Nail-Free Shoe Options For Thoroughbreds: Glue-Ons Prevail

by | 06.29.2017 | 9:49am

 

 

If you follow any fellow horse lovers on social media (and even if you don’t), chances are you’ve seen a photo of these nail-free, iron-free, colorful clip-on horseshoes sometime in the past several months. Photos of the Megasus Horserunners, as the shoes are called, have gotten a lot of attention on Facebook due to their bright colors and claims of a gentler, more supportive shoeing option for horses.

The Horserunners, expected to be available for sale later this year, are clip-on shoes with bottoms designed similar to human running shoes. The shoes are meant to be shock-absorbing and easily removed for riders who want to work their horses in shoes but turn them out barefoot. According to the company’s website, Horserunners are applied by placing two strips of Mega Lock tape onto the foot’s outside wall and adhering the shoe’s clips onto the tape strips.

So, will we soon see Thoroughbreds with equine running shoes color coordinated to their silks?

Pat Broadus, owner of Broadus Brothers Horseshoeing in Central Kentucky, has his doubts. A galloping Thoroughbred exerts roughly 30,000 pounds of pressure per square inch in his feet. Broadus isn’t convinced, from what he has seen of the Horserunners, the velcro-like tape combined with the shoe base would provide the right combination of adherence, traction, and slide needed to the hoof in that high-pressure situation.

 

“I’ve never seen a pair put on,” said Broadus, who had concerns about the tape used to adhere the clips. “It’s like Velcro. You know with Velcro, as soon as it gets dirty, it won’t stick anymore.”

 

Indeed, the target audience for Horserunners seems to be trail and casual riders, although initial tests suggests the clip-ons can withstand the force of jumping.

While the act of using nails to affix shoes is painless to the horse when done correctly, nails can pose problems. Horses with thin hoof walls can have shoes loosen, and nails can predispose the wall to cracks, chips or tears if the horse is stomping flies or steps on the edge of a loose shoe and pulls it the wrong way. Some horses, especially Thoroughbreds with thin walls, struggle to keep nailed-on shoes affixed.

If not clip-ons, what are the best options for racehorses needing a break from nails?

Broadus said glue-on shoes remain the standard for Thoroughbreds with special shoeing needs. They were initially found primarily in hospital settings but have become much more mainstream in the past few years.

“It used to be you’d go in a barn and it was taboo for them to have glue-ons, and now you’ll have three out of 20 with glue-ons on,” he said.

Broadus, who co-owns glue-on shoe company Hanton Horseshoes, says people have gained a better understanding of how to glue shoes to horses’ feet.

“When glue-ons first came around, everybody thought you needed a half a bucket of glue to glue a horse on,” he said. “I think we were way overkilling it and putting glue in places that didn’t need glue, and I put myself in that group. It’s the human mindset of, ‘More is better.’ It only sticks to so much. The more you put on, the more chance you have of part of it failing.”

Hanton’s shoes are a modified type of Victory Racing Plates with clips that rest against the outside of the hoof wall, and it is these that are glued on. More traditional glue-ons require a small amount of glue at the edge of the foot and are easy to remove as the hoof grows out, since the portion with the glue is often the part that would be trimmed off anyway.

Despite his involvement in the glue-on shoe business, Broadus said he only has about four horses actively wearing glue-ons across a practice with five farriers.

“I glue to get horses out of glue-ons, I do not put them on planning to leave them on for their entire life. That being said, I have done it when I’ve had a bad situation on certain horses,” he said. “A lot of times, I get a call to come put glue-ons on a horse and you’re not putting nails in so the feet grow out and they look beautiful, then they’re scared to go back to [nails].”

Broadus has one client whose top-level driving prospect had to be retired when he pulled a shoe, stepped on the nail, and developed an infection that spread to his ankle. She keeps her current driving horse in glue-ons for peace of mind, even though she acknowledges it’s unlikely such an accident would happen again.

The downside of glue-ons is they’re more expensive; some can run $75 to $80 a pair, a cost that gets passed onto the client. A pair of glue-ons cannot be reset after one use, which contributes to the bill, too.

Another option Broadus sees for Thoroughbreds needing a break from traditional shoes: hoof boots. Broadus has had good luck rehabilitating a horse on his farm with hoof boots for about seven months. Hoof boots have become better-fitted to horses’ feet in the past several years and have been a popular option among endurance riders negotiating significant mileage at a slow speed over tough terrain. He hasn’t had a request to try hoof boots from one of his racing clients yet, but he wouldn’t be surprised if it comes soon.

“I’m not so sure that that type of boot wouldn’t have its place at the racetrack at some point,” he said. “I don’t know that a horse would run in them because of the traction on the bottom. But I could see a horse come up with a bruised foot or something, and you put that on for a few days while you treat it. I could see where it would be a lot of protection. They’ve improved them so much.”

