What a year 2021 was for The Horse Fund!

At this point one year ago, The Horse Fund was merely an idea. I knew that I wanted to make the retirement program at Wasabi Ventures Stables even more robust. I believed that I had a community who would support my endeavor. Over the last twelve months I have seen this idea and belief transform into a continually expanding non-profit.

Key moments in 2021

  • April- Official formation as a Florida-based nonprofit
  • July- First THF board meeting
  • August- First donation for a WVS horse’s retirement
  • September- Official launch of THF to the WV Stables community
  • October- Received 501(c)(3) status
  • November- First participation in Giving Tuesday with amazing results
  • December- First WVS Signature Item auction

In addition to all of these events, there were many smaller, just as important, happenings: updates on our former horses and OTTB interviews. Throughout the year, I request updates on our former horses via their new owners, AKA forever best friends. A crucial part of The Horse Fund is educating our club and the general public about the post-racing lives of thoroughbreds. By sharing our retirees’ stories, I can help paint a picture of all the possibilities. Interviewing OTTBs also bring awareness to the individual groups, as well as the racing to retirement transition.

In the behind the scenes activity of The Horse Fund, I built a board and then grew it by a couple more. My original board members, George Adams and Jordyn Egan, have worked with me since the inception of The Horse Fund. In December I added two more board members, Jen Roytz and Tom Erisman.

Looking forward

With only four months of true activity in 2021, it is amazing to see and feel the support that the WVS community has shown. Heading into 2022 I am excited to see what we can accomplish. One event that is scheduled is Shamrock Kid Day. In honor of our beloved horse, we will hold a fundraising event on or near St. Patrick’s Day. Another project for 2022 is to continue providing the horse updates that I post regularly. I also am looking forward to interviewing more OTTB groups. As most work on a shoestring budget, I am glad to bring attention to their altruistic programs. Of course, there will also be many more retiree updates. There’s nothing better than seeing our retired racehorses loving their new lives.

Thank you to all who were part of making this idea a reality in 2021! Here’s to an even more fruitful 2022!

In many ways, the formation of The Horse Fund was an obvious project for me. My work with Wasabi Ventures Stables, my love of animals, and my previous experience building small businesses all made the creation of The Horse Fund seem like the perfect venture. However, like any project, there were underlying factors that motivated and inspired.

Our club

The first outside influence that encouraged me to build The Horse Fund was our club. When I introduced voluntary aftercare donations to our members in 2019, there was a general atmosphere of excitement and commitment. While my request was small, only a five dollar donation per co-owner on a positive exit of a horse, the reaction was fully supportive.

With the backing of our club members, I began researching the requirements of building a non-profit. Although I have started other small businesses, this was my first foray into the non-profit world. Building a non-profit wouldn’t be difficult, the application for 501c3 status would be more onerous.

Our horse

The second outside factor is what sealed my commitment. In March of 2021, our horse, Shamrock Kid, broke down during morning training. The outpouring of support and donations from our club provided the final inspiration I needed. I knew that I would have a group fully supportive my initiative. It was time to bring this non-profit to reality.

I have told the story of Shamrock Kid and our club many times. Rather than retelling this amazing story of generosity and love, I am sharing a link to an article published in Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred.

Building this non-profit was not created by my enthusiasm alone. The generosity of our club and the memory of Shamrock Kid provided the extra nudges I needed. Now that this dream has become a reality, I look forward to seeing how much I can accomplish with The Horse Fund. I want to make our club proud and continue to honor the memory of Shamrock Kid.