A Maryland Racing Commission regulation that will make the 1.5% assessment on claimed horses mandatory rather than voluntary will take effect Jan. 1, 2024.
Beginning in January 2022 at the request of the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association and with the blessing of the MRC, the 1.5% assessment—the funds go to the Beyond The Wire aftercare program—was enacted. It has been voluntary given the fact that individual owners have been able to sign an opt-out form.
In 2022 the voluntary assessment on claims raised about $105,000. Based on 2022 statistics that show there were 616 Thoroughbreds claimed in Maryland for a total of about $9.5 million, a mandatory assessment would have generated about $142,000, or about $37,000 in additional funds.
In 2020, 1/ST Racing (The Stronach Group) pledged $250,000 million a year for four years to support Beyond The Wire. This is the last year of the contribution. The company also pledged that after 2023, it would match the mandatory per-start contributions from owners to support the aftercare program.