Farm Labor Reform: A Never-Ending Chore

By T. D. Thornton

http://www.thoroughbreddailynews.com/farm-labor-reform-a-never-ending-chore/#.WVZPDfNkCE4.email

This is the first in a two-part installment about labor problems facing Thoroughbred farm owners.

When America’s food growers want to hammer home the point that United States agriculture is facing an ever-worsening labor crisis because there aren’t enough workers to tend our nation’s fields, they illustrate the plight by providing photographs of row upon row of unpicked crops dying in the dirt.

Dairy farmers, dealing with the same trouble, have begun repeating the dire threat that if America doesn’t figure out a way to import more workers, the country will soon have to resort to the unthinkable practice of importing milk instead.

And in the stabling areas of Thoroughbred racetracks all across the nation, it’s become an all-too-familiar tale how trainers can’t find and retain capable, reliable hands-on horse workers, let alone entry-level laborers willing to shovel manure and scrub water buckets.

There is anecdotal evidence that willing foreign workers are avoiding Thoroughbred-related employment because of the palpable vibe that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials could swoop in for a raid at any moment–an uneasy feeling validated by the fact that ICE is reportedly arresting 400 undocumented foreigners daily nationwide.

Such a crackdown (16 arrests) just happened in Saratoga Springs, New York, in early June, a little more than a month before the country’s highest-profile Thoroughbred race meet is scheduled to begin in that city. According to the Washington Post, the nationwide haul of 41,318 immigrants taken into custody over the first 100 days of President Donald Trump’s administration represents a 37.6% increase over the same period last year.

But while racetrack-related labor woes have been spotlighted in recent months (read TDN’s most recent take on the subject here), there are parallel problems with different consequences playing out on the nation’s Thoroughbred farms.

Over the past several weeks, as the breeding and foaling seasons morphed into the yearling prep season, TDN surveyed a selection of owners and managers of different-sized farms around the country and spoke with elected and appointed officials to find out what long- and short-term help they can offer constituents. This article will attempt to give a snapshot of the varying degrees of problems articulated by owners; Part 2 in Friday’s edition will examine potential solutions.

“Look, this is the worst-kept secret, both on the farm on the backstretch,” said Chauncey Morris, executive director of The Kentucky Thoroughbred Association/Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders organization. “The labor issue is challenging. We needed immigration reform in this country probably five years ago, but we don’t have that. So is there a labor shortage currently? Yes, there is, because the economy has increased in a lot of places, including here in central Kentucky where the unemployment rate is very, very low.”

Morris–like everybody interviewed for this story–was adamant that the day-to-day, basic needs of Thoroughbreds are not what gets compromised when there is a shortage of farm labor. “As far as reducing the level of care on horses where it becomes a welfare problem, that’s not an issue,” he said.

What generally happens is that maintenance and upkeep suffers, and non-horse components that are vital to running a successful farming operation slide to the bottom of the to-do list, fueling a mentality of workplace triage.

Fred and Nancy Mitchell’s Clarkland Farm in Lexington compensates for the labor shortage in the heart of the Bluegrass by taking an all-hands-on-deck family approach. The Mitchells have a more vested interest than most owners in the future of their broodmare farm, because the property has been in their family since the 1700s.

A staff of seven cares for the 70 to 75 horses that reside on the Clarkland property. Fred Mitchell said that number includes the Mitchells themselves, (“but we’re getting up there in years”), a “workaholic daughter,” a triathlete son-in-law who handles all the mowing when he’s not in training for or competing in Ironman races, and three Mexican guest workers (two who live on the property, with the other housed nearby).

“It’s not easy to find good workers anymore,” Mitchell said. “The best hands that we can get now are the Mexicans. And if you can get a good one, you’ve really got a good one. But anyone local? You might as well just forget about it. They don’t want to work. They don’t have to work. The government is taking too good care of them.”

The foreign guest workers have either been employed at Clarkland a long time, Mitchell said, or different workers rotate to Lexington from the same small Mexican community as the seasons change. If one of them has to remain at home for whatever reason, Mitchell added, they are quick to send another family member or friend. Mitchell said he does not handle the Clarkland bookkeeping, but he believes they are all paid above $10 hourly.

McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds, located five minutes away from the Saratoga Race Course backstretch, is another husband-and-wife founded breeding farm. Joe McMahon knows the employment totem pole from the bottom up: He began working as a groom, hotwalker, and exercise rider at age 16; met his eventual wife, Anne, on the backside several years later when she was a Skidmore College student, and the two started with 100 acres (the property has since quadrupled) and a couple of broodmares in 1971.

When TDN cold-called to ask about the employment snapshot in his region last week, Joe McMahon immediately cited figures that showed the farm was down to only 15 employees at a time of year when they usually carry 20 to care for their 260 broodmares, foals, and yearlings. Yet the farm’s payroll has spiked upward in 2017 compared to the last two years.

