The first full year of operations for The Horse Fund was highly successful on multiple levels. Not only did we facilitate safe and secure retirements for a number of thoroughbreds, we also shared updates on many retirees, as well as surpassed our fundraising goals. Let’s take a moment and look at each of those categories in review.


In 2022, we assisted in the retirement of 14 Wasabi Ventures Stables (WVS) horses. Nine of these retirements were initiated by Wasabi. Of those nine, we made charitable donations to five aftercare organizations, with whom the horses were placed. The other four retirements incurred no fees.

In July we made our first private purchase of a former WVS horse, which we then retired. This purchase was followed by four more purchases through the end of the year, making a grand total of five purchases.


We published 45 articles on our website last year. Of those articles, we had 33 updates on retirements, private purchases, and retirees. We also posted 5 interviews with aftercare organizations. The remainder of our articles were promotional items for The Horse Fund, including upcoming events and other interesting tidbits.


The best way to describe our fundraising in 2022 is amazing! Although our auctions and Shamrock Kid Day celebrations raised slightly less than anticipated, our 12 Days of Giving campaign raised three times the anticipated amount. What played a huge role in this achievement was the generosity of three matching donors with amounts of $3,000, $2,000, and $1,500, as well another donor who gave $100 for each of the 12 days. All three goals were met and exceeded, for a grand total of $13,163.57 raised. This generosity will assist us in continuing to privately purchase former WVS horses who are ready to be retired.

In Review

Last year truly was a success on all levels. In 2023 as we continue to track these horses, both before and after retirement, we hope to make a greater impact in the world of thoroughbred aftercare. We want not only to educate others on the importance of aftercare but also to inspire other horse ownership groups to take a more proactive stance.

To take a peek at the fourteen retirees of 2022, please click here.

In late November and early December, The Horse Fund celebrated the 12 Days of Giving. Each day we featured one of the Wasabi Ventures Stables horses who retired in 2022. As of this writing, Wasabi Ventures has retired nine horses with our assistance, and The Horse Fund has privately purchased five horses in order to retire them. Every day we highlighted one of those horses, sharing information on its career and its path to retirement.

Setting New Goals

As this was a fundraising event, we also asked for donations to help support our aftercare efforts in 2023. We had three WVS club members who offered to be matching donors. The goals were $3,000, $2,000, and $1,500. To reach a total of $13,000 from our club (including the matches) seemed like a huge reach to me, as our total raised on Giving Tuesday 2021 was $4,100.

On the first day, we raised $1,175. That was a fantastic start, but I wondered if the final goal was possible. With the first day most likely having the greatest donations, would there be enough inspiration in the next eleven days to reach $6,500 in matching donations?

On Day 2 I received a pleasant surprise. A club member offered to make a $1,200 donation but wanted to add $100 each day to the total. Beginning every day’s fundraising with $100 definitely made for a good start.

During the campaign, I shared the day’s featured retiree on WVS Slack and social media, and donations would trickle in. On Day 3 we reached our first matching goal of $3,000. We reached our second matching goal of $2,000 on Day 8. Finally, on Day 12, we hit our final goal of $1,500. Once that goal was reached, the donations didn’t stop, as several more were made.

12 Days of Giving Totals

In total, we raised $13,195 from sixty-two different donors. This money should enable us to privately purchase four former WVS horses next year and provide them with safe and secure retirements.

I am truly grateful for every one of the sixty-two donors who helped The Horse Fund reach this incredible fundraising goal. Also, I want to extend an extra thank you to my three matching donors and my $100 daily donor, who made a huge difference in this year’s fundraising.

Words cannot express how fortunate I feel to work with people who believe in thoroughbred aftercare in their words, actions, and donations.

In January, I wrote an article that outlined planned events for 2022. One of the events I described was the WVS Signature Item Auction. Note that the word Auction has no “s” at the end. I assumed that The Horse Fund would host one per year. That assumption was quite inaccurate. As I write this post, not quite two-thirds of the way through 2022, we have held four of these auctions, with at least one or two more happening before year’s end.

