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NY Times Article- Report from Ex-TRF Vet

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  • NY Times Article- Report from Ex-TRF Vet

    Latest development- the report from the vet who was fired by TRF.

    Last edited by MHM; Apr. 9, 2011, 09:49 PM.

  • #2

    "If you have the time, spend it. If you have a hand, lend it. If you have the money, give it. If you have a heart, share it." by me


    • #3
      TRF and defenders keep throwing this Vet Huntington under the bus, but for the life of me I can not figure out WHY this Vet would want to sully the TRF reputation, nor how she would expect it to stick once it all gets out and investigated, etc.

      I also keep going back to the idea that TRF expected the fosters to care for retired TBs on $3/day.
      Yo/Yousolong April 23rd, 1985- April 15th, 2014



      • Original Poster

        Originally posted by Angela Freda View Post
        I also keep going back to the idea that TRF expected the fosters to care for retired TBs on $3/day.
        You and me both!!! How is that supposed to work, before you even think of the most basic, minimal vet and farrier care??

        Plus TRF wasn't even paying them the ridiculously low $3 a day, since they fell behind on the payments.


        • #5
          those board members should be put on a $3 per day diet with no medical or dental care... morons!
          TQ(Trail Queen) \"Learn How to Ride or Move Over!!\" Clique


          • #6
            It's not just the $3 a day. They take in too many horses, with no little or no capability of retraining. From what I understand, many of them also have limiting injuries and, in the past, their adoption fees have been, IMO very high.

            Take a look at how New Vocations is run. I can speak for the Lexington New Vocations, quality horses, very knowledgeable trainer and very reasonable adoption fees.


            • #7
              I think the article the OP posted Dr Huntington noted a good %age of the horses who were suitable to adopt out and use as pleasure horses. Why they do not do more of that rather than warehousing them I can not figure out.
              Yo/Yousolong April 23rd, 1985- April 15th, 2014



              • #8
                The TRF def. needs a restructuring and a streamlining. The board members are RICH for the most part (if not the whole part) and need to serve for free. If they need a paid person to run it (although they were paying someone who apparently did NOT run it) then they need to raise that money, not count on the money from the Mellon Foundation. They have employees that apparently take care of horses, those should be the only paid employees.

                Everything the vet says is spot on.
                Every mighty oak was once a nut that stood its ground.

                Proud Closet Canterer! Member Riders with Fibromyalgia clique.


                • #9
                  You have to read Huntingtons assessment


                  -Over 370 horses Huntington considered adoptable, but not up for adoption, why? -Others had potential to be adoptable if/when they get up to weight. Imagine if they got 400 horses off their dole via adoption!
                  -Several farms with 100+ horses in their herds.
                  -The adoption center billing for a barn but none of the TRF horses are stalled, only privately owned horses.
                  -The 'Adoption Center' having a whole field they called 'untrainable', with no explanation. So what are those horses doing at the 'Adoption Center'???
                  -Horses at the Adoption Center with untreated skin conditions, which in my experience speaks to the animals overall health oftentimes.

                  Those are just the things that jumped out at me.
                  Yo/Yousolong April 23rd, 1985- April 15th, 2014



                  • #10
                    "Huntington recommended limiting the number of horses to 50 per farm, which would reduce injuries and allow more personal attention from caretakers; raising the per diem to $4; and paying on time. "

                    ^^^^^ I concur.


                    • #11
                      This is a completely astounding statement:

                      When the economy collapsed in 2008 and donations plunged, the foundation was burdened with a young herd that needed continuing care. By spring 2010, the situation was so dire that the board debated whether publicizing a threat to kill off some of its herd would help or hurt fund-raising efforts.

                      “What we avoided that day was a serious adult conversation about whether or not we would follow up on our threat, and euthanize 200 horses to get the T.R.F. herd to a more manageable number that could be sustained financially,” Ray Paulick, a member of the executive board, wrote last month on his Web site, Paulick Report.
                      The TRF was prepared to threaten euthanasia in order to up the donations. That alone tells me all I need to know about the organization. The board needs to be cleaned out (starting with Tom Ludt, who has his hands full running Vinery and probably rues the day he ever signed on to TRF) and Dr. Huntington needs to be reinstated.
                      "My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we'll change the world." ~ Jack Layton


                      • #12
                        I agree Hitch, if they have to euth. some horses, they should. But to talk about it in the same breath as donations, or how to get more... No. Not cool. And calling it a 'threat'. Ouch.
                        It is not a 'threat', it is a reasonable solution, certainly more reasonable than expecting farms to provide for horses on $3/day and then not paying them for months and months and months.

                        Somewhere I read someone saying 'shame on these farms for starving these horses'. True, it is shameful... but the bottom line, the ultimate responsibility for anything that happens to these horses lies on the shoulders of the TRF- they should have been paying board on time like the rest of us do, and should know the farms they use for the care of these horses to know whether or not starving/neglecting was something they would do... and/or been supervising them better.

