Win Place Home, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the retraining and rehabilitation of retired racehorses, is hosting its second annual Cabaret on Aug. 7, with all of the proceeds to be used to retrain and find permanent homes for the retired horses.
“These retired racehorses, they retire at 2 or 3 or 4 years old and it’s sort of like us retiring at 18. It sounds good at the time, but then what are we doing for the rest of our lives?” said CJ Wilson, who founded the organization in 2015.
Without Win Place Home, many racehorses are sent out to pasture and, in worst-case scenarios, put down.
The come-down from being a racehorse can be difficult, Wilson said.
“It’s really hard for these horses to go from the environment at the race track that’s very high energy, very involved, very much ‘they’re the center of the world’ type of thing,” said Wilson, “to just being forgotten about in a pasture. It’s a hard transition.”
Win Place Home receives its horses from race tracks across California, primarily from Santa Anita and Del Mar. The horses are then observed until the trainers discover “their spark,” as Wilson says. This spark can be as simple as being a riding horse to big show jumpers. The horses are then rehabilitated to new homes that fit their spark best, all across the country.
Wilson sets the budget of this process at $25,000 per horse. During the organization’s first two years, they were only able to rehabilitate one horse per year due to the cost.
The Cabaret is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. at 16527 Lost Canyon Road, where guests will be surrounded by the horses. The event will feature numerous performances, from a magician to a lip sync battle, and food trucks will be present. It is recommended for guests to wear good shoes for the dirt.
Tickets range from $50 to $200. Tickets and information are available at bit.ly/3Prbw54.