Guest speaker Helen Meredith, owner of California's largest horse rescue
Rotary Club of Tehachapi
August 5, 2023
On July 13, Rotary Club hosted guest speaker Helen Meredith, owner of California's largest horse rescue.
The United Pegasus Foundation was founded in 1994 by Helen Meredith, an avid equestrian who became very disillusioned with the treatment of racetrack horses over her time as a trainer. Horses that race on the track start early and tend to develop crippling physical health issues that make them unable to be raced or even ridden usually by age 4, just a portion of the average 20-35 year lifespan of a horse.
Some racehorse owners discard these "broken" horses by sending them to the meat market or dumping them at sanctuaries like UPF before moving on to the next. Often these horses are still rideable and could be wonderful companions, but the process of rehabilitating them and the commitment to owning a horse with health issues is both difficult and expensive.
While Helen wishes to be able to rehab horses at her sanctuary for adoption, it is simply too costly. Currently it costs about $600,000 a year to maintain the 140-horse sanctuary, a hard enough budget to keep up with.
UPF will have a booth at Apple Festival on Oct. 14-15 to fundraise and promote their work. They accept all money donations and offer a sponsorship program where people can receive monthly photos and updates of their now-sponsored horse. Professionally created photobooks of some of the rehabilitated horses are also available for purchase at their ranch on Pegasus Street in Tehachapi. You can check out other ways to support them including volunteer opportunities on their website, unitedpegasus.org. Visitors are welcome with a bag of carrots and phone call ahead of time at (626) 773-6016.
The Rotary club has been hard at work preparing for the Cheers to Charity annual event on Aug. 12. They have over 37 donations for the raffle so far and a healthy wine pull. The Flight Test Historical Museum has also donated a four-hour plane ride with Jimmy Doolittle III to the raffle. Stay tuned for more information on Rotary's upcomings, including their annual apple drop on Oct. 14.
The Rotary Club of Tehachapi is a volunteer service organization with the motto, "Service Above Self." The club meets on Thursdays at noon. For more information about Rotary Club, you can visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/RotaryClubofTehachapi/ or contact club President Judy Trujillo, (661) 699-5851.