In a year that has been marked by the challenges of COVID-19 and more, giving back is more important than ever. The following is a list of equine-related non-profits that benefit both horses and people, including backstretch workers, jockeys, and more. If you are looking to give this year, I hope you will visit each of these charities and help them continue their missions to help across equine industries.
Blue Grass Farms Charities — https://www.bgfcky.org/
Blue Grass Farm Charities works in the Lexington, KY area to provide health and human services to people working in the many facets of the racing industry around the Bluegrass.
The Jockey Club Safety Net Foundation — http://www.tjcfoundation.org/
The TJC Safety Net provides financial relief and assistance to members of the Thoroughbred industry and their families.
Kentucky Horse Council — https://kentuckyhorse.org/
The KHC develops programs for all breeds in the state of Kentucky. They cover all aspects of the various equine industries within the Bluegrass, from legislation to health and welfare to training and education.
Happy Trails Therapeutic Riding Center, Inc. — http://www.happytrailstrc.org/
Located in New Market, AL, Happy Trails provides riding lessons for students of all ages and all abilities. They are especially geared toward riders with special needs, including autism and other disabilities.
Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation — https://www.grayson-jockeyclub.org/
The GJCRF provides funding for veterinary research at universities around the world. The goal is to encourage research that benefits all breeds of horses, including vaccines for equine illnesses and new treatments for a variety of equine ailments.
Pennsylvania Racehorse Rehoming, Rehabilitation & Rescue (PARR) — http://www.paracehorse.org/
PARR provides aftercare options for racehorses and horse in training in Pennsylvania. They offer adopters the opportunity to find a horse that matches their goals and needs and provides rehabilitation services for horses that come into their program.
Thoroughbred Aftercare Association — https://www.thoroughbredaftercare.org/
The TAA accredits aftercare programs in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico as well as distributes donations to 74 accredited aftercare programs. They set the standard for aftercare for Thoroughbreds, certifying organizations that can retrain, rehome, or retire horses within much of North America.
Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement Farms — https://www.oldfriendsequine.org/
A fan favorite, Old Friends provides permanent homes to Thoroughbreds who have completed their racing and stud careers. Housing some equine celebrities, the money raised through tours and other initiatives allows Old Friends to take in a number of former racehorses, from Breeder’s Cup Classic winners to claimers who gave it their all each time they took the track.
Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund — https://pdjf.org/
The PDJF relies solely on donations and fundraisers to provide financial assistance to jockeys who have suffered catastrophic on-track injuries. Their injuries leave them without the means to support themselves and their families while also requiring lifelong care.
Belmont Childcare Association — https://www.belmontchildcare.org/
The BCCA provides childcare and educational opportunities for the children of parents employed on the backsides of Aqueduct, Belmont Park, and Saratoga Race Course. They are especially focused one early childhood learning for these children to prepare them for elementary school and beyond.
Backside Learning Center at Churchill Downs — https://www.backsidelearningcenter.org/
The BLC provides educational opportunities and community enrichment for all of Churchill Downs’s backside workers and their families. They provide everything from preparing for a GED to learning English to connecting employees and their family members with local resources.
National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame — https://www.racingmuseum.org/
The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame seeks to preserve and promote the history of Thoroughbred racing in the United States and to recognize the sport’s most famous and accomplished figures, both human and equine. You can support the NMRHOF through donations, a membership, or the purchase of a brick for the Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney Courtyard.