Sunday, February 14, 2010

Set to gather with N.C. thoroughbred crowd in Cary

Considering I'm getting set to register my first-ever foal as a thoroughbred breeder, it's high time I take care of a bit of unattended business: Joining the North Carolina Thoroughbred Association.

As this blog has detailed, my horses are stabled in Virginia and the colt, to be named All In On Red (Inner Harbour-Lady's Wager, by Valid Wager) is thus a VA-bred. And with no racing to speak of in North Carolina -- other than a couple of noteworthy steeplechase events on which there's no wagering, for instance -- there's little reason to foal in North Carolina.

But that doesn't stop Tar Heel State residents who own thoroughbreds from forming an organization, sharing their love for the racing game, congratulating one another on their successes at far-off tracks, and trying to promote the breed and the sport within the state. The NCTA was among the participants in a North Carolina Rural Development Center study released in 2009 that recommended to the legislature a reintroduction of horse racing with parimutuel wagering as one piece of the puzzle for reviving rural communities through investment in equine interests.

This coming Saturday, the NCTA will gather for its annual awards dinner at MacGregor Downs Country Club in Cary, 430 St. Andrews Lane. Cost of the evening is $40 per person, which will get you four hours of fine dining, dancing with a live band, an open bar, and of course presentation of the NCTA's annual awards.

Annual membership costs are $25 for "junior members" age 25 and under; $60 for individual membership; $75 farm membership; $150 to attain "sponsor" status; and $250 to be a corporate sponsor.

A silent auction is also planned, with proceeds being donated to the Don MacBeth Memorial Jockey Fund to assist the injured and disabled riders -- both race-riders and exercise riders.

Since I often get little more than puzzled glances when I tell locals in my community that I'm a fan of and minor investor in horse racing, it will be good to spend an evening surrounded by those who share that passion.

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