ARCADIA, Calif. (Dec. 31, 2019)-Ask any one of the 35,085 on-track fans and hundreds of thousands watching on television around North America, and one word comes to mind regarding Santa Anita’s Opening Day on Saturday–spectacular. Along with stunning views of the snow-capped San Gabriel Mountains and spectacular world class racing, Santa Anita and its official Thoroughbred aftercare charity, the California Retirement Management Account (CARMA), joined forces with Mathis Brothers Furniture to help raise awareness and money in order to care for racing’s retired Thoroughbreds.
Courtesy of Mathis Brothers, who supplied Santa Anita with 1,000 plush racehorses, nearly $13,000 was raised through the generous donations of racing fans in support of Thoroughbred Aftercare.
“We are so delighted to have been a part of this year’s Opening Day at Santa Anita and to raise money for such a worthy cause,” said Bill Mathis, President, Mathis Brothers Furniture. “There is no greater cause in racing today than Thoroughbred Aftercare and we’d like to thank Santa Anita, CARMA and the many fans who donated on Saturday. We are proud to be a part of this effort and we salute Santa Anita and CARMA for the good work they are doing.”
“We were blown away by the success of this fundraiser,” said CARMA President Candace Coder Chew. “One hundred percent of the funds raised will go directly toward providing care for the horses supported by our programs and we are incredibly thankful to Mathis Brothers, Santa Anita and to the racing fans for their generosity.”
Men, women and children of all ages were lined up from 9:30 am until supplies ran out around 2:00 pm. The large grey super soft plushies were a coveted item around the track – being scooped by multiple Santa Anita jocks to give to their kids and trainers on their way to and from the paddock to saddle horses.
“Once we were out of the plushies, people were emptying their pockets just to support retired racehorses,” said Natalie Rietkerk, CARMA Program Manager. “A good number of attendees knew about CARMA, and what we do, but it was great having face time with those who had no idea programs such as ours exist within the racing industry and all the efforts being made to ensure these horses are retired responsibly and safely.”
While the Mathis Brothers plush horse fundraiser has crossed the finish line, donations to CARMA are gratefully accepted any time online. Please visit CARMA4Horses.org to learn more about the nonprofit’s mission, safe retirement and the many options available to Thoroughbred horses after they leave the track.
About California Retirement Management Account
CARMA (California Retirement Management Account) is a charitable 501 (c)(3) organization formed to assist Thoroughbred rehabilitation and retirement organizations that facilitate the care and retraining of horses who raced in California and whose racing careers have ended. CARMA ensures the racehorses have retirement options by managing and disbursing funds to qualified retirement facilities caring for such horses.