“We’re paying more, and that’s a conscious thing we’re doing to keep our better people,” McMahon said. “Pretty much anybody you talk to, that’s the first thing they say is they’ve got labor problems. It’s hard to get good people who are responsible and they show up. We have to pay up, is what I think. And it’s hard to do when you get a shrinking participation level from [horse] owners.

“But to pay up, you’ve got to raise people’s board,” McMahon continued. “Who wants to raise board when [the industry] is in kind of a contraction mode? So we’re trying to do other things. We want to keep everybody that’s already in the business in business. We don’t want to drive anybody away. We want to do other things better. In fact, we want to run the whole place better, more efficiently. That’s our answer to it, because we feel we have to pay up. So we’re willing to do that if we can get the money out of the business [in other ways]. It’s just working smarter, I guess. But it sure isn’t easy.”

McMahon cited the overall Thoroughbred marketplace as a factor in his business decisions.

“Yearling sales have been pretty tough the last couple of years, even though they’ve been fairly good here in New York,” McMahon said. “That’s probably part of the problem. There aren’t as many people buying inexpensive horses as there used to be. You look at the 2-year-old sales, the stratification is incredible. I mean there’s nothing in the middle or the bottom, although this year was maybe slightly better across the board. So that affects it.”

McMahon said that for entry-level workers, he pays on par with what convenience and fast-food stores pay around Saratoga, which is about $15 hourly.

“We have one girl at $10 an hour, but she gets housing with it,” McMahon said. “So she gets a home, and she gets a contribution towards her [health insurance], 50%. It’s hard to get good people, plain and simple. We’re fortunate that we’ve had some people who have been with us for a long time, and they’re kind of filling the gaps. But for just labor people? It’s real tough.”

Asked if the shortage is constraining his operation’s growth, McMahon said, “We don’t want to grow any more. We’re as big as we want to be. But I guess this spring we’re just noticing that we’re farther behind on those maintenance kinds of jobs–painting, weed whacking, and mowing and fixing fences. We seem to have a harder time getting those sorts of things done. And that’s because everybody who works here has horse skills, and we can’t take them away from the horse part of it to do stuff that we used to have abundant people to do.”

In Ocala, Florida, Roger Brand, the vice president and general manager of the Double Diamond Farm stallion facility and training farm, said that while his operation is not in as desperate an employment position as farms in other geographic areas, he sees a different delineation between the availability of skilled horse help versus general laborers than McMahon does in New York.

“Getting people that have horse experience, I think there’s a shortage of that,” Brand said. “I don’t know that it’s a shortage of people that come in to apply for jobs, but [there is a shortage of] people who are qualified to work with horses. I think most of those people who are familiar with the business are gravitating towards the track, not farms. It used to be easier to get people with horse experience. But from the labor side of mowing and things like that, I don’t think there’s a shortage.”

Brand’s opinion is reflected by his employees-to-horses ratio, which is lower than other interviewees for this story: He said he has between 42 and 46 workers on the payroll for a farm that usually houses 100 horses, depending on the season.

“I think the horse business itself–you know, you’re either in or you’re out of the world of horses,” Brand said. “I think the amount of people in the horse business is not what it used to be. If you grew up in it and your family was in it, you probably are still involved. But I don’t think other people are gravitating to it.”

Brand said that he pays hands-on horse workers $12-15 hourly and riders get $12-15 per mount. Yet he believes in paying unskilled laborers roughly the same amount, “because, believe it or not, you get what you pay for.”

That wage breakdown contrasts with what Pete and Evelyn Parrella of Legacy Ranch in Clements, California, pay their workers. But it’s important to consider that north-central California horse farms are located in an ultra-competitive agricultural jobs market.

“Right now it’s difficult,” Pete Parrella said. “Up here, at this time of year you’ve got cherry-picking and grapes, and those operations pay piece work. It’s sometimes difficult for us to keep employees because they can make more money on piece work than they can hourly, so that’s been a challenge for us.”

Legacy Ranch offers breaking, training, lay-ups, sales prep, breeding, and foaling. Parrella said a staff of 35 tends to the

400 horses, and that he pays $11-15 hourly to lure general laborers, but will go above $20 hourly to retain skilled horse workers.

“To keep people we’re having to pay well over the minimum wage for physical labor for stall cleaners and manure pickup and stuff like that. It’s a problem for horse farms. I don’t know how you can hold [boarding] rates. Rates are going to have to go up, and some of the clients are going to have to pay new rates for us to keep employees,” Parrella said.

“Finding qualified people in the horse industry is a challenge. But there are people out there, and if you’re fortunate enough to find them, then you have to pay the price. If you’re looking for quality over quantity, your clientele has to appreciate that, and clients have to make a choice where they want to go,” Parrella said. “We’re really not looking for bodies. We’re looking for people in the industry that have a concept of what a good horseman is. That’s what we look for.”

