Plaidcast 369: Julie Broadway, Joy Cook, Chris Gould, Andy Belfiore & Rick Schosberg by Taylor, Harris Insurance Services

Plaidcast Episode 369 Julie Broadway Joy Cook Chris Gould Andy Belfiore Rick Schosberg

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Piper speaks with three groups of people that work in different parts of the horse industry; the American Horse Council, the Canadian Warmblood Horse Breeders Association and the TAKE2 and TAKE THE LEAD Thoroughbred Retirement Program. Brought to you by Taylor, Harris Insurance Services. Listen in!

GUESTS AND LINKS:

  • Host: Piper Klemm of The Plaid Horse Magazine
  • Guest: Julie Broadway was named President of the American Horse Council in 2016.  She has over 30 years of leadership experience in both for-profit and non-profit sectors.  Prior to joining the administration of the American Horse Council, Julie was the executive director of the American Morgan Horse Association & Educational-Charitable Trust.  Julie earned her BS degrees from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill and her MBA from the Weems Graduate School at Meredith College in Raleigh, North Carolina.  She is also a graduate of the Duke University Advanced Nonprofit Leadership Program and a Certified Association Executive (CAE) from the American Society of Association Executives.  Julie is past board president for the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship, a member of the ASAE National Capitol Advisory Council, and has played an active role with the U.S. Equestrian Federation over the past several years.
  • Guest: Joy Cook is a dressage rider, trainer,  breeder and National director for the Canadian Warmblood Horse Breeders Association. She has specialized in breeding warmblood horses on her Lynncrest Farm property for three decades. Joy believes that Canadian bred horses have the ability and quality suitable for the Olympic disciplines.
  • Guest: Chris Gould is a lifelong horse enthusiast, trainer, breeder and instructor. Founding Chair of the Canadian Warmblood Horse Breeders Association and breeder of Warmblood horses; operating Touchstone Farm since 1973. He served on the board of Equestrian Canada for 12 years, where he was Chair of the Breeds and Industry Division and was for six years a Vice President on the World Breeding Federation board. Products of the Touchstone breeding program have been enjoyed by riders across Canada and the US as well as Europe.
  • Guest: Andy Belfiore is the Executive Director of TAKE2 and was instrumental in the creation of TAKE2 and the TAKE THE LEAD Thoroughbred Retirement Program. A native of Massachusetts, Andy grew up riding show horses and started working at the racetrack as a teenager. Andy previously served as Editor in Chief of the Thoroughbred Daily News, and Executive Director of the New York and Florida Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Associations.
  • Guest: Rick Schosberg is the President of Take 2 Second Career Thoroughbreds and The Take The Lead Thoroughbred Retirement Program as well as the Vice President New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association. Rick recently retired from his role as  thoroughbred horse trainer of 35 years. 
  • Title Sponsor: Taylor, Harris Insurance Services, Taylor, Harris Insurance Services (THIS) was founded in 1987 to provide specialized insurance for all types of equine risk. THIS places their policies with the highest rated and most secure carriers, meticulously selected for reliability and prompt claims settlement. THIS is proud of their worldwide reputation for responsive and courteous service, and welcomes the opportunity to discuss your equine insurance needs and provide you with a quote.
  • Subscribe To: The Plaid Horse Magazine
  • Sponsors: American Stalls, Purina Animal NutritionAmerica CryoLAURACEA, Wordley Martin Premium Equestrian Surfaces, BoneKare, Show Strides Book Series, With Purpose: The Balmoral Standard, Good Boy, Eddie and World Equestrian Center

This transcript was generated automatically. Its accuracy may vary.

Piper Klemm 
[00:01:06] This is the plaidcast. I’m Piper Klemm, publisher of the Plaid Horse magazine. And coming up today on the episode 369, I’m talking with various groups of people working to make our entire horse industry better. We’re going to talk to the American Horse Council, Take Two and Take the Lead Thoroughbred Retirement Program and the Canadian Warmblood Horse Breeders Association. This episode is brought to you by Taylor Harris Insurance Services. 

Piper Klemm [00:03:36] Julie Broadway was named president of the American Horse Council in 2016. She has over 30 years of leadership experience in both for profit and the nonprofit sector. Prior to joining the administration of the American Horse Council, Julie was the executive director of the American Morgan Horse Association and Educational Charitable Trust. Julie earned her B.S. degrees from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, and her MBA from the Weems Graduate School at Meredith College in Raleigh, North Carolina. She is also a graduate of the Duke University Advanced Nonprofit Leadership Program and a Certified Association executive from the American Society of Association Executives. Julie is a past board president for the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship, a member of the ACA National Capital Advisory Council, and has played an active role with the U.S. Equestrian Federation over the past several years. Welcome to the plaidcast, Julie. 

Julie Broadway [00:04:33] Hi, Piper. Thanks for having me. 

Piper Klemm [00:04:35] Can you tell us a little bit about what the American Horse Council is for? For listeners who who have not heard of the organization? 

