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TCA’s Horses First Fund Supports Feed Assistance Program at Charles Town Racetrack

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Thoroughbred Charities of America’s Horses First Fund has provided funding for a need-based feed assistance program at Charles Town Racetrack. The program, developed in partnership with Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races, Aftercare Charles Town, Charles Town Horsemen’s Benevolent Protective Association (HBPA), and Charles Town Southern States, will aid trainers facing economic hardship due to the cancellation of racing.

The program will be available for trainers that meet the earnings criteria set forth by the Charles Town HBPA. Qualified trainers will receive a one-time credit redeemable for grain at Charles Town Southern States. The credit amount will be determined by the number of stalls utilized by qualified trainers. A valid Charles Town Races identification must be presented in order to redeem the credit. The feed assistance program will be managed by the Charles Town HBPA.

“The Charles Town HBPA is honored to have made this connection with TCA,” said Maria Catignani, executive director of Charles Town HBPA. “Through their kindness we were able to create an equine feed assistance program that provides financial relief to trainers in need during the COVID-19 pandemic. We race here year-round but in interest of public health and safety racing was shut down so currently trainers have little or no income,” continued Catignani. “We are so grateful for the generosity of TCA and their Horses First Fund.”

“We can’t thank Thoroughbred Charities of America enough for working with everyone at Charles Town to provide some relief to and assistance for our horsemen,” said Erich Zimny, vice president of racing and sports operations at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races. “It’s a difficult time for everyone and their grant provides some valuable dollars to ensure horses are cared for in a time of need.”

“We’re pleased to be able to support the feed assistance program at Charles Town Racetrack during this challenging time,” said Erin Crady executive director of TCA. “Since 2016, TCA’s Horses First Fund has provided emergency funding to large scale neglect cases and during disasters such as Hurricane Maria and the California wildfires. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Horses First Fund has supported both aftercare and backstretch employee organizations with emergency needs.”

Established by LNJ Foxwoods, the Horses First Fund assists Thoroughbreds and their caretakers in need of emergency aid due to large scale neglect, natural disaster, or other catastrophe.  Emergency grants from the Horses First Fund are only possible because of the support of our generous donors. To join us in our efforts to assist Thoroughbreds and backstretch workers in need of emergency aid please consider a donation to the Horses First Fund. To donate, please visit

Thoroughbred Charities of America (TCA) was formed in 1990 to raise and distribute funds to charities in the Thoroughbred industry that 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. In 2019, TCA granted nearly $475,000 to 64 charities working within Thoroughbred retraining, rehoming and retirement; backstretch and farm worker services, research and equine-assisted therapy. Over the last 30 years, TCA has granted over $23 million to more than 200 charities that successfully meet the criteria set forth in its annual grant application. TCA also administers the Horses First Fund, founded by LNJ Foxwoods in 2016, to assist Thoroughbreds in need of emergency aid. TCA is the charitable arm of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (TOBA).