                        I mean seriously? Trusting a farm to care for 50-100 of your charges, not paying them for that care while also not supervising them? How did they expect this NOT to go south?
                        Yo/Yousolong April 23rd, 1985- April 15th, 2014



                        • #13
                          Are the board members really being paid????? It doesn't matter if they are wealthy or not, charitable board members don't get paid! They are choosen based on knowledge and how much money they bring to the table, be it their personal donations or the donations they can bring in.

                          I think the whole company needs an overhaul, and I fully agree that it should start with Ludt. Not because of his other responsiblities, but because he didn't seem to feel that the vet's report was a cause for concern.

                          Where is Monique Koehler, the founder?? Is she still involved?

                          I reject your reality, and substitute my own- Adam Savage

                          R.I.P Ron Smith, you'll be greatly missed


                          • #14
                            These horses need to stop being "warehoused" and placed at farms or foster care that will retrain the horses with the goal of giving them the opportunity of having a seccessful career.

                            If this means restructuring the TRF then get started. Ny experience with the breed is they re at their best and happiest when working, not just standing around in a field!


                            • #15

                              'The foundation, one of the largest and oldest thoroughbred retirement operations in the country, has limited access to an endowment and relies primarily on donations.
                              As the bills added up and donations faded, farms that kept horses for the foundation were not paid on time, making it hard to provide care, officials with the organization say.
                              According to the charity’s latest tax filing, the foundation ran a $1.2 million deficit in 2009, racking up a $1.3 million board bill and spending more than $400,000 on feed, veterinarian care and blacksmith fees.

                              “Obviously, we are behind in compensating our satellite farms, and that’s a direct reflection of the economy,” Tom Ludt, the chairman of the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation, said in a recent interview. '

                              Are you kidding? What rescues have 1/10th of the funds that this org. has [even with their 'limited' access to the endowment they still had $1.8M in donations last year] and manage to not have their charges starved? MANY

                              It is not a matter of funds in Mr. Ludt, but how you spent the funds you had.
                              They can not seem to stop passing the buck of responsibility...

                              Now on Guidestar looking at their '09 990:
                              Page 2 'Fundraising Events'
                              they have 3 listed each brought in:
                              92,800, 16,400, and 40,300...
                              but the costs of the events were, respectively:
                              55,800, 5,185, and 28,600

                              Maybe I am missing something but those seem like pricey fundraisers that really did not raise much... someone explain to me more about this. Is that a normal return on investment for a fundraiser? What am I missing?
                              Yo/Yousolong April 23rd, 1985- April 15th, 2014



                              • #16
                                Bump, the TRF is being sued by the NYS Att'y General and sending a boatload of horses off to CO where the TRF will pay $300+ a YEAR to care for these horses.
                                IS anyone else perplexed how any farm can take in horses like hits and provide what one would call 'decent' care for $300+ a YEAR?

                                and look at the poor horse in the picture...
                                Yo/Yousolong April 23rd, 1985- April 15th, 2014



                                • #17
                                  It's beyond ridiculous to think that a horse can be kept in good health for $300 a year, let alone horses off the track who may or may not have injuries or other health issues to deal with. The problem is, however, where will all these horses go? And who or what organization could take responsibility for them. The TRF either needs to seriously clean house in their organization or disband and network across the country to place these horses.

                                  Just as an aside, how many farms have pastures full of "untrainables"?
                                  "The captive bolt is not a proper tool for slaughter of equids they regain consciousness 30 seconds after being struck fully aware they are being vivisected." Dr Friedlander DVM & frmr Chief USDA Insp


                                  • #18
                                    This link is to the pdf of the 'vet reports' on all the TRF horses... please note the Vet does not assess each horse, but gives the entire facility a rating from 1 to 5....
                                    with comments re condition on few of them.

                                    Yo/Yousolong April 23rd, 1985- April 15th, 2014



                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by ptownevt View Post
                                      It's beyond ridiculous to think that a horse can be kept in good health for $300 a year, let alone horses off the track who may or may not have injuries or other health issues to deal with. The problem is, however, where will all these horses go? And who or what organization could take responsibility for them. The TRF either needs to seriously clean house in their organization or disband and network across the country to place these horses.

                                      Just as an aside, how many farms have pastures full of "untrainables"?

                                      300 a year? damn, I was figuring I needed 500 a month to somewhat keep a horse, while praying I didn't need a vet...


                                      • #20
                                        TRF has never been aggressive about retraining suitable horses for adoption. Compare it with Rerun, Turning for Home and other TB rescues, which want the horses to have second careers. Obviously, many of the horses TRF takes in may not be sound enough to do that much, but the majority should be suitable for type of work. I've been posting a lot on the NYC carriage horse threads, and what the TRF is doing is not that dissimilar from what radical animal rights activists want to do with carriage horses - turn them out in a field and never allow them to work again. We can see where that idea's going with the TRF experience and their once huge endowment. However, there are new board members on TRF like my friend Dr. Patty Hogan, who realizes these horses must be trained and adopted out for second careers. If they get the right people on the board, there is hope.