Julie Broadway [00:04:43] Sure. So the American Horse Council was formed in 1969 about about for, maybe about a dozen or 15 horse, breed associations and discipline associations who thought that the industry needed a voice in Washington, DC. We work on federal legislative and regulatory issues. So that means we go up into the offices up on Capitol Hill and meet with congressional members and staffers to talk about legislative issues. And we meet with federal agencies to talk about regulatory changes and things that need to be taken care of. Probably what your listeners are most familiar with, the work we do with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, but we also do a lot of work with, the Department of Interior and Department of Transportation and, the Environmental Protection Agency. And the list just goes on and on. 

Piper Klemm [00:05:32] So the American Horse Council, performs the equine economic Impact Survey. Can you tell us a little bit about what that is and how long you’ve been doing it? 

Julie Broadway [00:05:41] Okay, so this is about our sixth or seventh, economic impact study. It was done in, 2007, and then we did 1 in 2017. Our objective is to try to do it every 5 to 10 years. We were slated to do this 1 in 2020, too. But because of the pandemic, we made the decision that we would put it off a year. But that means we spent 21 planning to do it in 22, and then we spent 22 planning to start it in 23. And then we spent all of 23 actually doing the surveys, and collecting all the data that’s necessary to conduct the study itself. It’s always important that listeners understand this is not a census. This doesn’t mean we go out and we actually physically count the number of horses. There are a series of surveys, about. Them, 15 or 20 of them and horse owners respond to those surveys and tell us information that we need in order to determine the horse population, to determine, how much we contribute annually to the economy. And a lot of other, details. So I’m going to talk a little bit about those whenever, whenever we get around to that. 

Piper Klemm [00:06:57] Can you tell us first, like why this data is, is so necessary and, and how it helps everyone in this industry to kind of know more about our, our role in the general country. 

Julie Broadway [00:07:10] Sure. Numbers and data, really move mountains, especially in, local, state or even federal, legislatures, policymakers like this kind of data. It tells them, a little bit about how to allocate their time and resources. It talks to them about how many constituents they have in their, voting area, that they need to be listening to. So it has a lot of political pull. It can help us really shape the landscape, and inform decisions on why things need to be done that can range from, influencing where, trails are built. It could go into where agricultural equine venues are built. It also tells us when we need more amenities or, or other things that accompany, our industry. It’s it’s our way of telling the story about who we are and how big we are and and what all we do. And it also drives a lot of products and services. I get phone calls, almost every week from someone who is thinking about bringing a new product to market or looking to expand, the target audience for the product that they have. And they’re looking at this data to try to tell them, you know, what might be the possibilities for their sales, and what what might be the overall, general, lay of the land for, for how their business might go. But for your listeners more at the local level. This really informs, communities. It helps with city planners and businesses and real estate developers. And like I said, policy makers so they know what they need to do at the local level and kind of guide them on where they go. It also informs other research efforts. A lot of what we use, we pass on to the Department of Agriculture, to the American Association of Equine Practitioners or the American Veterinary Medical Association. And so, and they use this data to help, guide where they kind of go with all the things that are there. So those are just a handful of reasons that we do it and why it’s so important. 

Piper Klemm [00:09:15] Sometimes feels like the equestrian community is just so siloed, and we don’t really talk to people that aren’t our specific, very specific people. Can you talk a little bit about running? Like what cuts? What types of groups of people are part of the American Horse Council and what it’s like to bring together all of these groups that are very, very tight knit and not always, not always that clued into each other. 

Julie Broadway [00:09:42] Well, that’s a great observation. I tend to say when I speak at all kinds of engagements, that the American Horse Council operates by consensus, not by, by majority vote. And the reason for that is because there are so many silos and so many differences of opinion about different things. We don’t want to create more divisiveness in the industry. So where we can coalesce around solutions or where we can agree and gain consensus on a position that we want to take, that’s what the horse council does. If we can’t get consensus around a subject, then what we do in the in the offices up on Capitol Hill is go in and say, hey, the industry split on this particular topic. Here’s the people that are, for it. Here are the people that are opposed, here’s their reasons. And we just sort of play that honest information broker to all those, individuals. So they know that the horse industry has a lot of different perspectives on some of these issues. 

Piper Klemm [00:10:35] So let’s get into the the Economic impact study. Can you tell us some of the the specifics that that were studied and some some outcome? 