The farm operators interviewed from Kentucky, Florida, California, and New York represent the top four Thoroughbred producers by state. But drift farther down that list, and it seems evident that the more removed you are from the top of the breeding hierarchy, the more difficult it gets to find qualified horse farm workers.

Barbara and Ron Rickline founded Xanthus Farm in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in 1983. The full-service breeding farm, which bills itself on its website as “one of Pennsylvania’s leading commercial stallion establishments,” usually houses 150 horses, and about half of them are new foals each year.

Yet Barabara Rickline said she only is able to retain four or five full-time employees and a handful of rotating part-timers. Her best staffers are older locals in their 50s who are life-long horse handlers, and one intensely equine-enthused 15-year-old girl who is a tireless worker. The average starting wage, she said, is $8-9 hourly.

“We start them out kind of cheap because most of them don’t stay anyway,” Rickline said. “I’ve already tried paying people more money, and it just doesn’t help. I know that sounds kind of cheap, but that’s the reality of it.

“This area is big for apple farming. We used to always have available help that would do both kinds of work, in the orchards and then they’d pick up work on the horse farms. But now that the immigration thing got kind of tough, everybody has disappeared. I used to always rely on a couple of Mexicans who did good work and liked to be with horses. But they all went back to Mexico. They’re too afraid they’re going to get picked up.”

Rickline continued: “I hate to say it, but [American] kids don’t want to do this stuff. They don’t do physical labor. You can’t even get people with horse experience. You have to teach them everything. The basic horse stuff gets done on my farm. But the extra seasonal upkeep things don’t get done as much as you’d like. It’s making me want to cut my business back. I’m even trying to reduce my number of horses because you can’t find good help.

“And when I say ‘good help,’ I mean people that just show up,” Rickline emphasized. “It doesn’t mean that their work is good. And that’s bad, when their best quality is they just show up.”

@thorntontd

July Calendar of Events

 Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association would like to share the following list of dates of interest to Louisiana horsemen and women.

Brought to you by Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association, Whispering Oaks Farm, and Equine Sales CompanyClick images to link to more information

July 1

  • LTBA Membership Applications Due 
  • Louisiana Futurity Eligibility Payments due

July 4

  • Independence Day

July 5

  • LTBA Board of Directors Election Results Announced

July 7

  • Accreditation Forms will be mailed

July 8

  • Louisiana Legends Night at Evangeline Downs.
    Accredited Louisiana Bred Thoroughbred Stakes racing.

July 29

  • D.S. “Shine” Young Futurities. Evangeline Downs.

Would you like to sponsor a newsletter? Reach more than 3,000 readers.

Please contact Linda 985-386-0360, linda@louisianabred.com or Roger 504-947-4676, roger@louisianabred.com for cost and availability.

Do you have a date pertaining to Louisiana-breds that you would like included in an upcoming calendar? Please contact Linda 985-386-0360, linda@louisianabred.com or Roger 504-947-4676, roger@louisianabred.comfor consideration.

 

Any questions or need more info call

Roger A. Heitzmann III, Secretary/Treasurer

Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association

504-947-4676, 800-772-1195

Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association Will Award Scholarships at Louisiana Legends Night at Evangeline Downs

(New Orleans, La.) – Louisiana Legends Night will take place Saturday, July 8, at Evangeline Downs Racetrack & Casino in Opelousas, La. The Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association will award two (2) scholarships, each valued at $1,000, during the event.

The drawings will be between the fifth and sixth races in the winners circle. The races begin at 5:50 p.m. and the student must be there to register between 4:50 p.m. and 5:50 p.m. at the designated registration booth.

The requirements for the scholarship are as follows:

  • Must be a college student enrolled full-time for Fall 2017.
  • Must be in good standing with the college or university.
  • Must be present at the drawing location to win.
  • Must have university ID number or Social Security number.

 

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.

“The Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association is pleased to continue making an investment in the future of our state by investing in the education process,” said Roger Heitzmann, secretary/treasurer for the Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association.

The Louisiana Legends Night annual event features six stakes races for Louisiana-bred horses and total purse money of $600,000. The highlight of the evening will be the $100,000 Louisiana Legends Classic for 3-year-olds and up competing at 1-1/16 miles.

 

Legends Night 7/8/2017      
Louisiana Legends Classic 3+ La bred 1m 1/16 $100,000 G
Louisiana Legends Distaff FM3+ La bred 1m 1/16 $100,000 G
Louisiana Legends Sprint 3+ La bred 5 1/2f $100,000 G
Louisiana Legends Mademoiselle FM3+ La bred 5 1/2f $100,000 G
Louisiana Legends Cheval 3 YR La bred 1m $100,000 G
Louisiana Legends Soiree F 3YR La bred 1m $100,000 G

 

 

For more information please call 1-800-772-1195 or visit louisianabred.com.

