You might have seen the articles sprouting up about the Jockey Club’s new Thoroughbred Connect, an online function which is supposed to be “connecting Thoroughbreds with their futures.” I felt a little skeptical at first; I mean, the Jockey Club has never shown the least little interest in tracking Thoroughbreds – their whole function is to register foals bred and maintain the stud book. What they do after they’re born and duly noted in the registry books, or produce offspring, is their own business.
But eventually my curiousity got the better of me and I decided to log in and check it out. And hey! It turns out that it’s wickedly simple to use and gives me the one thing I wanted: a chance to help the horses I’ve bred if they ever need new homes!
Basically, you log into Interactive Registration. If you aren’t already a member, all you have to do is come up with a name and a password. It’s one of the few things about the Jockey Club that won’t cost you a packet.
Once you log in, you click on “Thoroughbred Connect” up at the very top of the screen, and you’re prompted to enter your contact info. After that, you have two options: enter in the horses in your care (who may need assistance in the future) or enter in the horses you’re willing to offer assistance to.
I chose the latter and the search option was simple: registered name, dam’s name, and year of birth. My four babies came up and were added to the list. And that was that!So now I suppose I just wait and hope no one ever contacts me, and my babies live long and productive lives as racehorses, and later as breeding stock or sporthorses. But if anything should ever happen to one of them, I want to know about it! I may not be able to take them in myself – I mean, I don’t exactly live on the farm anymore, do I – but I can at least work on their behalf to find them safe harbor and new homes.
The Jockey Club has made Thoroughbred Connect so ridiculously simple that if any horse goes to auction or slaughter now, the guilty parties haven’t got any excuse. Not that they did before. But there’s simply no longer a reason for Thoroughbreds at the racetracks to “disappear” from the radar. Every owner or trainer should be registering their horses, and every breeder should be following up on them.
Not to mention, it makes it very easy to put your name down for one of those campaigners you’ve been watching and longing for when their retirement comes!