The U.S. Trotting Association (USTA) announced Monday (August 16) that online applications for membership renewals will include an option to make a donation to the Standardbred Transition Alliance (STA).
It can be made as either a part of the membership renewal application or as a stand-alone donation. A similar donation option will be added to new membership applications shortly.
The online form in USTA Online Services will include an option to make a minimum donation of $10 and a maximum of $500 in one-dollar increments, which is in addition to the current option to donate to the Harness Racing Museum. Printed forms will also include these same two options for donations.
The USTA Board of Directors, in March 2018, directed Chief Executive Officer Mike Tanner, with assistance from a steering committee comprised of Directors Don Marean, Jacqueline Ingrassia and Fred Nichols, to form the group.
The STA operates independently of the USTA, though the USTA will provide both promotional and operational support and will have an ex officio spot on the board.
The STA does not directly care for horses but accredits and provides some funding for groups that meet accreditation standards.
According to their mission statement, “the Standardbred Transition Alliance (STA) is a non-profit organization with federal 501(c)(3) status whose mission is to accredit, inspect and award grants to approved organizations that acquire, rehabilitate, train and re-home Standardbreds."
Funding is generated across the spectrum of the Standardbred industry, including regulatory agencies, horsemen’s groups, tracks, sales companies, farms, and individuals who participate as trainers, drivers, owners, and breeders.
The STA provides partial funding to groups serving Standardbreds, ensuring donor confidence by examining the equine care and business practices of groups applying for accreditation.
It is expected that the accreditation process will also assist groups in developing sustainable policies and programs.