Julie Broadway [00:10:43] Oh, sure. I can talk for days about this thing. So let me begin by talking about the methodology a little bit. So there were about 20 surveys that were done. The main survey was the horse owner survey. And we had over, I’m gonna say roughly 20,000 plus, responses to that survey. We did a supplier survey who were people that don’t own horses, but they do. Some have some other, business in our industry. And then we had specialty surveys. So those specialty surveys raised for ranged from, people who work in equine assisted services to academia, to racetracks, all the way over to equine associations. They just went in a lot of different directions, depending upon, you know, kind of what your niche was in our sector, carriage operators, I mean, the list dude ranches list just goes on and on of all the different little components that make up our, our industry. And that’s for all those surveys ran for six months. We gave everybody an opportunity that we possibly could and really encouraged. And we offered some prizes this time to incent people to respond to the survey. And then the firm that actually does the survey, the American Horse Council, does not see any of the raw data at all. We are a consulting firm called the innovation Group. They’re very well versed in doing economic impact studies, and they collect all that information, and then they run it through a number of algorithms and different kinds of analysis to come back to us, to give us some of the data points, that we’re always interested in. So I’ll get you started by telling you that we look at three things. We look at direct effects, indirect effect and induced effects. Now, what that means is direct effects are people who work specifically in our industry, and then indirect effects are others that are in our industry, like people who have mills and, and sell grain. They might not be a horse owner, but they’re still in the industry. And then the induced effects are where people who work in our industry actually go out and spend that money in the local economy. So somebody who is a barn manager in his area goes to the grocery store and spends the money that he make from his salary, and that becomes the induced effect. So there’s lots of different aspects for the way this whole thing rolls up and informs. But, last time we did the study, I’ll start off with this statistic because it’s always fascinating to me. We asked how many households in the United States contained a horse enthusiast, and what they came back and told us was, this time around was that 30.48% of U.S. households, which equates to 39 million households, contain a horse enthusiast. And what that means is that a small portion of those actually owned horses. Another portion of those participate but don’t own a horse. And then lastly, we have people who are horse enthusiasts that spectate, but they don’t own or participate. But 39 million households is a great number. And it really means a lot when we go and we meet with, decision makers, to try to help them understand what the make up of their constituents are and what that looks like. 

Piper Klemm [00:14:06] So what were some of the things that were really surprising to you? Or, you know, I think the pandemic has had such a massive impact on on. Our business specifically. Like I was sitting on a plane yesterday talking to a hockey coach, and he was talking about how decimated hockey was by by the pandemic. And I was like, oh, we kind of had the the opposite. 

Julie Broadway [00:14:26] That’s exactly right. We had the opposite effect. So we went into this very nervous because, when we went through the recession back in 2007, 2008, our industry did see some contraction, you know, some declines. But the pandemic turned out to be sort of that silver lining, if you will. For us, we think people really recognized, that they could be socially distant by going and taking horseback riding lessons. People were working from home more. They had more flexibility so they could go out in the middle of the day and take a writing lesson. So we saw, horse adoptions go up. Lots and lots of positive things. So your earlier question that I’ll tell you what my, big surprises were, we were delighted, just thrilled, to see that our total annual contribution to the US economy is $177 billion a year, and that’s up from 2017, where we were at 122 billion. So just think about that. In that short period of time, we went from 122 billion to 177 billion. So wow, that’s just amazing. But in addition to that, we learned that jobs went up. We went from 1.74 million jobs in our industry to 2.2 million. And salaries, wages and benefits went up from 79 billion to 122 billion. So everything was just amazing to us. But not surprising. We saw the horse population decrease. In 2017. We had 7.2 million horses in the US. Now we’re at 6.65 million horses. And that’s just the natural trend that we’re seeing with some breeds that are, declining in, in breeding. So we weren’t surprised by that, but still overall really, really strong numbers this time. And we were we were nervous, a little bit going into this, like, what are we going to see? But everything came out and we were really, really, really pleased. 

Piper Klemm [00:16:23] What are some ways you’ve seen that organizations? Various organizations use the data in the past. How are you anticipating that this can help all of us? 

Julie Broadway [00:16:33] Oh well, so I’ve got lots of fun stories to tell about that. So in Florida, they use the last study and they’re using it again this time, to influence some local zoning. You probably are well aware that a couple of years ago, Florida wanted to build an interstate that ran east to west across Florida, and it was going to cut right through big horse country there. And they went up with some of this data and convinced them that that was not in the best interest to build that, that interstate. And it was called the CDC connector, was the name of the interstate they were trying to justify, but they were able to use this data to kind of turn that around. I know most recently, there’s been a lot of discussion about, development around Wellington. And I know that that data has been used in, in that area there too. We’re also seeing the data used, for capital investments on, different kinds of agar ecom show grounds. It’s often used for some racetrack improvements, all those kinds of things. So we see quite a bit of, of, use from the data from that perspective. But we also see the data used. Again, whether it’s at the local, zoning board or, whether it’s for, state decisions or even the federal decisions, when there’s a piece of legislation that comes up and we’re trying to determine, you know, how big is that impact? What’s that? What’s that, going to do? In, in a positive or in perhaps in unintended consequences. And so we see that data use, like with the Great American Outdoor Recreation Act, which was about providing, improvements to multi-use trails, which are, that the recreation sector is our largest sector in the horse industry. And we were really happy to see some improvements in some of those trail areas that we really needed. So those are just a couple of great examples. Right now we are following, we follow up lots and lots of different, legislative and regulatory issues. But for example, we’ve been working really hard with Berkeley, California. Berkeley would like to make some, ordinances there. And we, have been supplying them with lots and lots of background data. Because they mistakenly believe that, the ordinance should say that all horses, regardless of whatever their job or their, their role is, should be turned out for 14 hours a day and that they, should have a minimum of a half acre of land per horse. And if you think about four acres or pony clubs or people who live around Berkeley, California, that would probably have some major impacts, on the industry in that area. So again, we’re using that data to sort of make our case and work our way through some of those issues. We’re always working on things that have to do with, challenges for, rodeo, carriage operators. Right now in California, we have some environmentalist who are trying to enforce some, water and land conservation rules to close up, a couple of facilities. So we’ve been working on that. So there’s just lots of different directions that, that the data can go. I guess maybe your listeners might be curious. So I’ll give you a couple other stats from this. We know the top ten states are Texas, California and Florida. That didn’t change from last time. Same thing, showed up this time. We know recreation is our biggest sector. And that’s pretty close to competition. But, then it comes racing and what we call working horses, which are mounted police or, dude ranches and those kinds of areas. This time we really drill down, on looking at a couple of specific sectors. For example, we know in the equine assisted services sector, that the total employment is 14,971. That’s a new stat for us. So that was really interesting to learn. Rescues in sanctuaries employ about 5000, folks. And so that’s a new statistic for us. And then we we took a hard look at academia this time. You guys probably know that we’re struggling with a veterinary shortage. And so we really wanted to drill down on academia and think a little bit about, what needs to be done in those areas. And so we got some new statistics out of that. So some really good stuff that came from that. And if your listeners are interested, the high level numbers are on our website. But the report itself, we sell and we have a couple of different types of reports that we sell. This time we’re doing a new report that we’ve never done before. Which is what we call the, appendices, and it’s coming out in a couple of weeks, but it asks some consumer data, which we don’t. Normally do on an economic impact study, but we really wanted to get at some of these things. So, for example, it’s kind of fun because one of the questions we asked this time was where do you purchase your tech in equipment? And I found it fascinating that 70% of the people said they either buy it locally or online. But their other choices were from a previous owner or at a horse show or at a trade show. And those were really small. Those were 20% or less. But the big answers were locally or online. And I think online has grown a lot in the last few years. We asked them questions about, in five years from now, how involved will you be with horses, do you think? And they had a choice of more active about the same level of involvement, less active or no longer involved. And the number one answer there? Amazingly, was about the same level of involvement, which gives us a lot of, of, comfort to know that the industry has stabilized and we think people are going to really stay engaged. And so a lot of new facts and figures that came out this time that we’re going to be using in a lot of different ways. 

