Steve Cauthen raises his whip to speed Affirmed, right, toward...

Steve Cauthen raises his whip to speed Affirmed, right, toward the finish lines as Alydar is driven home by Jorge Velasquez in the final stretch of the Belmont Stakes race at Belmont Park in Elmont on June 12, 1978. Credit: AP

Millions of Americans will tune in to the Belmont Stakes next weekend to watch incredible four-legged athletic champions in their pursuit of the winner's circle ["Belmont win is in the quirks," Sports, May 28]. Regardless of whether you watch, the horses are beautiful, and we all want to ensure they are humanely treated and provided with loving homes in their retirement.

Several years ago, the American Humane Association provided assistance to the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance as it developed a rigorous and thorough accreditation process for the retirement of thoroughbreds. We encourage all those doing the important work of caring for retired thoroughbreds to apply for membership in the alliance and join this growing movement.

If any animal is an American icon, it's the horse. We love horses, so let's support their futures by supporting commonsense and much-needed standards to ensure a great finish for these magnificent creatures.

Robin Ganzert, Washington

Editor's note: The writer is the president of the American Humane Association.

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