took a shot that the Pago Hop was going to come off the turf last week in case this race didn’t make it (wasn’t used) because we knew it was going to be just a few horses,” Pomier explained. “We ran her, took a shot and I was able to leave her here with Ron (trainer Faucheux). His crew did an amazing job for us all week. With the short rest, we waited until yesterday afternoon and decided to stay in.”

With the win, Free Like a Girl, who was purchased for just $5,500 as a yearling, moved into the top 20 on the all-time list Louisiana-bred earnings list with $748,128. In the process, she enhanced her record to 22-10-7-3. She paid $3.20 to win.

Who Took the Money storms home in rescheduled LA Champions Day Turf Classic

Who Took The Money with Deshawn Parker aboard wins the 31st running of the Louisiana Champions Day Turf at Fair Grounds. Hodges Photography / Lou Hodges, Jr.

Who Took the Money Welcomes a Return to Grass

Even though he had won three of his last five starts on dirt, Allied Racing Stable’s Who Took the Money welcomed a return to grass, winning the rescheduled $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Turf in high-stepping fashion for trainer Bret Calhoun and jockey Deshawn Parker.

Touchuponastar, who posted an upset over the 1-2 favorite in the Champions Day Classic on dirt, was scratched from Saturday’s Turf, opening the door for Who Took the Money to make amends. With the rails 34 feet out and longshots Play Mo and Charlie G in chase mode, Maga Man dictated early terms through tough to gauge fractions of :25.09 and :52.90. Meanwhile, 2-5 favorite Who Took the Money bided his time in sixth while in the clear. The race began to fall apart on the turn for home, and Who Took the Money displayed his patented late kick. Eventual second and third place finishers Smarty Alex and Ballinonabudjet also ran on well late, but the favorite prevailed by 2 ½ lengths in 1:50.59 for 1 1/16 miles.

“He has a really big turn of foot on the turf,” Parker said. “He has it on the dirt too, but on the turf it just feels totally different. I let him do his own thing. He tells me what to do. Turning for home he’ll kick it in gear himself. I really don’t have to do anything. I just let him do his thing and stay out of his way.”

Calhoun agreed.

“I think we had overstayed our welcome on the dirt a little bit,” Calhoun said. “He ran well, very consistent, but I think he had enough of it after the last time out (third in the LA Classic). I was happy to get back on the grass. It’s his much preferred surface. We are going to try to keep him on the grass in the Louisiana program for as long as we can. After that, we may have go to the open horses a little bit at some point. He’s kind of his own worst enemy. Like Deshawn (jockey Parker) said, he kind of does things his own way. If he gets a little bit better mentally, he might be a really good older horse.”

Who Took the Money returned $2.80 for the win. His record now stands at 15-10-0-3 with $469,177 in the bank.