Piper Klemm [00:22:27] Julie, thank you so much for joining us on the plaidcast. 

Julie Broadway [00:22:30] Yep. And by all means tell your listeners they reach out to me at J Broadway at Horse council.org. And I’m happy to answer any questions they might have about the survey itself. I can say from a legislative point of view, we’re working really hard this year on, the farm bill. And this data is really important to help us make our case for some of the things we need out of the farm, bill. So thanks for having me. 

Piper Klemm [00:24:04] Joy cook is a dressage rider, trainer, breeder and national director for the Canadian Warmblood Horse Breeders Association. She has specialized in breeding warmblood horses on her LynnCress Farm property for three decades. Joy believes that Canadian bred horses have the ability and quality suitable for the Olympic disciplines. Chris Gould is a lifelong horse enthusiast, trainer, breeder and instructor. He was a founding chair of the Canadian Warmblood Horse Breeders Association and breeder of warmblood horses, operating Touchstone Farm since 1973. He served on the Board of Equestrian Canada for 12 years, where he was a chair of the Breeders and Industry Division, and was for six years a vice president of a World Breeding Federation, bought horses from the touchstone breeding program have been enjoyed by riders across Canada and the US, as well as Europe. Welcome to the plaidcast, Joy and Chris. 

Joy Cook [00:24:58] Thank you. 

Chris Gould [00:24:59] Happy To be here. 

Piper Klemm [00:25:00] Chris, we’ll start with you. Can you talk to us a little bit about the founding and getting the Canadian Warmblood Horse Breeders Association? Started? 

Chris Gould [00:25:10] Yeah, that’s my favorite story. And I hope they don’t take too long. But in 1988, I went to Germany to purchase a Hannah Brown stallion that had been, advised to me. And I was really, really amazed at what I saw in terms of the, service that the stud books were able to give to their members. I went to auctions, I went to the stallion performance testing. I was there when Velt Meyer was, was approved. And so on my way back to Canada, I said, you know, if we don’t do this, we’re never going to be competitive as a breeding organization. We have to have the support system that they have there. And so a number of my friends and acquaintances across the country agreed with me, and that’s where we launched it in. And, we got government approval in 1999 or 1991, rather, so that that was the genesis of the organization. 

Piper Klemm [00:26:10] And Joy. Talk to us a little bit about who Who members are now. 

Joy Cook [00:26:14] Well, as Chris can allude to, we have, quite a few, of course, Canadian members. And, we also have quite a bit of U.S., influence into our membership as well. 

Piper Klemm [00:26:29] I guess, Chris, we can start with you and maybe Joy can add on, what the membership is made up of and what their breeding. You know, obviously, you wanted to to have the recording and the support that you have in Europe. What what’s that looking like right now? How has that evolved?

