Helen Meredith fostered her love for horses into a foundation that saves them.
Meredith created the United Pegasus Foundation to help rehab injured and neglected horses. Now, she’s facing a new challenge: rescuing 40 extremely malnourished former race horses.
Meredith has been around horses her entire life. She helped train a Breeders’ Cup winner in 1993 and was a jockey herself.
United Pegasus Foundation is the destination thoroughbreds go after the track.
Meredith currently has more than 100 horses, and their operation costs about $400,000 a year.
"The ones that we can do rehab and restraining on, we find second careers for them and try to adopt them out to good homes," Meredith said.
The horses that can’t or won’t run risk being sold at auction.
Meredith extended her efforts once she learned dozens of retired horses at the California Equine Retirement Foundation were extremely underweight and nothing was being done.
Meredith called the local sheriff’s department, animal control, and previous owners to bring awareness to the condition of the animals.
From there, she got permission to relocate 40 horses to her ranch.
"They are all putting on weight. It’s costing us a lot in hay and senior feed, but they are looking a lot better now,” Meredith said.
Meredith said she feels like she’s primarily fighting for these horses. NBCLA reached out to California Equine Retirement Foundation, which is no longer a nonprofit, were not returned.
Riverside County Sheriff’s Department said it’s working with animal control to determine if criminal charges will be filed.
She plans to keep Pegasus open.
"They are certainly looking happy and they are actually playing around so they are in a better place," said Meredith.