United Pegasus Foundation
Services: Sanctuary, Rehabilitation, Retraining/Adoption
Location: San Jacinto, CA
Average Number of Thoroughbreds: 75
Helen Meredith is the founder and president of the United Pegasus Foundation, established with the mission of helping unwanted Thoroughbred racehorses. Meredith, involved in racing for most of her life, set up the nonprofit organization in 1994 upon realizing the unhappy fate of so many racehorses at the end of their racetrack careers.
United Pegasus Foundation, one of America’s largest and longest-running rescue programs, is now in its 26th year of operation.
Meredith recalls how it began the day she met a woman already involved in equine rescue at a Southern California auction. There they observed a number of Thoroughbreds – some who had never raced, others who had won significant money for their owners – all in need of a second chance.
Meredith began visiting that auction every week as well as attending other local livestock auctions with the goal of rescuing and providing safe haven for at least some of these horses.
She began talking to owners and trainers, informing them what was happening to many of their former racehorses, knowing that with financial help she could provide a retirement, rehabilitation, and adoption program. The horses came to her quickly, and within two years some 85 Thoroughbreds were under Meredith’s loving care.
In 2001, United Pegasus Foundation set up its operation in Tehachapi, Calif., but recently relocated to 20 acres in San Jacinto, Calif. Over the years, the United Pegasus Foundation adoption program has successfully placed numerous horses into new careers.
Meredith’s motto: “Hard work gets results.”