BAFFERTS' GENEROUS DONATION SETS A THOROUGHBRED INDUSTRY MILESTONE
Shortly after making history by becoming the first trainer in 37 years to win the Triple Crown, Bob and Jill Baffert announced that they were eager to give back to the athletes who helped achieve this pinnacle accomplishment. The result of this is a donation of $50,000 to four Thoroughbred charities: the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (TAA), the California Retirement Management Account (CARMA), Old Friends Farm and the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund (PDJF).
"I want to share this. I want to make sure that those horses that we really love, we have to take care of them," Baffert said to the media after American Pharoah clinched the Triple Crown with his win in the Belmont Stakes. "Win, lose or draw, I was going to do it."
"The TAA is proud that the Bafferts chose worthy organizations to receive this generous funding," said Stacie Clark Rogers, Operations Consultant for the TAA. "Caring for our equine athletes after their racing careers are finished takes not only money, but initiative and leadership. We are happy to have this donation and Jill's support on our Advisory Board. The Bafferts are setting a stellar example for our industry in making these donations and showing their commitment to helping the many horses in their stable and others whose careers won't be as profound as American Pharoah's."
CARMA provides funding for the rehabilitation, retraining and/or retirement of Thoroughbreds who have raced in California, where Baffert's stable is based.
Old Friends Farm's mission is to bring a dignified retirement to Thoroughbreds retired from racing or breeding. They are a TAA accredited organization who recently added to their roster previous Baffert trainees Kentucky Derby and Dubai World Cup winner Silver Charm and Breeders' Cup winner Game On Dude.
The PDJF provides financial assistance to jockeys who have suffered catastrophic on-track injuries, many of whom have permanent paralysis or brain damage.
"The fact that Bob and Jill chose the platform of winning the Triple Crown to show their commitment to the importance of aftercare speaks volumes," said Jimmy Bell, president of the TAA. "The TAA is so honored and grateful for their generosity and support."
Based in Lexington, Kentucky, the TAA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization designed to serve as both an accrediting body for aftercare organizations that retire, retrain and rehome Thoroughbreds following the conclusion of their racing careers, and a fundraising body to support these approved organizations. Funded initially by seed money from Breeders' Cup, Ltd., The Jockey Club, and Keeneland Association, the TAA is comprised of and supported by owners, trainers, breeders, racetracks, aftercare professionals and other industry groups. In 2013, the TAA awarded $1,000,000 to 23 accredited organizations and gave out an additional $2,400,000 to 42 accredited organizations in 2014.