An evening with the former racehorses of Win Place Home

Win Place Home is a nonprofit dedicated to finding new homes for former racehorses. Courtesy of CJ Marinaccio
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Win Place Home, a nonprofit that helps former racehorses find new homes after they retire, is holding its third annual silent auction and gala Saturday, May 18.

The event is set to include an auction with more than 100 items to bid on, food and drinks and a raffle to win two Disneyland park-hopper tickets.

Also scheduled are numerous activities for kids, including a meet and greet with the horses, as well as two miniature unicorns, caricatures, a bounce house, craft table, psychic reading, scavenger hunt to win raffle tickets, and giant lawn games.

Officials are using their barn to host the event so guests can enjoy an evening with the horses and see firsthand who they are helping.

As Win Place Home runs fully off of donations, all of the proceeds from the event are being directed to helping more retired horses come off the racetrack, according to CJ Marinaccio, founder and trainer.

Horses retire when they are either hurt or too slow, but that doesn’t mean they’re old — some retire when they’re only 3 or 4 years old, Marinaccio said.

“This fundraiser will allow me to say ‘yes,’” Marinaccio said, noting there are regular calls to rescue horses, but due to a lack of funding, the answer is “no” to most.

CJ Marinaccio, founder and trainer at Win Place Home, with horse, Fili. Courtesy of CJ Marinaccio

Marinaccio started the organization to rescue, rehabilitate and retrain these thoroughbreds to continue to lead to active careers, as it’s often hard for a racehorse to transition easily into life on a pasture.

“I wanted to try and change the mind of horse people who think they can’t deal with racehorses,” Marinaccio said. “I try to lift horses back up to be a different horse so they can begin their second career.”

Win Place Home, which began three years ago, has already successfully found homes for eight horses, and currently has five horses in training.

A full list of auction items can be seen online, and bidding has already begun. Those who can’t attend are welcome to participate in the auction, and can win everything except the raffle.

The Win Place Home Silent Auction & Gala will be held from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday, May 18, at Birtwick Park Equestrian Center located at 16257 Lost Canyon Road in Canyon Country.

For more information about the event, visit or email [email protected].

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