APPRENTICE AUBREY GREEN OVERCOMES CHALLENGES TO PURSUE HER DREAM OF RIDING PROFESSIONALLY

AubrieGreen3
Aubrey Green. Lou Hodges Photography

Bossier City, LA – Many features on apprentice jockeys making their mark involve young riders, even teenagers, winning their first races at an early age. Some come from a racing family, following in the footsteps of a father, uncle or cousin.

Louisiana Downs apprentice Aubrey Green has written a very different story for her journey in becoming a professional jockey, defying the standard script in pretty much every way! Green is 30-years-old and a mother of three children. Born in Boise, Idaho, she grew up in a very small town of Riley, with virtually no exposure to racing.

“I was raised in a very sheltered environment,” said Green. “We didn’t watch much television and the only horse racing I ever knew about was the Kentucky Derby.”

Her family owned a Quarter Horse and Green began riding when she was nine, but was more intent on studying and going to college than becoming a jockey. She married at 18 and had three children, who are now six, seven and eight-years-old.

“I guess I was a broodmare first,” she jokes, acknowledging that even as a busy young mom, she had a desire to pursue a career to ride professionally.

“I had a really rough debut,” she recalled. “I was 23 and rode my own horse in a stock race at a fair meet. I was pregnant at the time, but knew that I wanted to keep going.”

The next year she began galloping for a few trainers and rode in a schooling race at Pocatello Downs; then on to Wyoming Downs, where she rode her first winner in August, 2015.

She made her way to Delta Downs in Vinton, Louisiana with little success, but had much better fortune when she traveled to Turf Paradise at the end of 2015.

Green credits journeyman Isaias Enriquez for helping her learn the ropes when she arrived at Turf Paradise. She was just 100 pounds and, in her words, ‘couldn’t switch a stick without hitting myself in the mouth’!

“He took me under his wing because he saw I wasn’t scared and believed that I had potential,” recalled Green.

Enriquez helped her get stronger, guiding her through a fitness regime of running, lifting weights and “riding” on an Equisizer that they built from scratch. He showed her how to twirl her whip and she practiced all night.  The next day she walked up to her mentor, twirling the whip like she had been doing it for years.

“He just smiled and I knew that I had proven he wouldn’t be wasting his time helping me learn,” stated Green.

“The first time I beat him in a race, he was so happy, he just lit up,” said Green. “He is riding on the West coast, but still follows me and calls with his feedback.”

Despite the positive encouragement from Enriquez and several trainers, it has not been an easy path for Green.  She has ridden in seven states, with mounts at Santa Rosa, Ferndale, Hamey County Fair, Los Alamitos, Delta Downs, Turf Paradise and now at Louisiana Downs.

“I knew it was going to be tough,” she admitted. “I almost quit after Delta. Then I realized that this is where I belong. I want to set a good example for my kids and truly believe that if you work hard, you can accomplish anything.”

Green has ridden 424 horses to date with 40 wins. She has already doubled her results from 2016 and is enjoying riding full-time at Louisiana Downs this meet.  Her goal is to show trainers that she can put her mount in an advantageous position and will ride as hard on a favorite or a 30-1 longshot.

Being away from her children is very tough on Green, but she has support from her two rescue dogs, Jagger and T-Bone. She smiles when she recalls a recent win.

“I had a ton of horse and was closing down the lane, which was freakin’ awesome,” said Green. “When I dismounted, the groom said ‘wow; I thought you were one of the guys’. That was my best compliment yet!”

Positive, focused and grounded in her ability to rise to the challenge in a very demanding profession, it’s hard not to root for Aubrie Green.

 

Big Week for Jockey Richard Eramia

Jockey Richard Eramia parlayed a huge day of racing into a week of national merit as he was named JockeyTalk360.com Jockey of the Week.

The honor is bestowed to the North American Thoroughbred rider with the best record for the week. Eramia won five of the seven races on the June 21st card Louisiana Downs. The 38-year-old rode 42 races in six days at Louisiana Downs and Lone Star Park. Eramia won 17 races; the most victories of any other jockey in the country, which garnered him the award for the week of June 19-25.  The award is voted on by a panel of experts by members of the Jockeys’ Guild, the organization which represents more than 950 riders in North America.

“It was a pretty exciting week,” said Eramia. “I have a very good driver:  my wife Jessica, which makes the commute between the two tracks much easier”

Eramia makes his home in Dallas, just four miles from Lone Star. Monty Penney handles his book in Texas and Ronald Ardoin books mounts for him at Louisiana Downs.

Currently the leading rider at Louisiana Downs, the hard-working veteran is highly respected in the jocks room.

“Richard is an amazing rider,” said apprentice Aubrie Green. “He has been very kind to me and is someone I admire for his work ethic and professionalism.”

