San Luis Rey Fire Showed Racing’s Unity, Need For Planning

Dr. Carleigh Fedorka, researcher at the University of Kentucky’s Gluck Equine Research Center, was one of a handful of Kentucky horsemen who dropped everything Saturday morning and hopped a plane to Del Mar to assist in rehabilitation efforts for horses impacted by the San Luis Rey Downs fire.

Fedorka recently wrote about the experience in her blog, A Yankee In Paris, echoing the sentiments of many others on the ground in California. The response from the racing industry was overwhelming over the weekend as nonprofits, industry groups, and individuals worked to identify and triage horses and aid grooms and hotwalkers who lost their homes in the blaze.

Fedorka also left the experience with a number of takeaways for farm managers and horse owners everywhere. Microchipping and emergency planning are crucial for all types of horse operations. Fedorka suspects the instincts of many grooms to turn horses loose saved many of their lives, as much of the herd stayed together and out of trouble.

She writes the tragedy also underscores the need for a national racing organization. Although the business stepped up in this case to support its own, she points out there should be a better system in place.

“We cannot always rely on donations from farms and owners. We cannot always assume that the racing office will have the time, energy, or ability to alert the troops,” she wrote. “We cannot always turn to Thoroughbred Charities of America and ask them to man disasters and problems as if they were the Red Cross. Or FEMA for thoroughbreds. We will not always have a Trifecta Farm across the road from the disaster, or a team of capable horsemen within driving distance. We need a plan in place for ourselves. Our industry. Our horses.”

Read more at A Yankee In Paris

The post San Luis Rey Fire Showed Racing’s Unity, Need For Planning appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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