Aside from the cost of hay and feed, one of the biggest expenses in horse care is usually bedding–the soft, wood shavings that line the inside of stalls to keep horses clean and comfortable.
“With our membership of nearly 6,000 racehorse owners and trainers doing business in Florida, and a horse population of nearly 3,500 supporting Florida horse racing, the Florida Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (FHBPA) saw an immediate need to help keep the cost of bedding down, while putting funds back into our industry,” said FHBPA Board Member Chuck Simon, a prominent trainer who will be spearheading the new shavings program named “Gulfstream Horsemen’s Purchasing Association.”
Working with suppliers, the Gulfstream Horsemen’s Purchasing Association (GHPA) created a proprietary blend of medium to large wood shavings, using top-of-the-line Southern Pine timber. The product was designed to spread and absorb well.
“Most importantly, our horse owners and trainers will see a substantial cost savings,” Simon noted, citing several similar horsemen-operated programs at racetracks nationwide.
The GPHA shavings are being sold in 10 cubic-foot expanded bags for an introductory price of $4.95 per bag.
While the shavings are currently available only at Thoroughbred centers directly connected with Gulfstream Park, such as Gulfstream Park West (Calder), Palm Meadows and Palm Beach Downs, the GHPA has plans to expand its service and its product offerings.
Meanwhile, the FHBPA will use profits from the GHPA shavings sales to create and expand various horsemen’s programs–part of its longstanding mission of “horsemen helping horsemen.”
The FHBPA is among the largest chapters in the National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, which advocates for Thoroughbred owners and trainers, and administers various programs to assist their many small businesses and employees.