Exotic Racing Set for July 4 at Louisiana Downs

Back by popular demand, Harrah’s Louisiana Downs is hosting the Exotic Animal Races on Tuesday, July 4. Ostriches and Camels will take the post between Live Horse Racing. The family-friendly activities begins at noon with bounce houses, face painting and water-slides on the apron. Eat up as food trucks serve up great local bites or check out the buffet dining in Harrah’s Club, with an “All you can eat, All day” price of $24.99. The live racing gets underway at 3:15pm.

 

Louisiana Downs Trainer and Jockey Standings

Through June 26, last year’s leading trainer Joey Foster continues to hold a commanding lead over his fellow conditioners with 27 wins. Ronnie P. Ward and H. B. Johnson are tied for second with seven wins with Denise Schmidt in third place with six wins.  Richard Eramia has soared to the top of the leader board with 33 wins, eight more than Gerardo Mora, who finished third in the jockey standings last year. Alexander Castillo is next with 22 victories followed by Jose Andres Guerrero who has won 20 races.  Red Rose Racing has moved into the lead in the owner standings with six wins.  Jorge Gomez and Patti Turner are tied for second place with five wins and William K. Harris and Beverly Burress follow closely with four victories.              

 

About Harrah’s Louisiana Downs

Located near Shreveport in Bossier City, Louisiana, Louisiana Downs opened in 1974 and was purchased by Caesars Entertainment in December, 2002. With annual Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing seasons, the track is committed to presenting the highest quality racing programs paired with its 150,000 square foot entertainment complex offering casino gambling, dining and plasma screen televisions for sports and simulcast racing.

For further information, please contact:

Trent McIntosh  |  Assistant General Manager
318-752-6980
8000 East Texas Street | Bossier City, LA 71111
www.caesars.com

LSU Student Among Thirty-Three Veterinary Students Rewarded for Leadership, Commitment to Equine Medicine

Thirty-three veterinary students preparing for a career in equine medicine have received a combined $102,000 in financial support through the 2017 Winner’s Circle Scholarship Program, co-sponsored by the American Association of Equine Practitioners’ (AAEP) Foundation, Platinum Performance and The Race For Education.

The Winner’s Circle scholarships, managed by The Race For Education, are intended to help ease the financial burden of a veterinary education by offering third- and fourth-year students at each of the AAEP’s 39 full or full-affiliate student chapters an opportunity to earn scholarships ranging from $1,500 to $5,000, depending on the needs of the individual student. Students are selected for scholarships based on their leadership roles and dedication to a future in equine healthcare.

Since its establishment in 2008, the Winner’s Circle Scholarship Program has provided nearly $1.5 million in scholarships to 315 veterinary students.

“The rising cost of veterinary school continues to present challenges to talented students who endeavor to enter the equine veterinary profession,” said Richard Mitchell, DVM, MRCVS, DACVSMR, chairman of the AAEP Foundation Advisory Council. “We are grateful to all of our donors and especially thank our partners The Race For Education and Platinum Performance for all their long-time support.”

In 2017, 18 students received $1,500 scholarships; 15 others received $5,000 scholarships— which includes $4,000 in scholarship funds from The Race For Education’s Assets for Independence Program—a federal grant program in partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration For Children and Families. Only U.S. students attending veterinary school in the U.S. were eligible for awards through the federal matching grant. An additional 19 applicants not selected for Winner’s Circle scholarships are also eligible to received $4,000 awards through the Race For Education’s Assets For Independence Program.

 

Congratulations to the following 2017 recipients:

Sarah Appleby, University of Wisconsin

Renee Baumann, Oregon State University

Ana Caruso, Texas A&M University

Amanda Craven, University of Wisconsin

Chloe Evetts, University of Florida

Esther Farber, North Carolina State University

Christina Frost, Washington State University

Devin Gardner, University of Missouri

Melanie Harness, University of Guelph

Olivia Hegedus, Ohio State University

Zachary Hulbert, Auburn University

Katherine Larson, Mississippi State University

Michala Lindley, Washington State University

Caitlin Malik, Louisiana State University

Amy McBirney, University of California Davis

Mariah Melin, University of Minnesota

Logan Metzen, Iowa State University

Allison Mustonen, Purdue University

Haley O’Connell, Ross University

Kirstie Oswald, University of Saskatchewan

Callayn  Paul, Michigan State University

Jenetta Porter, Iowa State University

Jessica Quigley, Tuskegee University

Shelbe Rice, University of Georgia

Kaitlyn Rigby, Kansas State University

Rachel Roberson, Auburn University

Allison Salinger, Western University of Health Sciences

Madison Skelton, Midwestern University

Jason Smith, Virginia-Maryland College

Kelsey Stoner, Washington State University

Cally Webster, Ohio State University

Hanum Wensil-Strow, University of Pennsylvania

Emma Winstead, Tufts University

 

About AAEP Foundation

The AAEP Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization created in 1994, serves as the charitable arm of the American Association of Equine Practitioners to improve the welfare of the horse. Since its inception, the Foundation has disbursed more than $3.7 million to support its mission. For more information, visit www.aaepfoundation.org.