There are a few factors that contribute to this event becoming more frequent. First, I have been fortunate to work with trainers who collect items for me. Both Grace and Zoe have saved halters and horseshoes for the auction. Second, we have acquired items from racetracks that have been popular, such as the 2021 Monmouth win trophies. Third, Benevengo ran in the Haskell Stakes, which provided many items for the auction, including a replica saddlecloth, paddock passes, official jackets, and more.

These WVS Signature Item Auctions have been popular with members of the WVS community. The most recent auction, held on July 31st, raised almost $1,300 from 39 items. In addition to the money raised, twenty different club members now have pieces of memorabilia to wear, display, or place in safekeeping.

We look forward to the next auction, probably in September or October. We can’t wait to share all the fun items we are collecting!

Through great sadness came great generosity, as well as the final bit of inspiration needed to build this charitable organization.

Are you familiar with the story of Shamrock Kid? You can click here to learn about Shamrock Kid and the amazing community at Wasabi Ventures Stables. The very short story is that the untimely loss of this horse inspired a large portion of the community at WVS to make generous donations to aftercare. Building on this sense of community and charity, we have found a special way to honor Shamrock Kid.

Rather than just feeling sad on the anniversary of Shamrock Kid’s passing, we have decided to turn this date into an annual day of celebration. To commemorate this horse and WVS’s commitment to aftercare, we are now marking March 17th as Shamrock Kid Day. Starting this year, we will be collecting funds to help secure the safe retirement of other WVS thoroughbreds. Although we will still miss Shamrock, we are hoping to turn sadness into generosity once again.

To add some fun into this day of fundraising, we have created a commemorative shot glass. Those who donate fifty dollars or more to The Horse Fund will receive one of these specially created glasses. Donations will be accepted prior to March 17th, especially if you would like to have the glass in time to celebrate the day.

We will forever hold Shamrock Kid in a special place in our hearts. Let’s make his memory burn even brighter by continuing to turn our grief into generosity.

To make a donation, please click here. Please add “Shamrock Kid” in the message box.

With year end accounting work almost complete, it is time to discuss an exciting topic- plans for 2022! Popular events from 2021 will return to the calendar, as well as a new fundraising opportunity.

Returning in 2022

In May, we will hold the third annual Aftercare Auction. Previously it was run under the Wasabi Ventures Stable umbrella, but this year it will be organized by The Horse Fund. For this auction, club members offer items they own, with the condition that at least fifty percent of the final bid has to be donated to aftercare. Historically, ninety-five percent of the members selling items donated the full amount. In the first two years, there has been an interesting assortment of items from books to Derby glasses to ticket stubs and more.

In October, we will schedule the second annual WVS Signature Item Auction. This auction will include an assortment of items that are earned, used, or associated with our horses, trainers, and owners. In the 2021 auction, there were horseshoes worn by Magical Mousse, a keychain made out of Wow Factor’s nameplate, trophies from wins at Monmouth Park, and more. These items are collected from our trainers, as well as TK and Michele Kuegler. The full winning bid is donated to The Horse Fund.

In November, we will celebrate Giving Tuesday. Last year we promoted Giving Tuesday via the Wasabi Ventures Stables Slack channel. During the event, two different club members offered to match donations, which increased the club’s donations by $1,000. Although there were no incentives tied to the donations, the WVS club members gave generously and selflessly.

New in 2022

This March we will hold our first Shamrock Kid Day. As regular readers know, WVS lost Shamrock Kid to a fatal injury during morning training on St. Patrick’s Day in 2021. His passing spurred our club members to donate more generously to aftercare, which in turn inspired Michele Pesula Kuegler to seek non-profit status for The Horse Fund. To help fund our aftercare efforts, we will hold a single day of fundraising on March 17th. Any person who donates $50 or more will receive a collectible Shamrock Kid Day shotglass. We are hopeful that this event is well received.

A Possible Event

Although we currently have the WVS Signature Item Auction scheduled as an annual event to be held in the fall, we are considering holding other mini auctions throughout the year. Our assistant trainer, Grace Smith, has begun collecting items, such as horseshoes. Rather than waiting nine months for the auction, we may hold one-day auctions with a smaller number of items every two to three months. Once we have this plan better formulated, we will be sure to share an update.

We are looking forward to an exciting 2022! We are hopeful that these events help us to raise the funds necessary to secure safe retirements for former WVS horses that are no longer in our barns.