Standing Ovation by Ovation Riding: The Breeders’ Cup Pledge

Every Friday, Horse Nation teams up with Ovation Riding to spotlight an individual or organization doing good work in the horse world. Today, we’re recognizing the Breeders’ Cup Pledge, offering connections the opportunity to give back.

Classic Empire, 2016 Juvenile winner. Owner John Oxley and trainer Graham Motion both participated in the 2016 Breeders’ Cup Pledge. Photo Breeders Cup Ltd.

The Breeders’ Cup is the richest two days of horse racing in North America, with over $26 million awarded in purse payouts to the connections of winning horses. In 2009, New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program created a knockout concept: allow owners and trainers the opportunity to pledge a percentage of their Breeders’ Cup winnings to New Vocations to help the organization in its mission to rehabilitate and rehome retired Thoroughbreds and Standardbreds when their racing days are over.

In eight years, the Breeders’ Cup Pledge has raised over $420,000 for New Vocations, with trainers and owners proving eager to pledge portions of their winnings to the mission of racehorse aftercare. In 2016, two pledges — Tourist and Classic Empire — won their races, meaning that New Vocations received the biggest possible donation. Even without actual race victories, however, the program is a win-win for everyone, including a few Breeders Cup runners who have been rehomed through New Vocations.

Connections can choose to pledge anywhere from 0.5% to 10% of their winnings, with an optional “other” amount as well. Participating trainers have included Bob Baffert, Todd Pletcher, Graham Motion and Doug O’Neill among others; participating owners have included Al Shaqab Racing, China Horse Club, Donegal Racing, Stonestreet Stables, West Point Racing and John Oxley, among others.

To learn more about the New Vocations Breeders’ Cup Pledge program, please visit the program’s website.

Many thanks thanks to Ovation Riding for their support of both Horse Nation and individuals and organizations that are doing good work in the horse world. If you know someone who deserves a Standing Ovation, we would love to recognize them in a future post. Email the name of the person or organization along with a message about the good work they do to [email protected]. Photos/videos are always welcome, and include a link to their website if applicable.

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