 

About The Race For Education

Since its’ inception in 2002, The Race For Education has delivered more than $6 million in scholarships and educational programs. Through academic development programs, tutoring, internships, financial literacy training and scholarships; The Race for Education provides opportunities for educational success for young people with significant financial need and academic challenges. The ultimate goal is to ensure our young people become successful in life and assets to their community. For additional information about The Race for Education, visit www.raceforeducation.org.

 

About Platinum Performance

Platinum Performance® believes in the power of nutrition and supplementation, and remains committed to providing formulas that produce superior results in the horse. Over the past several decades, Platinum has continued to research the role of nutrition with regards to wellness and performance and is committed to providing equine veterinarians, horse owners and trainers the nutritional tools they need to benefit from cutting edge equine nutrition. Horse Health is the Platinum Performance Mission and we look forward to helping you NOURISH YOUR PASSION. Find more at www.platinumperformance.com.

Registration is Open for Trainers’ Exam Prep Class at Remington Park

The Elite Program, Inc. will present their Trainers’ Exam Prep Class at Remington Park, Oklahoma City August 17-19. Registration is open and interested persons may register and guarantee a spot in that class at http://www.groomelite.com or http://www.purplepowerracing.com
Click here for more information and to register

Trainer Programs

 

  • Focus on information important to both new and experienced trainers
  • Trainer’s Elite 301 prepares aspiring trainers for a state’s trainers licensing exam.
  • Trainer’s seminars on a single topic of current interest to trainers
  • Offered at times and locations convenient to trainers

 

Trainer Elite 301

 

Short Course on principles of training and rules of racing preparing students to take state trainers licensing exam. (State licensing exams administered by respective state and completion of this class does not guarantee licensing.) A complete list of topics is available from the left hand menu. Tuition: $250 (includes loose-leaf bound handout materials, refreshments and CD of materials).
For more information contact
C. Reid McLellan, PhD 859-321-4377

 

REGISTRATION STILL OPEN FOR THE NATIONAL HORSEPLAYERS CHAMPIONSHP CONTEST AT HARRAH’S LOUISIANA DOWNS ​ ON SATURDAY, JUNE 17

Bossier City, LA – There are still a few spots remaining for Saturday’s National Horseplayers Championship at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs.

The entry fee for the handicapping contest is $300 ($150 entry fee, $150 live bankroll). It will be  limited to 100 entries, maximum two entries per person.  This will be a live format, with $5.00 win, place and show wagers on five Louisiana Downs races and an additional five races from either the Belmont Park or Gulfstream Park’s Saturday afternoon cards.  The contest rules are posted on the Louisiana Downs website.

Saturday’s contest has attracted some of the most elite tournament players, including Judy Wagner, the first woman to win the NHC and her husband, Bryan Wagner, winner of the 2009 NHC Tour. Michael Beychok, is also entered. He holds the distinction of being the first horseplayer to capture a $1 million grand prize in a handicapping contest.

Trey Stiles, who resides in Houston, Texas, is another experienced player registered for Saturday’sevent at Louisiana Downs. Through both live and online contests, Stiles has qualified for the final an impressive 15 years in a row.  He was pleased that Louisiana Downs set a date this year.

“I find live contests to be more fun,” said Stiles. “It’s an easy commute from Houston and an opportunity to catch up with some buddies.”

Stiles uses the past performances from the Daily Racing Form and begins by charting his likely plays for the contest as well as some longshots for consideration.

“My strategy is to map out a baseline dollar amount that I will need to hit to win the contest,” added Stiles. “If someone has a big lead heading into the final few races, then I’ll have to alter my selections and look for a bomb.”

The top two finishers will win a berth to the $2.5 million-est. National Horseplayers Championship, the world’s richest and most prestigious handicapping tournament, in Las Vegas, February 9-11, 2018. Both winners will receive a $400 travel voucher and hotel accommodations for four nights in Las Vegas. In addition, cash prizes of $500 will be awarded to both the third and fourth-place participants and players finishing fifth through eighth will receive $150.

The Louisiana Downs 2017 Thoroughbred racing season began on May 6 and is off to a great start with notable increases in handle.  This week, racing officials were able to add an addition race to the Monday and Tuesday cards.  Trent McIntosh, Louisiana Downs assistant general manager, is pleased with that development and looks forward to welcoming NHC contest players on June 17​.

“Hosting this regional qualifying tournament for the National Horseplayers Championship at Louisiana Downs was an important priority this year,” said McIntosh. “We look forward to showcasing our main track and turf course on Saturday and providing excellent hospitality to each of the horseplayers in the contest.”

