FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Joe Kristufek
Notes Writer/Media Relations
Rosie Napravnik Returns to Fair Grounds for Saturday’s “New Vocations Day at the Races”
Four-time local riding champion on hand to raise awareness for Thoroughbred Aftercare
New Orleans (February 23, 2020) – On Saturday, February 27, retired jockey and horse advocate Rosie Napravnik will be on site at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots for “New Vocations Day at the Races”. A four-time local riding champion who was instrumental in the opening of the New Vocations facility in Covington, Louisiana, Napravnik will join host Joe Kristufek on the live feed during the racing day to help build awareness, promote success stories and inspire donations for Thoroughbred aftercare.
“Rosie is one of our favorites and it’s great to have her back at the Fair Grounds to help shed light on such an important cause and to share her valuable insight with the fans,” said Fair Grounds senior director of racing Jason Boulet.
Napravnik, who retired in 2014 following her Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) win with Shanghai Bobby, is one the winningest female jockeys of all time in both victories and earnings. In 2012 she became the first female rider to capture the Kentucky Oaks (G1), guiding Believe You Can to victory, and she won the race again just two years later with Untapable. She is now married to trainer Joe Sharp and together they have two sons, Carson and Tucker.
“Before and after my riding career, I’ve been exposed to a lot of the other things that horses can do, and that’s a big part of the reason why I’m so passionate about it and why it’s so important to me,” Napravnik said about Thoroughbred aftercare. “I have a lot of experience in the other disciplines and I’ve seen retired racehorses really excel. I got my first off-the-track Thoroughbred back in 2008 and watching him transform, his potential, his trainability, his eagerness to do something else and to learn new things and please really inspired me. After riding so many of those horses and seeing how much they put out for us on the racetrack, it’s just something I can’t avoid making a part of my life.”
Recognizing the need for expanded Thoroughbred aftercare in Louisiana, Napravnik reached out to New Vocations, the largest racehorse adoption program in the country, in the fall of 2019.
“It was amazing how it all came together rather quickly,” said New Vocations Thoroughbred program director Anna Ford. “When we move into a facility it usually takes a lot longer. Rosie’s connections and her relationship with the facility in Louisiana really sped up the process. We were able to get a start-up grant from the Right Horse to basically fund almost half of running the program for the first two years. That really helped us get on our feet. Then the Louisiana HBPA stepped in and they have really supported our efforts.”
In the “check-off” program, consenting Louisiana HBPA member owners have contributed $5 per starter to race horse aftercare. At the conclusion of the meet, Fair Grounds will then match that dollar amount.
On Saturday, Napravnik will join simulcast host Joe Kristufek to provide information on how to donate a horse, how to adopt a horse, and how fans can contribute to the cause. She will also share adoption success stories, which will be supported by video of retired racehorses thriving in their second careers.
“I want to help make sure that horses have the opportunity to do something after racing because they really deserve it,” Napravnik said. “They have so much life ahead of them when their racing career is over. I can’t ignore that, especially in a place like Louisiana that has such a high demand for organizations to help bridge that gap.”
In addition to promoting Thoroughbred aftercare awareness, Napravnik will also offer her race-by-race selections via the “expert picks” on twinspires.com and the Twin Spires app, and on the simulcast feed.
“During my riding career, I never handicapped to pick the winner, I handicapped to make my horse the winner,” Napravnik said. “But there’s a lot of insight I can give on how each of the riders could see the race unfolding and how it might play out from a pace and trip perspective. I can’t promise you I’m going to be a good picker, but I can promise you there will be a lot of valuable insight.”
For those who would like to contribute a financial donation to the Louisiana chapter of New Vocations and support the Fair Grounds Day at the Races with Rosie Napravnik, visit https://horseadoption.com/donate and click the button with Rosie’s picture on it in the top row, middle column.
“I’m really excited for the New Vocations Day,” Napravnik said. “I love coming back to the Fair Grounds and really enjoy being a part of the racing day. It’s just so nice to have a day dedicated to letting people know where we are with the organization, our accomplishments of the past two years and the potential of what we can do in the future. I really look forward to sharing some of the unique success stories adopters have had with their horses. I think it’s going to be super fun but also enlightening to everybody.”
“It’s definitely been a huge success,” Napravnik said of the Louisiana division of New Vocations. “Since we opened the doors (check date) we had a good first year and then a fantastic 2020. Lynn Quast and the ladies down there are doing an exceptional job placing horses, finding adopters and really moving lot of horses through the program. We could always use more exposure in the fact that we have a facility in Louisiana and we can use more support to be able to expand it. With a little bit more exposure, I think the program is going to continue to grow, and grow and grow and grow.”
“In the last ten years Aftercare has become a main topic in the industry and it’s been a long-time coming. Showing the importance to the owners and trainers to not retire their horses to just anybody but making sure that they choose to use a private or accredited program. Do your due diligence. Just make sure if you’re selling a horse privately, make sure it’s a good home and good situation. Through the process of having the facility in Louisiana, we’ve met a lot of great owners who race there primarily who love that they now have the option to send their horses to New Vocations. That’s been very refreshing and rewarding, but we still have a lot of work to do. Louisiana has taken big strides in Aftercare in the last two years.”
About Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots: Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, one of the nation’s oldest racetracks, has been in operation since 1872. Located in New Orleans, LA, Fair Grounds is owned by Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ Global Select Market: CHDN); it also operates a slot-machine gaming facility and 13 off-track betting parlors throughout southeast Louisiana. The 149th Thoroughbred Racing Season – highlighted by the 108th running of the Louisiana Derby – will run from November 26, 2020 through March 28, 2021. More information can be found online at www.FairGroundsRaceCourse.com.
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