Chris Gould [00:26:43] Well, I think over the years we were able to, the pieces. So we started doing mare inspections. And then in 2000, we instituted a stallion performance test. And so now and we’ve been doing an auction now for about close to 35 years. So, we have been able to. Build an organization that is similar, although not in scale, the same as the Dutch or Warmblood or the Hanoverian or the other societies. And we’ve also been able to participate in the World Breeding Federation quite actively since 1995. So I think we’re known around the world, at least from the point of view of being a legitimate stud book operating within Canada. And I think one of the issues that people, sometimes are not aware of is that our stud book registers warm blood horses born in Canada, and a lot of people seem to be confused about what a warm bed horse is and just to be very brief, warm. But horses indigenous to Western Europe. And they are registered in a variety of certain books based on region or country of origin. But the pedigrees are extremely closely related, and you’ll be surprised to hear this. But the genetic relatedness of warm blooded horses throughout Europe with a major Studbooks is more than the genetic relatedness of Holstein cows. And everybody knows what a Holstein cow is. And so I think that surprises people when they find that out, that it is essentially a breed that originated in Europe and is now been spread around the world. So that’s I think that’s something that’s missing particularly. I have to say this in the United States, where you have some 20 competing Studbooks daughter studbooks and so on. So my perspective is this, and you have your breeders and the breeders goal is to produce the best horse possible. They need tools. And so by coming together they get those tools with for inspections and approvals to produce these horses. And as a consequence you end up with an organization which has a bureaucracy. Now the breeder has one goal, but the bureaucracy, as all bureaucracy have another goal. And that is to expand and justify their existence. And so that’s why we end up with the European stables competing for the business in North America, not because those breeders particularly want that, but because it, it extends the the activity of the of the stud books. And that’s not to say that they haven’t been very helpful and supportive. Certainly we have always used, European judges as our senior person that inspections and approvals, and they’ve been extremely cooperative from the head of ranch society to the West, feeling of Swedish warm blood and so on. So but I think that’s maybe a message that people might want to think about. And rather than looking at the color of the papers or the or the brand that’s on the papers, it really is more of the horse and of course the pedigree that really count. 

Joy Cook [00:30:05] And if I could, chime in to that, that’s one of the reasons, I started, being more active with Canadian warm blood. I’ve been breeding warm blood horses for over two decades, close to three decades. And I had initially started dealing with the foreign registries. And as my, breeding program, developed, I was purchasing some, warm blood mares to diversify my program. And the registration on those mares were Canadian warm blood. And I just decades ago, I wasn’t really informed about that. I just thought that the, foreign registries were the way to go. And as I started buying, some brood mares, I noticed that they were registered Canadian warm blood and I. I’m a big one, a big person on, looking at bloodline and stuff, being a breeder, of course, that’s your focus and performance. And I realized that the Canadian warm blood mares I was buying were every bit as well bred as the foreign registry, horses I had acquired and developed over the years. So that’s initially what segweighed my involvement in Canadian warm Blood. 

Chris Gould [00:31:27] Yeah. I think that’s an interesting point, is that. We have access because of frozen semen. To all the best genetics in the world. And that’s the same. It is in Canada, in the United States. And that’s why you can see horses with almost identical pedigrees, registered with different stud books depending on what the owner was interested in doing. And certainly Canadian, pedigrees are, as, diverse and as prestigious as any other. You know, we have access to the best stallions. 

Piper Klemm [00:31:57] So, I’m just thinking about U.S. equestrian, how you can say your horses, basically any breed. And there’s very little oversight, in any of this, is is, equine Canada done differently? You know, how do you work with Equine Canada? Because you said a lot of these subjects are competing for business in the United States. But I think part of the reason they can compete. 

Julie Broadway [00:32:19] For business is that. 

Piper Klemm [00:32:21] There’s no oversight at a higher level. 

Chris Gould [00:32:25] You know. That’s very interesting point them. You might remember that at the end of the 1900 and 20th century, there was a lot of concern about, traceability and foreign animal disease, and different countries brought in legislation and procedures for tracking, for tracking animals and horses were kind of on the back burner. So both Canada and the US looked at some ways to do that. Ultimately, we haven’t been able to put that in place in Canada, but we are continuing to work with it. So there is a concern. But for the horse population, the World Breeding Federation, initiated a program called the unique equine life number or universal equine life number, so that each country, issues a registration number that is quoted by stud book and by country of origin, because even the Europeans found that, a horse born in Germany might be moved into a breeding program in Holland. And when they entered them into their stud book, they would give them a different number. So, you know, you had horses like Ramiro and Almeand so on, famous horses that and supported 2 or 3 or 4 or 5 numbers, which really wasn’t helpful. So all of those things have kind of come together. We’re not there yet, but at least we do have the universal equine life number, program going and accepted pretty much worldwide. So, you know, I do think, though, that in the United States, you have a program that allows the breed organization to enter horses into your, USEF database when they are foals. That’s something we want, we want to see happen in Canada so that when the horse gets activated in sport, it’s properly identified. You know, because it’s already in the system and, and recorded by the stud book and its breeding information as well as as well as just its owner. I don’t know if you’re aware of that or not if it’s still operating, but I believe that was the case. 

Piper Klemm [00:34:44] It’s still there. Yeah. 

Chris Gould [00:34:45] Yeah. So that is helpful. And you know, that’s the direction we’re trying to go in Canada as well. We need to get those two connected. 

Piper Klemm [00:34:56] Joy, can you tell us a little bit about some of the advantages of, for you know, Americans especially buying from Canada? I mean, I think, you know, off the top of my head, I mean, just talking to people this weekend of how backlogged even just flights are to Europe and people trying to get horses over that are, that are waiting months at this point. Plus, you know, that’s probably realistically a $15,000 trip in today’s world. And, you know, and can you talk a little bit about the economics and the quality that you’re getting? 

