Plan is to set up base at Hipodromo Camarero.
Various equine industry groups are working together with the Humane Society of the United States to form a plan to provide aid to horses in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria hit the island Sept. 20.
Marty Irby, senior advisor of equine protection and rural affairs for HSUS, said Sept. 26 that the current plan is to make Hipodromo Camarero the base for receiving aid. Groups involved include the American Veterinary Medical Association, the American Association of Equine Practitioners, The Jockey Club, and the United States Equestrian Federation. Irby said the groups will reconvene Sept. 28 to discuss further plans.
“We all sort of have a list of tasks that we’re working on to help basically move feed, hay, and supplies into the region and specifically sort of make—and this is subject to the proper approvals—the track in San Juan (Camarero) a home base, to first help there and afterward others (around the island) who may need supplies and things,” Irby said.
“The AAEP said that they have access to a large amount of supplies … HSUS has about 1,100 bales of hay that’s ready to go anytime,” he added. “We’re just waiting to hear back from the guys who are handling the flight arrangements because there’s an issue of proper chain of command and paperwork and there’s also an issue of debris and whether they can land the plane. We’re trying to work through those things, but everyone on every end is willing to move forward, it’s just working through the logistics.
“It is really great to see everybody from all of these organizations chip in and go head first and try to do everything they can to help.”
NTRA Charities—a subsidiary of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association—has pledged a $5,000 donation to the Penn National Gaming Foundation, with the contribution earmarked for employees of Sam Houston Race Park most severely impacted by Hurricane Harvey and the resulting floods in Southeast Texas.
“We’ve all seen the devastating images coming out of South Texas,” said NTRA President & CEO Alex Waldrop. “The region is hurting, including individuals and their families directly tied to Sam Houston Race Park. We are pleased to contribute funds to support these families in their time of need and applaud so many other horse industry groups making similar contributions across the region.”
Sam Houston, currently between race meetings, opened its stable area as a horse shelter during Harvey and the racetrack property, in northwest Houston, appears to have evaded serious damage. However, track president Andrea Young said they have been in contact with at least a dozen employees who have been severely impacted.
“We are incredibly grateful for the generosity of NTRA charities,” Young said. “There are so many people in the Greater Houston area that have been impacted by Hurricane Harvey and it is comforting for our employees to see the support of the racing community during this difficult time. This gift will go directly to our employees who have been most impacted. The road to recovery is just beginning and this wonderful gesture will help that recovery start today.”
The Penn National Gaming Foundation, a private 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is establishing a Hurricane Harvey disaster relief project to provide financial assistance for the immediate needs of Sam Houston Race Park employees and support nonprofit organizations in the Greater Houston area. If you would like to make a donation to the Foundation or request additional information on its efforts, please contact Amanda Garber at (610) 373-2400 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sam Houston opened in 1994 as the first Class 1 racetrack in Texas. Penn National Gaming (PNG) is the managing member of Sam Houston Race Park and also operates Thoroughbred racing at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races, Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course, Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course, and Zia Park Casino, Hotel & Racetrack. PNG owns, operates or has ownership interests in gaming and racing facilities and video gaming terminal operations at 29 properties in 17 jurisdictions.
by Paulick Report Staff
Jockeys Gerard Melancon and Alexis Batista worked together to organize a relief effort for people displaced by Hurricane Harvey last week, according to the Daily Racing Form. The riders gathered more than 50 cases of water and a stash of diapers to a shelter in Lake Charles, La. which has taken in Texas residents fleeing the flooding from the storm.
Melancon said the project was a combined effort of riders at Louisiana Downs, along with their valets and chaplain Dwight Brown.
Also on Wednesday, NTRA Charities announced it would donate more than $5,000 to the Penn National Gaming Foundation, which is helping Sam Houston Race Park employees affected by the storm.
(Washington, DC)- In the wake of one of the worst tropical natural disasters to hit the United States, the residents and animals of Texas need your help. A record 49 inches of rain has fallen in the Houston area, and even more is expected. So what can you do?
There are several equine specific disaster relief funds that you can donate to that will support the efforts of emergency response groups and organizations that are helping horses impacted by the flooding.
