R.A.C.E Fund

Romas Spirit, aka Romy, is loved and spoiled at his adopter’s farm in Pennsylvania. Credit: Nicole Coleman-Hammett
  • Services

    Sanctuary, Rehabilitation, Retraining/Adoption

  • Location

    Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

  • Founded


  • Average Number of Thoroughbreds


R.A.C.E. Fund was founded in 2004 by Patricia Bewley, Marlene Murray, and Diana Meyers, daughters of the late veteran trainer Art Kelley, who was also a co-founder. Patricia and Marlene previously trained Thoroughbreds, and Diana worked as an exercise rider and pony girl. The acronym R.A.C.E. stands for Retirement Assistance and Care for Equines.

“The reason we started the R.A.C.E. Fund was not only to help Thoroughbreds after their racing careers ended but also to bring awareness about the need for funding racehorse retirement, rehabilitation, and especially long-term care for sanctuary horses and Thoroughbreds in the slaughter pipeline,” Murray said. “Although we do adopt out some horses, our main focus has been on rescuing auction-bound Thoroughbreds and horses that cannot go into a second career as they are at higher risk.”

Over the past 19 years, R.A.C.E. Fund has assisted with the retirement and/or rescue of more than 300  Thoroughbreds. The R.A.C.E Fund has also advocated for a national tracking database to be created to track all thoroughbreds from birth until the end of their lives. This would be a tremendous safety net for the horses and a benefit for owners, trainers, breeders, and retirement and rescue organizations.

R.A.C.E. Fund utilizes an intermediate farm in Pennsylvania for temporary layovers and quarantine.  At the main farm in Thurmont, MD, horses are sent for retraining, rehabilitation, or, if necessary, long-term sanctuary retirement.

Mares adopted through the program may not be bred. Horses placed into new homes will be monitored for life.

Adopters are required to send photos every three months and at the end of the year must submit an Annual Records Report listing any veterinary/farrier procedures that have been performed, including vaccinations, de-wormings, trims, etc., and who provided those services.

Each year R.A.C.E. Fund holds an online auction to help raise funds, in addition to applying for grants and receiving donations from individual supporters.

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