Joy Cook [00:35:27] Piper, you brought up a really good point. Because I have a few friends that were expressing those exact concerns. So in order to. And Chris and I were, before I speak about that, Chris and I were talking about the, ownership numbers of, US owners. And, Chris, if I’m not correct, it’s around 25% of U.S. residents own Canadian warm blooded horses. Is that correct? 

Chris Gould [00:35:54] No. It’s, 25% of Canadian Warmblood horses are owned by Americans. 

Joy Cook [00:35:59] Sorry. Yes, correct. So, it’s Piper as far as the economics, of course, the competing dollar, it’s very economical for people to come up to the U.S. and also to get, Canadian Warm Blood Horse, imported to the U.S.. The last time I checked was just a health certificate and a coggin’s certificate to get to cross the border. So none of those lengthy wait times or anything like that, like a Coggins test, can be done very easily by your local vet. 

Piper Klemm [00:36:33] So, yeah, as of recording this, the Canadian dollar is about $0.75 on the US dollar, which would make, just example, $25,000, just under $19,000, which is, you know, good for Americans coming up and shopping. 

Chris Gould [00:36:49] You know, historically when we started our auction, we did always have a few American buyers, and that definitely was one of the things that drew them was the difference in the dollar. But I also think from following some of these horses that we also have a competitive product for, for the horse buyer in the United States. So we don’t have the same numbers that you have in Europe. But I think we have a pretty good inventory of good horses if people are looking, that’s for sure. And are our auctions online? So that’s something to that has helped to expand the market a bit. 

Piper Klemm [00:37:28] Do you want to name some of the stallions that people might not even know? Are standing in Canada right now, or part of your membership base? 

Chris Gould [00:37:37] Well, I might want to. Point out that. A good percentage of our stallions continued to be important stallions. However, excuse me, we have been quite successful in producing stallions of our own. And when you look at numbers in in Europe, of course, a good stallion might register a thousand foals in a couple of years. But when he’s, you know, famous. Whereas in North America the average stallion maybe gets 25, mayors a year, sometimes less and a few more. So we have some stallions that have had a fairly significant impact in our breeding program, producing, you know, close to 200, foals, which isn’t a lot by European standards, but, but certainly is, by Canadian standards. So rather than pick out a specific, stallion, I would sort of encourage people to go to our stallion directory and you’ll see that there’s a wide variety of, of important pedigree lines there. At the present time, you. 

Piper Klemm [00:38:45] Do you have a lot of American buyers coming up, or kind of how do you handle the logistics? I know a lot of, Canadians on the West Coast bring their horses down to to their desert to be sold their young horses. I know a lot of, Canadian breeders in the East Coast are going down to Florida. What’s kind of your best bet looking at a Canadian horse for to find it. 

Chris Gould [00:39:07] Well, there are two things. One, as you point out, many of our trainers and show people do go to Florida and California and Arizona, and I think there’s a pretty active trade going on there. So that’s the simplest way for those people who are in serious competition and competitive sport to find a horse. The other way, of course, is to contact us, directly and make a trip to Canada. But because we’re so spread out, that can be a bit challenging. I know there are, people coming into Ontario, which is pretty close to a high population area, but the online auction really is the best way to access, the Canadian horses. That was once a year in the fall. 

Piper Klemm [00:39:59] What about former owners in the U.S.? Is it pretty easy to, ship across the border, or is it pretty standard to ship to, are there any extra regulations? Breeding for us?

Chris Gould [00:40:13] That’s a really good question. I know that, there is, again, a health certificate involved, but export. I certainly we’ve imported semen from the states and I believe it’s a similar protocol going the other way. So I don’t think it’s that difficult. At this point, but I couldn’t give any details. 

Joy Cook [00:40:34] I, for my experience, standing warm blood stallions for decades. A lot of my clientele was from the U.S., and, I set it up with a Fedex shipper, and they took care of everything, so it was really easy. I just had to take the semen to the depot and it shipped off. So it was very accessible, and it arrived on time, so it was great. 

Piper Klemm [00:40:57] Perfect. Anything else either one of you want to add? 

Chris Gould [00:41:01] For your listeners? I would certainly encourage them to look at, you know, your U.S. situation and if they could get together as a breeding organization overall, the United States could be a very important powerhouse in the warmblood breeding industry as it is by being so, fragmented. It’s a little bit of a challenge for them to have the same impact and to to provide the same level of services to their members as I think would be, desirable to, from a breeders point of view. You know, success is not just measured by the number of Olympic horses you have. It really is measured by the number of, satisfied owners. And most of our owners are amateurs. And providing that market. We think we’ve done a pretty good job in Canada with that because we see our horses, competing all over the place. So we’ve had a pretty good, impact on this, providing quality horses for our amateur market here. 

Piper Klemm [00:42:04] Anything you want to add Joy? 

