Edited Press Release
The traditional gift for a 10th anniversary is tin, but TAKE2 officials are hoping for something a bit more precious.
The TAKE2 Second Career Thoroughbred Program is celebrating its 10th year. To honor the milestone, the group is launching the “Give 110 Percent!” campaign to raise $10,000 a month for 10 months. The ultimate goal is to reach $100,000 in donations by the end of the year. And thanks to racehorse owner and entrepreneur Len Green, the group is already more than a 10th of the way to its goal. Green has donated $10,000 to kick start the campaign.
“I’ve been in the Thoroughbred industry for almost 50 years as the founder of both DJ Stable and the Green Group,” Green explained. “I have witnessed firsthand the extraordinary work by TAKE2 and their dedicated team. Their primary focus is to ensure that our horses get the best care once their racing careers are completed. I support TAKE2 and cannot thank them enough for all the work they do.”
Green, founder of the accounting, consulting and advisory firm The Green Group, has long been a loyal supporter of TAKE2. It is primarily because of advocates like Green, according to TAKE2 Executive Director Andy Belfiore, that the organization has been able to flourish over the past 10 years, highlighting the success of Thoroughbreds as show horses and securing a future for former racehorses off the track.
“We are extremely grateful to Len Green and his team for getting our campaign off the ground,” said Belfiore. “Without the support of Thoroughbred lovers from the racing and sport horse worlds, we would not be able to continue our mission of promoting second careers for retired racehorses. Our horses give us 110% on the racetrack and in the show ring; we hope members of our TAKE2 family will give what they can, whether it is $10 or $10,000, to help us reach our goal.”
Launched in March of 2012, TAKE2 was created by the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association (NYTHA), in partnership with the New York Thoroughbred Breeders (NYTB). Any registered Thoroughbred can compete for thousands of dollars in prize money in TAKE2-affiliated Thoroughbred-only hunter and jumper divisions at more than 400 horse shows across the country. TAKE2 Thoroughbred League members are eligible for $10,000 in year-end High Score Awards, and for the $20,000 TAKE2 Hunter and Jumper Finals, to be held this year at the Kentucky National Horse Show Sept. 21-25.
“It’s hard to believe it’s been 10 years since we launched TAKE2. We had no idea if the program would take off,” Belfiore reminisced, recalling the role the late trainer and NYTHA leader Rick Violette played in TAKE2’s founding. “But Rick was very involved in the creation of the TAA (Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance), he saw the strides the industry was taking to ensure safe retirement for our racehorses, and being a forward thinker, he knew we needed to create second career opportunities for the horses. With Rick at the helm, we were able to gain the support of the racing and sport horse communities and TAKE2 has blossomed, growing from eight partner shows in three states the first year, to more than 400 shows in 23 states now. Rick would be proud, but we know he was never one to rest on his laurels.”
In 10 years, TAKE2 has given out more than $1 million in awards and prize money supporting hunter/jumper competitions nationwide, with an estimated 2,000 horses competing in the TAKE2 divisions since its inception. Still, the goal will always be a moving target, one dependent on financial donations and support from the Thoroughbred, Horse Show, and Sport Horse communities.
“Years ago, the Thoroughbred was king in the show ring, but the Warmbloods gained popularity,” said TAKE2 President and NYTHA Vice President Rick Schosberg. “Programs like TAKE2, RRP (Retired Racehorse Project) and TIP (Thoroughbred Incentive Program) demonstrate that Thoroughbreds have so much more to give after they leave the track—their competitive lives are far from over.
“I think our combined efforts are making a difference,” he added. “There is more demand for Thoroughbreds, more enthusiasm from the owners and riders and trainers in the hunter/jumper world, and that makes it easier to find homes for retired racehorses.”