Registration for the Louisiana Downs contest is still open, but will be capped at 100, so register as soon as possible!  Players wishing to enter should contact Tracey Blevins (tblevins@caesars.com) or Michele Ravencraft (mravencraft@ntra.com).

​Louisiana Downs ​Trainer and Jockey Standings

Through June 12, last year’s leading trainer Joey Foster holds a commanding lead over his fellow conditioners with 18 wins. Ronnie P. Ward and Denise Schmidt are tied for second with six wins and Jorge Gomez. H. B. Johnson and Thomas Nixon have each saddled five winners.

The battle for leading rider is heating up with Richard Eramia taking over the top spot on the leader board with 20 wins.  Gerardo Mora, who finished third in the jockey standings last year, is currently in second place with 18 trips to the winner’s circle. Jose Andres Guerrero has 17 wins and Hector Del-Cid and apprentice Aubrie Green are tied with ten wins each.

Jorge Gomez and Red Rose Racing share the lead in the owner standings with five wins each. Patti Turner and Beverly Burress follow closely with four victories.

Post Times and Stakes Schedule

Live racing will be conducted Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and Saturday with a 3:15 p.m.(Central) post time through September 27.

The 84-day meet will include 14 stakes highlighted by two major events, Louisiana Cup Day on Saturday, August 5 and Super Derby Day on Saturday, September 9.  To see a complete list of the 2017 Thoroughbred stakes schedule, click here.

About Harrah’s Louisiana Downs

Located near Shreveport in Bossier City, Louisiana, Louisiana Downs opened in 1974 and was purchased by Caesars Entertainment in December, 2002. With annual Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing seasons, the track is committed to presenting the highest quality racing programs paired with its 150,000 square foot entertainment complex offering casino gambling, dining and plasma screen televisions for sports and simulcast racing.

For further information, please contact:

Trent McIntosh  |  Assistant General Manager
318-752-6980
8000 East Texas Street | Bossier City, LA 71111
www.caesars.com

Mobile Bay Named 2016 Louisiana Bred Horse of the Year at LTBA Annual Awards Banquet

2017-awards-banquet.gif

Mobile Bay was named Louisiana’s 2016 Horse of the Year at the June 10 Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association’s annual meeting and awards banquet at Evangeline Downs in Opelousas, Louisiana.

This is the second consecutive year that the Tigertail Ranch homebred received Horse of the Year honors. He was also named Louisiana’s Four Year Old & Upwards Champion Male earlier this year after ending his 2016 campaign with three stakes wins and $302,150 earnings for the year, the highest earnings of any Louisiana-bred for 2016.

The son of Lone Star Special is out of Tranquility Bay (Out of Place), the dam of five winners from six starters including the stakes placed Galveston Harbor. She also has an unraced juvenile filly by U S Ranger and foaled a Dominus colt in April. Lone Star Special, the sire of Mobile Bay belongs to Tigertail Ranch and stands at The Horse of Course in Benton, La.

Trained by Victor Arceneaux, Mobile Bay won the 2017 Louisiana Premier Night Championship Stakes to boost his lifetime earnings to $1,006,440, only the 9th Louisiana bred in history to reach millionaire status.

Irwin Olian’s Tigertail Ranch dominated the awards. In addition to Horse of the Year and Older Male honors, Tigertail Ranch also garnered awards for Four-Year-Old & Upwards Filly or Mare, Wheatfield, and Leading 2016 Breeder by Breeders Awards.

Horse of the Year ~ Mobile Bay: Tigertail Ranch (Irwin Olian), owner and breeder.
2yo filly ~ Mr. Al’s Gal;: J. Adcock and Neal McFadden, breeders; Keith Bonura and Rodney Virgadamo, owners.
2yo colt or gelding ~ Tip Tap Tapizar: Summer Hill Farm LLC (William Andrade), breeder; Whispering Oaks Farm (Carol Castille), owner.
3yo filly ~ Big World: Curt Leake and Elm Tree Farm, LLC (Michelle and Jody Huckabay), breeders; Maggi Moss, owner.
3yo colt or gelding ~ Extra Credit: Richard and Bertram Klein, owner and breeder.
4 & up filly or mare ~ Wheatfield: Tigertail Ranch (Irwin Olian), owner and breeder.
4 & up male ~ Mobile Bay: Tigertail Ranch (Irwin Olian), owner and breeder.
Broodmare of the Year ~ Pentatonic: Relentless Racing, LLC (Misty and Chad Dugar), owners.
Stallion of the Year ~ Half Ours: Half Ours Group, owners; standing at Clear Creek Stud. Breeder of the Year ~ Irwin Olian (Tigertail Ranch)
High Percentage Breeder (tie) ~ Relentless Racing, LLC (Misty and Chad Dugar), and Warren J. Harang III.