Joy Cook [00:42:06] I definitely, echo Chris’s comments. I know in my personal, breeding career, it’s it’s, as Chris had mentioned, most of our clients are, or at least my clients are amateur clients. So it’s about breeding a amateur friendly, horse that can do all the disciplines. And, you know, you can have someone that isn’t a professional actually start the horse. So that’s super important for me as a breeder and, representing, you know, I think Canadian bred horses can compete alongside, the foreign registries. And they have been there’s proof in that, we see it in Spruce Meadows, some of the, you know, riders and, pros up there are riding Canadian warm blooded bred horses right now. So. 

Piper Klemm [00:43:01] And I don’t get the sense that many European breeders are trying to produce horses that amateurs can start. 

Chris Gould [00:43:10] That’s a good point. There’s such a big brass ring, so to speak, when you get a horse that goes to the Olympics that they are very, very focused on high performance. And, I would, echo Joy’s comments that a lot of our breeders are very conscious that the ride ability is the number one factor and that they’re breeding largely for the amateur market, which isn’t to say we haven’t had horses go to the Olympics or World Cup or that kind of thing. We certainly have. But I but I would agree that that’s not the central goal for every one of our breeders. 

Piper Klemm [00:43:47] Thank you so much, both of you, for joining us. 

Chris Gould [00:43:49] Well, thank you for doing this. 

Piper Klemm [00:45:08] Andy Belfiore is the executive director of Take2 and was instrumental in the creation of Take2 and Take the Lead Thoroughbred retirement program. A native of Massachusetts, Andy grew up riding show horses and started working at the racetrack as a teenager. Andy previously served as the editor in chief of the Thoroughbred Daily News and executive director of the New York and Florida Thoroughbred Horse Associations. Rick Schosberg is the president of the Take two Second Career Thoroughbreds and the Take the Lead Thoroughbred Retirement Program, as well as a vice president of the New York Thoroughbred Horseman’s Association. Rick recently retired from his role as the Thoroughbred horse trainer of 35 years. Welcome to the plaidcast, Andy and Rick. 

both [00:45:52] Thank you for having us. 

Piper Klemm [00:45:54] So, Andy, I want to start with you a little bit. Can you tell us a little bit about, the take2 second career thoroughbreds and how this all got started? 

Andy Belfiore [00:46:02] Absolutely. We started this. We started talking about this, back in 2011. At that time, the president of the New York Thoroughbred Horseman’s Association was Rick Viollett. And, you know, he could see that thoroughbred aftercare was really something that we needed to be focused on. We needed to be making sure that, you know, racehorses had somewhere to go once their track careers were over. And he had come up in the hunter jumper world as a kid. And so his idea was to create thoroughbred only hunter and jumper divisions that would then, you know, incentivize people in the show horse world to look to thoroughbreds for their next hunters and jumpers. So that was the genesis of the program, was to really to create second career opportunities for retired racehorses. 

Piper Klemm [00:46:56] Can you talk to us a little bit about kind of a thoroughbreds life? I feel like so many people are so far removed, especially people who have joined the sport recently. You know, it was so much more commonplace when I was growing up to, to be around thoroughbreds and see thoroughbreds coming off the track. But I feel like our sport is so siloed that a lot of people don’t really understand the process. 

Andy Belfiore [00:47:20] Yeah. I mean, I think you’re right. I think, you know, back to what I was saying with, you know, Rick Violet, who? You know, sadly, Rick passed away in 2018, but, you know, he was he was able to see where, you know, how the take to program had grown. But when he was a teenager coming up, thoroughbreds were the, you know, the preferred horse for the hunter jumper world. And that was what you saw. You know, when I was a kid coming up, you know, I had nat palooza because I couldn’t afford a thoroughbred. You know, everybody was riding the thoroughbreds. And then over the last, I don’t even know, 30, 40 years. I guess at this point, the thoroughbreds just have fallen out of favor in the warmbloods became very popular. So, you know, what we have now is, you know, you have a thoroughbred that’s bred for racing, and they get to the racetrack when they’re two years old and they race to maybe 4 or 5, you know, at the very rarely beyond 5 or 6 years old. And then they’ve got, you know, 25 years of life ahead of them. And really it works out well that for a second career, to transition to be a hunter or a jumper is the perfect second career for these horses because they’re so athletic, they want to have something to do. And, you know, so the whole idea behind the take two program was to create prize money and year end awards and finals and all kinds of incentives that would make people, look to the thoroughbred and hopefully increase the popularity of the thoroughbred, you know, if not to where it was 30 years ago, at least, to, you know, introduce more people, as you say, to the thoroughbred who have really no, nothing but warm bloods. 

Piper Klemm [00:48:59] So, Rick, tell us about how you got involved in this project. 

Rick Schosberg [00:49:03] In the genesis of, the take the take2, take the lead program, I had just been elected to the board of directors of the New York Thoroughbreds Horseman’s Association, and Rick was president, and he was the executive director. And, our first meeting, I was asked if I wanted to be part of the initiative. And, I had had a background with, obviously as being a trainer, but, I also had, offtrack thoroughbreds my, of my own. And I grew up in the show world in Virginia, as a kid, so it seemed like a perfect fit. So I was really enthusiastic about, joining the team for, for take two. And at the time, the, the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance and the aftercare initiative industry wide was really just starting to get it’s feet. And, and I think we, you know, we grew our program here in New York as the, the national industry wide program was growing as well. And, it just seemed like, a perfect fit at the time. 

