Hollywood Casino Contributing to Horse Welfare Fund
Hollywood Casino in Bangor says they’ve made a commitment.They’re making an ongoing contribution toward the welfare of standardbred horses, the breed that race at the track.Caitlin Burchill has the story. Standardbred horses train on the track daily at Hollywood Casino’s Bangor Raceway.But after 14 years, the animals are required to retire.”We have a horse. His name is High Caliber and he’s 13 years old. He has one more year of racing left. Hopefully a horse like him, we can try to find him a good home,” said Michael Hitchcock, a standardbred horse trainer. “This particular guy is just a wonderful animal. He’s won almost $700,000, so he’s one of the better ones and we certainly want to make sure he has an easy retirement if we can,” said Bangor Raceway Race Secretary Fred Nichols. But sometimes, the horses end up on the wrong side of the track.”Most owners, in fact all owners of all the horses, they take great care of, but once and a while, you think a horse has been placed in a nice situation and then it goes somewhere else and eventually it ends up in dire straits and those are the ones the fund is designed to protect,” said Nichols. The Standardbred Welfare Support Fund established by the Maine Harness Racing Industry provides temporary financial support to standardbreds that have been abandoned, seized, or abused and found by an animal welfare enforcement or government agency. Hollywood Casino is contributing $1 per starter for each racing season. They just sent a check for almost 2500 dollars to the Maine Department of Agriculture’s Animal Welfare Program, which runs the fund….The money is already helping two horses who are unadoptable because of leg issues. “I hate to think of a horse that’s been so accommodating to this industry. Raced and then put out to pasture and not taken care of. This is a great fund to set up for these animals. They still have a lot of good years left in them. They make great riding horses and it’s a good opportunity for a horse to know that there’s someone out there who is looking after them and this fund will do that for them,” said Michael Hopkins, Manager of Live Racing at Bangor Raceway.