- United States Equestrian Federation Equine Disaster Relief Fund: Developed in 2005 during the aftermath of Hurricanes Rita and Katrina, the USEF Equine Disaster Relief Fund was formed to help ensure the safety and well-being of horses during trying times. Since its inception, over $370,000 has been donated to aid horses across all breeds in disaster-related situations. All money donated to the fund is strictly used to benefit horses and horse owners, and the USEF will be working with the Houston SPCA to help animals that have been displaced. To donate to the USEF Disaster Relief Fund: https://www.usef.org/donate
- American Association of Equine Practitioners Foundation Equine Disaster Relief Fund: The AAEP Foundation will work with agencies and veterinary members in Texas, Louisiana and other affected states to identify the needs of the equine community. Supplies are not being accepted currently as the catastrophic storm is still occurring. Once the Foundation receives an assessment of need and distribution protocols from the agencies and veterinary members in the afflicted areas, the Foundation will work to support them with supply needs as well. To support the impending needs of these equine victims, please donate online at: https://foundation.aaep.org/form/foundation-donation. If you wish to offer assistance with supplies or other resources, please email Keith Kleine at email@example.com and you will be contacted with further instructions.
- Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International Disaster Relief Fund: The fund helps centers in need due to catastrophic disasters not normally covered by operating insurance. This includes flooding. The fund was started in 2005 to help centers with the damage inflicted by Hurricane Katrina. To donate, click here: Donate to the PATH Intl. Disaster Relief Fund. Additionally, if your PATH Intl. Center needs disaster relief, click here for information and to download the Disaster Relief Fund application.
Additionally, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner has established the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund that will accept tax deductible flood relief donations and will be administered by the Greater Houston Community Foundation.
Please share with your fellow members of the horse community, and with anyone wanting to help all those in need!
View on AHC Website
Sweeping across the Gulf Coast of Texas as a Category 4 hurricane over the past weekend, Hurricane Harvey’s catastrophic flooding has put the Houston and surrounding area equine community in a state of distress. Declared a major disaster and weather event, hundreds of horses and livestock have been affected.
Banding together as a community, emergency rescues, fellow equestrians opening up their barns for shelter and extensive veterinary care has been required over the last several days. As the rain continues to fall, rising flood waters will make extended care for displaced large and small animals on an ongoing need.
Supporting the efforts of emergency response groups and organizations that are helping horses impacted by the flooding, US Equestrian is providing financial assistance through the USEF Equine Disaster Relief Fund.
Developed in 2005 during the aftermath of Hurricanes Rita and Katrina, the USEF Equine Disaster Relief Fund was formed to help ensure the safety and well-being of horses during trying times. Since its inception, over $370,000 has been donated to aid horses across all breeds in disaster-related situations. All money donated to the fund is strictly used to benefit horses and horse owners.
Make a donation to the USEF Disaster Relief Fund here.
US Equestrian will be working with the Houston SPCA to support their rescue and rehabilitation efforts through the USEF Equine Disaster Relief Fund.
Encouraging donations to help the horses affected by Hurricane Harvey, US Equestrian CEO Bill Moroney said, “as part of our commitment to the health, welfare, and safety of horses, the USEF disaster relief fund was created to assist horses impacted by devastating natural disasters such as Hurricane Harvey. The outreach and generosity of the equestrian community to support the ongoing emergency assistance in this and future disasters allows us to provide direct financial assistance to the groups involved in the ongoing rescue efforts.”
For more information on the USEF Equine Disaster Relief Fund, please contact Vicki Lowell, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) Foundation’s Equine Disaster Relief Fund is accepting aid to help horses in Texas, Louisiana and other states affected by Hurricane Harvey. Fund donations will be distributed among credible programs and organizations that are helping with recovery and rebuilding efforts in the aftermath and towards preparedness efforts for future disasters.
The AAEP Foundation will work with agencies and veterinary members in Texas, Louisiana and other affected states to identify the needs of the equine community. Supplies are not being accepted currently as the catastrophic storm is still occurring. Once the Foundation receives an assessment of need and distribution protocols from the agencies and veterinary members in the afflicted areas, the Foundation will work to support them with supply needs as well.
“The AAEP, AAEP Foundation and the equine veterinary community are saddened by the tragic loss of life and incredible destruction and flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey,” said AAEP President R. Reynolds Cowles, Jr., DVM. “We are compelled to reach out, together with our members, horse owners and industry leaders, as part of the effort to support the disaster’s equine victims.”
To support the impending needs of these equine victims, please donate online at
Donations by mail can be sent to: Equine Disaster Relief Fund, AAEP Foundation, 4033 Iron Works Parkway, Lexington, KY 40511; (800) 443-0177 (U.S. only) or (859) 233-0147.
If you wish to offer assistance with supplies or other resources, please email Keith Kleine at email@example.com and you will be contacted with further instructions.