Saving Racehorses — After the Finish Line

A local organization called After the Finish Line is trying to save thoroughbred racehorses and give them a second chance at life. The funding nonprofit looks for the horse in the most need and then gives money to that organization to take care of the animal, getting medicine, training, surgery or anything else that may be needed.

"They work and they race for our enjoyment and wouldn't it be nice if we could help support them in their time of need," said founder and president Dawn Mellen.

Barbara Brown, who adopted former racehorse, Joey, said that his future was a mystery. Brown said Joey liked his job, but his job didn't seem to like him. He was too thin and unhealthy.

"Nobody really knew where this horse was gonna end up. He raced 10 races and was very fast. The story I was told was that he was a very hard keeper which means you can't keep any weight on him," said Brown of Joey. "He's a rather nervous horse but his personality is very loving, he's a real sweetheart."

When a horse's racing career is over or if it has injuries, those can be very expensive and time consuming to fix.  The cost really runs the gamut, depending on what exactly the injury is.  And even if the horse just needs to be retrained, from a racing mentality to more of a trail speed, that can run $500 - $2,000 a month.

The cost of rehabilitation is definitely worth it, say both Brown and Mellen.

"Given the chance, if they're given time to heal an injury from racing, they can move forward and do something new," said Mellen.

After The Finish Line is holding a fundraiser on July 30 at the Del Mar Hilton from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.  You can register the night of the event.  For more information, go to

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