Jockey Randy Romero, elected to racing’s Hall of Fame in 2010, said last weekend he is hospice care but is at home in Lafayette, La., where a brother is staying with him and helping with his care.
“I’m very sick but I haven’t given up,” he said by phone. Romero, 62, said doctors told him he is not strong enough to undergo the surgery necessary to remove tumors that were discovered in 2015. He said his pain is being managed and hospice is allowing him to undergo dialysis three times weekly at a facility close to his home, a procedure he has done for some 15 years.
As much as $17.5 million per year could be used to support Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse purses in Texas as a result of legislation signed into law last weekend by Gov. Greg Abbott.
House Bill 2463 diverts sales taxes on horse feed, tack and other horse-related products and services from the state’s general fund to an escrow account established by the Texas Racing Commission and capped at $25 million annually. No more than 70% of the funds in the escrow account may go toward purses. If the escrow account reaches $25 million, that would be an additional $17.5 million in purse money annually, virtually doubling the current amount, based on an economic study conducted by TXP Inc. consultants.
This horse is not cast, but is getting up after lying down, demonstrating the way horses need to push their front legs out to get their balance when rising.
Horsemen probably don’t comprehend how big and heavy a horse actually is until it gets cast against or under something and they have to get it unstuck. One futile tug on the mane of a cast horse and the person quickly will realize he or she needs assistance.
“The first thing I would say is to get some help,” said Dr. Sally DeNotta, extension specialist and assistant professor of large animal internal medicine at the University of Florida. “You don’t want to be in the stall with a cast horse alone because it’s dangerous and they’re big.”
Kevin Atwood has always liked speed. His boots were in stirrups more often than on the ground while he was growing up in Hopkinsville, Ky., and he carried on that tradition with barrel racing through adulthood.
In 2008, however, Atwood had to admit he needed to slow down. Then 46, he started searching for another outlet in which he could enjoy both horses and speed. Turning to Thoroughbred racing, Atwood contacted his childhood friend, fellow Hopkinsville native trainer Larry Jones. His first horse, named One Pretty Lady, won a couple races and earned more than double her purchase price, and Atwood was hooked.
In the hubbub of the Kentucky Derby disqualification drama, replays and still images have been analyzed and watched thousands of times as viewers try to get a handle on Maximum Security’s path of travel and the resulting domino effect. One thing people probably weren’t looking at closely, however, was the whips the jockeys were carrying. All riders in this year’s Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby went to the post with the new 360 Gentle Touch (360 GT) riding crop, engineered by retired Eclipse Award-winning jockey Ramon Dominguez. Riders at Laurel Park adopted the crop’s use in April.
Until the DQ of Maximum Security took center stage, the use of the whip (often referred to as a “riding crop” in an attempt at rebranding) was one of the central debates in racing, prompted by The Stronach Group’s suggestions earlier this year it would do away with the whip for any purpose other than safety or correction of a drifting horse. That declaration, which became a rule unanimously approved by the California Horse Racing Board, was met with displeasure by the Jockeys’ Guild, which claims its members need the whip. Horseplayers weighed in to suggest they preferred riders to use them for encouragement. On the opposite side of the aisle, animal rights groups have long demonized use of the whip, adding it in a long list of perceived abuses in the sport.
Any time a horse expresses resistance or undesirable behavior, it’s worthwhile to investigate why—it’s not always a training issue he’s simply refusing to do; the horse may be in pain. Horses have no ulterior motive; they simply seek relief from discomfort. Identifying the root cause of the discomfort the horse is trying to get away from can be challenging, yet is necessary to resolve the issue.
A horse that swishes his tail, pins his ears or acts angry when girthed is trying to tell the rider something; if not addressed while small expressions, the outbursts may ramp up to bucking, rearing, bolting or otherwise attempting to avoid pain.
Statistically, Mark Guidry is one of only 34 jockeys to ride more than 5,000 races. In addition to those glittery stats, he is so well regarded by his peers that he received the 2006 George Woolf Award that honors jockeys whose character and career reflect positively on themselves and Thoroughbred racing.
When he received the Woolf award, Guidry credited his Louisiana upbringing that emphasized respect. He said that treating others the way one wanted to be treated was “pounded” into youngsters while growing up. In those formative years in a racing-rich culture, Guidry had easy access to horses and, like so many premiere jockeys, he started riding in informal races during his youth.
Hip 302, a filly by The Big Beast, after selling for $850,000 at the OBS March 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale.
The 2019 edition of the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co. March 2-Year-Olds In Training Sale saw unprecedented bounty at the very top of the market, but mid-level trade took a step back in the juvenile auction season’s first event.
The two-day auction saw 309 horses sold for revenues of $44,422,500, up 5 percent from last year’s final gross, when 257 horses brought $42,275,000.
In the wake of an alarming number of fatal injuries sustained by horses racing and training at Santa Anita Park since the Dec. 26, 2018, opening day, racing has been cancelled indefinitely, according to a published report in Daily Racing Form.
The announcement was conveyed to the newspaper by Tim Ritvo, chief operating officer of the Racing and Gaming division of The Stronach Group, owner of Santa Anita. Ritvo did not offer a date racing would resume, but said this weekend’s live programs featuring Saturday’s Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap and Grade 2 San Felipe – the latter a major prep for the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby and a points race for the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby – would not be held.
Equine insurance experts answer your questions about insuring Thoroughbreds for the breeding and auction realms. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have a question for an insurer.
QUESTION: How do the process, options, and rates differ for insuring a broodmare prospect compared with a veteran broodmare?
BRYCE BURTON: The process of having a broodmare prospect insured is the same as insuring a veteran broodmare. In order to bind coverage, obtaining a quote from your agent is the first step. Once the quote is accepted by the insured, the agent will instruct the company to issue the policy on the owner’s behalf. Unless the mare is purchased at auction, a veterinary certificate or statement of health form will also need to be completed on the mare in order to bind coverage.
The coverage options for both a broodmare prospect and veteran broodmare are Full Mortality, Prospective Foal, and Barrenness coverage. Full Mortality coverage, also known as all-risk coverage, will cover the mare for death due to any cause. Once the mare is confirmed 42 days in foal, the owner will also have the option to place Prospective Foal Insurance, covering the mare’s unborn foal until a specified amount of time after birth. Lastly, the owner has the option of placing Barrenness coverage on the mare, which insures that the mare will get in foal given that she is covered by the stallion a minimum of two times during two separate oestral periods. Barrenness coverage is more likely to be placed on a broodmare prospect or young broodmare in conjunction with a No Guarantee season purchase.
The rates can differ when insuring a broodmare prospect as opposed to a veteran broodmare. The Full Mortality rate for a broodmare prospect will be the same until the mare is roughly 13-15 years old, depending on the carrier. At that time, the mare is considered overage and the Full Mortality rate quoted by the carrier will be higher. When placing Prospective Foal and Barrenness Prospective Foal insurance coverages, there are a handful of variables that will directly affect the rate provided by the company. Generally, insuring a prospect or young broodmare for Prospective Foal and/or Barrenness will result in a more favorable rate than a veteran, which is more likely to have a blemish on her produce record.
Bryce Burton is a property and liability specialist for Muirfield Insurance. He is from Frankfort, Ky., where he grew up an avid race fan. His Thoroughbred racing fandom combined with a collegiate internship in the insurance industry, culminated in a start in the equine insurance field. Bryce has been with Muirfield Insurance since 2014, following his graduation from Transylvania University in Lexington