Glen Ellen Vocational Academy
Services: Sanctuary, Rehabilitation, Adoption
Location: Glen Ellen, CA
Average Number of Thoroughbreds: 30
Glen Ellen Vocational Academy (GEVA) is one of America’s oldest rescue organizations, founded in California 25 years ago by former racetrack steward Pam Berg. The foundation has rehabilitated, placed, and provided safe haven for hundreds of Thoroughbreds, for which Berg has been honored with the Dogwood Dominion Award as one of racing’s “unsung heroes.” She was also inducted into the Equus Hall of Fame of the Sonoma Horse Council.
“GEVA was founded for injured, retired, and abused horses or those just in need of a home,” Berg said. “GEVA is dedicated to preventing slaughter, needless euthanasia, and abuse of horses in any way.”
Most horses become permanent pensioners at the sanctuary since they don’t have the option of a second career. “There is so much emphasis on second careers nowadays that those who can’t have a second career need to be assured of a comfortable retirement,” Berg said.
GEVA, also accredited by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries, focuses on the rehabilitation and retirement of the sport’s noble racetrack warriors, from the lowest claimer to the stakes winners. GEVA’s mission is to be the best friend and advocate for each individual horse.
GEVA has an established relationship with Santa Rosa Junior College, with Berg being on its Equine Advisory Committee. UC-Davis Veterinary Medicine Club members come to GEVA for their dental wet labs twice a year, and many Sonoma State University students do their volunteer hours at the farm. Clinics and seminars can be arranged upon request, as well as farm tours. Through fundraising and informational efforts, GEVA attempts to educate the public about horse racing, as well as the inherent responsibility in the ownership and care of horses.
GEVA is fortunate to have many supporters, including Ridgeway Ranch, the home of the
GEVA is currently located among the vineyards in beautiful Sonoma Valley. However, a 136-acre farm has been purchased in Oregon to which the farm will eventually move.
GEVA is an all-volunteer, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization totally dependent upon the generous grants and tax-deductible charitable donations.