LEXINGTON, Ky. - Thoroughbred Charities of America will honor Barbara Banke with the Allaire duPont Leadership Award and the Backstretch Employee Service Team (B.E.S.T.) with the Ellen and Herb Moelis Industry Service Award at the 27th annual Stallion Season Auction & Celebration on Saturday, January 7, 2017 at the Keeneland Entertainment Center in Lexington, Ky.
"We are pleased to acknowledge Barbara Banke and B.E.S.T. for their outstanding work within the Thoroughbred industry," said Mike McMahon president of TCA. "Barbara is involved with numerous organizations that offer aftercare services or support farm or backstretch employees that care for Thoroughbreds, and B.E.S.T.'s outstanding program provides health and human services to thousands of backstretch workers each year at NYRA tracks - we couldn't think of a more deserving individual and organization for these awards."
The Allaire duPont Leadership Award, named for one of TCA's founders, is presented annually to an organization or individual whose philanthropic endeavors are consistent with TCA's mission. Past award winners include Bourbon Lane Stable, Graham and Anita Motion, Frank Stronach, Fasig-Tipton, Darley, Todd Pletcher, Roy and Gretchen Jackson, Bill Casner and John and Debby Oxley.
Banke, the chairman and proprietor of Jackson Family Wines, is one of the wine industry's top innovators. Her successful Stonestreet Farms raced Horses of the Year Curlin and Rachel Alexandra, and Eclipse Award Winner My Miss Aurelia. The farm has produced over 20 graded states winners since its inception in 2005. A staunch advocate of Thoroughbred aftercare, Stonestreet is committed to giving their former racers every opportunity to succeed in a second career. Banke is a long-time supporter of TCA and many organizations that work on behalf of Thoroughbreds and those who care for them.
The Ellen and Herb Moelis Industry Service Award is presented annually to an organization that works to uphold TCA's mission. Past award winners include The Jockey Club's Thoroughbred Incentive Program, CANTER USA, Belmont Child Care Association, Old Friends, Kentucky Equine Humane Center, Mid-Atlantic Horse Rescue, New Vocations, Tranquility Farms and the Retired Racehorse Project.
The Backstretch Employee Service Team (B.E.S.T.) was founded in 1989 and works to provide free health and social services to the backstretch communities at Aqueduct, Belmont, and Saratoga Racetracks. B.E.S.T. offers primary healthcare clinics, facilitates enrollment in health and life insurance programs, offers transportation and translation services, provides alcohol and substance abuse counseling, acupuncture clinics, and much more.
The Celebration will feature approximately 10 seasons including Into Mischief, Malibu Moon, and Speightstown. Bidders or their authorized agents may bid on select seasons by attending the live auction in-person or they may bid on the select seasons during the online phase with the highest bidders earning the right to bid by phone during the live auction. In addition to the seasons, non-season lots such as a Triple Crown ticket package, a John Deere utility vehicle, and equine air transportation via a H.E. Tex Sutton flight will be offered. All non-season items will also be available for bidding during the online auction with absentee bidding available at the live auction.
TCA Stallion Season Auction sponsors include LNJ Foxwoods, Rosenberg Thoroughbred Consulting, PBI Bank, Candyland Farm, John Deere, Bourbon Lane Stable, Starquine.com, Fasig-Tipton, Keeneland, TDN, TOBA, The Blood-Horse, The Horse Media Group, and L.V. Harkness & Co. For further information regarding the 27th annual TCA Stallion Season Auction including season donations, sponsorships and advertising please visit www.tca.org or call (859) 276-4989.
TCA's mission is to provide a better life for Thoroughbreds, both during and after their racing careers, by supporting qualified repurposing and retirement organizations and by helping the people who care for them. TCA distributes grants to several categories of Thoroughbred-related nonprofits including rehabilitation, retraining, rehoming and retirement organizations; backstretch and farm employee programs; equine-assisted therapy programs; and research organizations. Since its inception in 1990, TCA has granted over $21 million to more than 200 charities. TCA administers the Horses First Fund, initiated by LNJ Foxwoods in June 2016 to assist a horse rescue operation in Mercer County, Kentucky as well as provide emergency aid for horses in need in the future. From 2000-2015, more than 95% of TCA's expenditures were allocated to program services including direct grants. TCA is the charitable arm of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (TOBA).