After years of deliberation and struggling to make ends meet with our home based rehabilitation and rescue program Dallas and I have decided to start our own 501c3 non profit horse rescue organization. In the past two years we have excepted 35 horses to our program. Most of them have been placed although some have required extensive care and have been at our farm for long periods of time. Through our non profit we hope to be able to help more horses than ever before.
We have never asked for help before so the decision to do so was difficult. Since we also breed, rehab, and train racehorses for clients and have many of our own personal horses as well, we were concerned that accepting donations could be misinterpreted. To help me in this task I have asked a few folks to serve as directors of our organization that will help me in keep good accountable records. One such person is Houston based business attorney Irwin Barg and my personal bookkeeper Christine Wright. Our CPA Brad Epstien of Rockwall, Texas will be overseeing things as well.
We will be excepting donations of cash, feed, hay, or anything else that could benefit the rehabilitation or recovery of off track thoroughbreds. We will also be able to give a tax deduction for such donations as well as donations of horses themselves once the required paperwork and forms have been filed.
Dallas and I would like to thank everyone for all of the support and the gracious comments supporting us and the rest of the folks involved in the Lights On Broadway rescue. He has been such a blessing to us and will be the ambassador for our project. We hope to use his story to raise awareness to owners, trainers, and even grooms, jockeys, and agents to this beneficial cause. With the help of some special folks we plan to campaign for a state based and then a national plea that all people holding a racing license that benefit from these athletes contribute in some small way to their retirement.
I will also start highlighting weekly a horse that we have helped to place in a new home. Through this we help to get these special stories of great horses and generous people out where they belong instead of all of the negative press we in this industry are used to. I hope we in some small way can make a big difference.
Friday, December 19, 2008
Sunday, December 7, 2008
For all the fans of Lights On Broadway I apologize for not updating you sooner on his progress. Dallas and I have been very busy since the Fair Grounds has started racing traveling between New Orleans, Retama Park in San Antonio, and our farm in Burleson, Texas where we are starting yearlings on dark days as well as working with the other horses in our rescue program with Lights On Broadway.
Lights is steadily gaining his much needed weight and turning into an awesome riding partner. He really likes people and wants to please me so it makes my job as his trainer/encourager much easier. He has ponied a few horses at the farm and it seems to come second nature. I guess after all the years of being ponied he doesn't mind going on the left side instead of the right.
Our original plan was to start Lights new pony horse career in Texas at Lone Star Park where he had most of his racing success but the plan may have changed. Dallas' pony, ex racehorse Eye Man Who, needs a little break and will be heading to the farm for a little vacation so the Texas 2001 Horse of the Year may have to start working a little sooner than we expected .
Lights has been riding bridle-less at the farm but when he gets to the track will be back in a bridle for a week or so just to make sure he doesn't have any flashbacks of being a racing champion. His training has gone so well and he has learned so much that is wouldn't surprise me at all if he acts like a profession pony. I just wonder how he will do behind the gates when they pop a set of workers in the mornings.