Giving Tuesday falls on the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving every year, and it’s a chance to donate to charities that make a difference in lives all over the world. This year, I thought I might point out some charities focused on Thoroughbred racing and beyond that give back to horses and the humans who love them. Below are some of my favorite causes.
The TAA does incredible work to fund organizations that find permanent homes for racehorses after their track careers have ended. From accrediting organizations in the retired racehorse community to raising dollars that enable such organizations to operate, the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance makes a big impact on the lives of ex-racers. You can see a list of the TAA’s accredited organizations here. Some of the most well-known accredited farms include Old Friends Equine Retirement, the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation, CANTER USA, New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program, and ReRun.
The Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation is a leading non-profit committed to the advancement of horses of all breeds. The funds raised by Grayson-Jockey Club go toward veterinary studies that will help horses from elite Thoroughbreds to children’s ponies and everything in between.
The Brooke is an international organization that seeks to help working equids (aka horses, donkeys and mules) in third-world countries by educating their owners about the best practices for keeping animals. They do heroic work to help the horses, donkeys and mules at the center of some of the world’s poorest communities and concentrate on educating owners about how to provide for the animals who provide for them.
The Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund is a lifeline to the men and women who risk everything to put on the sport of horse racing. There are 60 former jockeys who rely on the PDJF at the moment, and every donation matters.
When horse racing’s workers are in trouble, The Jockey Club Safety Net Foundation steps up to help. It is a charitable trust that provides, on a confidential basis, financial relief and assistance to in-need members of the Thoroughbred industry and their families. Assistance can come in any number of forms, including financial aid for basic living needs, medication, surgical and hospital costs, therapeutic equipment, voice-recognition computers for quadriplegics and wheelchair-accessible vans, and so much more.
The men and women who take care of the Thoroughbreds at Belmont Park often need assistance for daycare. Days at the stable for grooms can start as early as 4 a.m. and continue until after 8 p.m. The Belmont Child Care Association gives a safe and loving care center for equine workers’ children and provides early education for the little ones whose parents work at New York racetracks.
The Churchill Downs Backside Learning Center provides so much for the equine workers at the home of the Kentucky Derby. From citizenship classes to an after school program for the children of backside workers, technology classes, and English as a Second Language courses, the Backside Learning Center is a haven for Kentucky’s Thoroughbred care community.
The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame is a magical place that celebrates horse racing’s history through art, interactive exhibits, and its Hall of Fame. The Museum survives through donations, and it’s a must-visit destination for horse lovers of all kinds.
The RTCA provides spiritual resources to backstretch workers as well as provide recreational and educational opportunities for the people who work with Thoroughbreds.
The TCA’s mission statement speaks for itself: “To provide a better life for Thoroughbreds, both during and after their racing careers, by supporting qualified repurposing and retirement organizations and by helping the people who care for them.” The Thoroughbred Charities of America’s outreach includes support for backstretch workers, Thoroughbred rehoming and retraining, equine research, and therapeutic riding.
This outstanding organization immerses veterans in a three-day program with horses to help people suffering from PTSD or having trouble adjusting to society in life after military service. The organization uses off-the-track Thoroughbreds for all of their equine needs, so both humans and horses are helped.
The Square Peg Foundation uses horses to give special needs children in Half Moon Bay, Calif. the opportunity to gain physical and emotional development as well as foster a lifelong love of horses.
While it’s not an equine charity, City of Hope is the favorite cause of California Chrome’s team. The V Foundation has done extensive fundraising for cancer research, and it’s certainly a worthy recipient for your Giving Tuesday consideration.
Make-A-Wish Foundation grants children suffering from life-threatening medical conditions one big wish; from Walt Disney World to a day at Keeneland Race Course in Kentucky, Make-A-Wish is all about creating wonderful memories for families.
This is a small handful of many tremendous charities doing incredible work around the world for horses and humans alike. Please consider a donation of any size on Giving Tuesday to support a cause close to your heart.