Piper Klemm [00:50:21] So, Andy, tell us about how the last ten years have, have worked. Tell us about how, you know, we’ve seen thoroughbreds become more popular or get these awards, you know, especially around Lexington, Kentucky, and then Saratoga, obviously. You are seeing a lot of thoroughbreds around the horse shows these days. 

Andy Belfiore [00:50:40] Yeah, we really have seen, like when we started in 2012, you know, it was Rick Violet, Adele Einhorn, who’s on our board. She was really our liaison into the horse show world. And so that first year, we had just eight weeks of horse shows in three states that, offered the take two thoroughbred, hunter and jumper divisions. And now, you know, you’ve you fast forward to 2023 and we’ve had over 500 weeks of horse shows in. I think it’s 25 states now. So you really have seen the program expand and grow. And I just think people are they I know thoroughbreds have the reputation as being hot, hard to handle, but they’re also an awful lot of fun to ride. There’s an awful lot of go in them, a lot, a lot of heart they always want to do for you. And I think people now that they’re getting introduced to that and riding these horses and seeing them show and what they can do, you really are seeing a growth in the interest in the thoroughbred again. 

Piper Klemm [00:51:43] And and you’re engaging junior riders as well. Can you tell us about that? 

Andy Belfiore [00:51:47] Sure. We partnered with the Thoroughbred Charities of America, in 2018 to offer the Junior Rider Award, so that recognizes the top, junior rider in each division thoroughbreds, hunters and jumpers. And they get awards at the end of the year. And then we also take two offers, a $1,000 scholarship drawing for our junior rider. So it’s just another way to look at, you know, that these young riders are introduced to these horses and they can handle them and they handle. Them beautifully. One of our junior riders, Ciana Robin. She won the finals two years in a row over, you know, all the adults. You know, there were 20 horses in the class, and she beat them all. So, you know, you can see that these young riders are really have an affinity for the thoroughbreds. And we wanted to recognize that. 

Piper Klemm [00:52:39] And Andy, tell us about those finals. It’s a $20,000 Take2 Finals in Lexington, Kentucky. 

Andy Belfiore [00:52:46] Yeah. So we started that in 2019. And it’s, $10,000 for the Hunter and jumper division each. We invite the top 40, point getters from each division to come to. It’s been at the Kentucky National Horse Show since we started in Lexington, and last year we had 39 horses that made the trip from 12 different states. And it’s just really exciting to see the top of the top of our thoroughbred division and competing against each other. And it’s also a great opportunity for the people who love thoroughbreds to get together, meet each other, you know, see each other’s horses, share their love of the breed. It’s it’s just a really great event every year. 

Piper Klemm [00:53:27] And, Andy, can you talk a little bit about kind of the thoroughbreds life cycle after they have a Hunter jumper career? Are you seeing those those hunter jumper people then kind of taking care of these horses for life or, you know, where, you know. Where do the, where does the responsibility continue on? And I think it’s all interesting questions for breeders. And for whose responsibility are all these? 

Andy Belfiore [00:53:56] You know, I can’t really speak to for the Hunter jumper world. Take2 and take the lead are definitely driven by the horse racing industry. So the idea is that, you know, we need to find safe landings for these horses once they leave the racetrack. And do you have a, you know, large contributions from from the racetracks, from the horseman’s associations, from the owners and trainers themselves in getting them to, retraining and rehoming, facilities and then getting them into their forever homes. And the one thing I’ll say is that so we have two programs. We have take2, which is the horse show program, and then we have Take the Lead, which works with owners and trainers at the track. When it’s time to retire a racehorse, they come to us and we find, an accredited aftercare organization to take over for the retraining and rehoming of that horse and transitioning them into a second career. So we only work with these Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance accredited groups, and they all have contracts where when they adopt these horses out, that adopter has to sign a contract that says if they ever have, you know, need or want to sell the horse or they can no longer take care of the horses themselves, they must contact that aftercare organization, and then they will work together to decide, you know, how to to find that horse, the best home, whether it comes back to the aftercare organization or whether they find a new adopter for it, whatever it might be, there is that safety net in place to make sure that these horses that go through our programs at least, definitely are cared for, you know, for the remainder of their lives. 

Piper Klemm [00:55:45] And Andy, where can people find more information? On Take2? 

Andy Belfiore [00:55:51] We you can go to our website, which is take the number two t Breds, dot com. And, you know, we also have a Facebook page and, Twitter account. Or you can email us at, take2tbreds@gmail.com. And we’re always happy to talk about our retired racehorse programs. 

Piper Klemm [00:56:15] Amazing. Well, thank you so much, Andy and Rick, for joining us today. 

Andy Belfiore [00:56:19] Okay. Thank you so much for having us. 

Piper Klemm [00:56:51] To learn more about anything we’ve discussed on today’s show, visit theplaidhorse.com. You can find show notes at theplaidhorse.com/Listen. Follow The Plaid Horse on all the social medias. You can subscribe to the print edition of The Plaid Horse Magazine at theplaid horse.com/Subscribe. Please rate and review The Plaidcast anywhere you listen to it. And if you enjoy this episode, please share it with your friends. I will see you at the ring!