Greetings from After the Races! As we approach the New Year, we thought it appropriate to reflect on what a year we've had. To say it's been a whirlwind would be an understatement as a literal tornado tore through our bottom pastures this spring, upending our run-in sheds and destroying fences. Thankfully a great group of Marines came out to get things right again and no horses were hurt during the storm!
This summer we said goodbye to our much loved farm mascot, 16 year old border collie: Joker. So many of you looked for him in the "unboxing" videos and seemed to enjoy seeing him as much as the horses. This did not go unmissed. The fall saw ATR attending and speaking at conferences, such as The ASPCA Right Horse Summit in Lexington, KY, and also putting up our annual booth at the Maryland Five Star where we saw many of you!
We also added two members to our board of directors, long-time ATR supporter Bethany Pastorial of Bethany P Photography, as well as Jade Sevelow-Lee who has been a boon to our promotional team, designing new merchandise and setting up a new store for fans of After the Races.This Giving Tuesday our annual fundraiser for winter hay costs raised an amazing $10,000 in two weeks, enough to pay for nearly three months of hay for the entire farm. All thanks to YOU!
Even though it's been a slower year in terms of adoptions, compared to the explosion of adopters during the early days of the pandemic, we ended this year with fourteen horses adopted in December alone. While I expected several to move, I was blown away by the response to our Home for the Holidays event!
While After the Races is only one small part of the aftercare industry, we are celebrating the fact that we have served nearly 900 racehorses in just the last 13 years. And we have done that with the help of our amazing racing connections, adopters, volunteers, and of course donors.
Your generosity in support of Thoroughbred aftercare has been instrumental in our success this year as we have taken in more rehabilitation cases (behavioral cases as well) than ever before. These horses take more time and resources to reach their adoptive outcome but the journey to get them there is so rewarding.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you for being a part of ATR's success this year. I hope everyone has a wonderful, safe, warm, and meaningful New Year.