The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) announced today that Valvoline has signed on to become a National Partner with NTRA Advantage, the NTRA’s group purchasing program. As part of the deal, Valvoline—a brand of Ashland Consumer Markets which is a commercial unit of Ashland Inc. (NYSE: ASH)—will offer discounts in 2013 on a wide array of products and services to NTRA-member tracks, farms, organizations and individual members in the U.S. and Canada.

“With its longstanding reputation as a leader in oil and lubricants, Valvoline is a perfect fit for our members who rely on NTRA Advantage to deliver significant discounts on quality products for their farm and track operations,” said Bryan Pettigrew, Senior Vice President of NTRA Advantage. “Whether they are interested in bulk purchases or individual oil changes, NTRA members will have special access to savings next year from a highly respected company committed to the success of the horse industry.”

“Valvoline is very excited to become a national partner with NTRA,” said John Noal, Vice President of Commercial & Industrial, Ashland Consumer Markets. “We look forward to sharing Valvoline’s more than 140 years of helping vehicle owners achieve maximum performance and prolonged engine life with motor oils specifically designed to meet the needs of different engine types and driving conditions. Farm vehicles and equipment engines oftentimes handle extreme temperatures and intense operation length which require different motor oil, and we’re excited to share our Valvoline family of products with NTRA members.”

NTRA members that can realize savings through NTRA Advantage include racetracks, owners, breeders and trainers. Equine organizations utilizing the Advantage program extend well beyond the realm of Thoroughbred racing. These include the American Quarter Horse Association, the U.S. Equestrian Federation, the U.S. Trotting Association, Harness Tracks of America and the U.S. Polo Association.

NTRA Advantage delivers substantial cost savings—through local dealers—on products and services from such nationally known vendors as Valvoline, John Deere, UPS, Sherwin-Williams, OfficeMax and Hagyard Pharmacy.

Earlier, this year, the NTRA Advantage program topped the $100 million mark in savings to the horse industry since the inception of the NTRA’s group purchasing arm in 2002. In all, NTRA Advantage sales of goods and services since 2002 exceed $600 million

Valvoline, a brand of Ashland Consumer Markets which is a commercial unit of Ashland Inc. (NYSE: ASH), has been serving American motorists longer than any other motor oil. In addition to commercial and industrial lubricants, the Valvoline family of products includes Eagle One™ appearance products, Car Brite™ car restoration products, Zerex™ antifreeze, SynPower™ performance products, MaxLife products created for higher-mileage engines, and NextGen motor oil created with 50 percent recycled, re-refined oil. With more than 860 locations throughout the United States, Valvoline Instant Oil Change™ is a leader in serving the quick lube market.

The NTRA is a broad-based coalition of horse racing interests consisting of leading Thoroughbred racetracks, owners, breeders, trainers, horseplayers and affiliated horse racing associations, charged with increasing the popularity of horse racing and improving economic conditions for industry participants. The NTRA has offices in Lexington, Ky., and New York City. NTRA press releases appear on the NTRA web site,