The Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (TAA), which recently announced a new funding plan, was a main focus during a session entitled "Totally Aftercare" that closed out the Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit, Oct. 17 at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Ky.

Michael Ziegler, who serves as executive director of the TAA as well as the National Thoroughbred Racing Association’s Safety and Integrity Alliance, reported on the requirements for an aftercare facility to become a TAA member.

Some of the specifics include being financially and operationally stable, and having non-profit status, proper insurance, a board of directors, and sufficient volunteers. Accredited facilities must also provide proper care for their horses and have a policy that’s consistent with the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP).

"Accredited organizations should also work with the industry and educate them on the importance of aftercare," said Ziegler. "They need to market what they’re doing and show the industry in the right limelight."

Facilities interested in becoming accredited must complete a lengthy, in-depth application to prove they are dedicated to the TTA standards.

"Once we have the application, we’ll have a site inspection," said Ziegler. "The AAEP will introduce us to veterinarians on a regional basis that will inspect the sites in order to not incur a lot of costs through travel expenses."

Ziegler said funds would be raised for all accredited facilities through institutional contributions rather than regular fundraisers. "We want every aspe