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CLICK HERE TO READ ABOUT
UPF FOUNDER HELEN MEREDITH

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OUR MISSION

The mission of United Pegasus Foundation (UPF) is to identify abused and/or neglected equines. Help to rehabilitate these we find. Facilitate adoptions of them and educate the public regarding the need to help these horses.

The United Pegasus Foundation believes that no thoroughbred should be denied a second career or a dignified retirement, no matter the reason. Since 1994 we have proudly provided retirements, rehabilitation and adoptions to hundreds of former race horses.

 

OUR HISTORY

United Pegasus Foundation was created in 1994 by Helen Meredith. She is an avid equestrian that was moved to start the foundation after seeing a news story about the feedlots in Southern California. Watching once prize winning race horses being discarded and emotionlessly sold by their owners, inspired Helen to start saving these noble, beautiful equines in her half-acre back yard. This became the cornerstone of UPF.

 

A SECOND CHANCE FOR THOROUGHBREDS

Just a small percentage of all thoroughbreds that are bred to race actually make it to the track. Of that, a smaller percentage of those horses that are raced, make it past four (4) years of age.

Countless racehorses see an end to their career early because of an injury.

Sometimes an injury like a bowed tendon or pulled ligament will end a horses’ racing career. Horses with more severe injuries, that need more time and money for rehabilitation are often passed along or discarded. As some owners feel that it isn’t worth the effort or money to give the horses appropriate time to heal and retrain.

Occasionally horses race until they are 10 years old with no injury, but because they are considered to be older it isn’t easy to find a retirement home for them or people to adopt them. Unfortunately the horses’ blood lines are not usually good enough for them to be sent to breeding barns. Most of these unwanted horses are geldings therefore they make up the majority of horses that live at UPF.

Several of our retired racehorses, again mostly geldings, made more money on the racetrack than most of the high-end breeding stallions around the country. A few of them have even won over one million dollars for their owners during their career. UPF believes these noble horses deserve a humane retirement.

We work hard to rehabilitate off-the-track thoroughbreds, but many of the horses at UPF have injuries that prohibit them from ever being ridden again. UPF provides these horses with constant care and a safe environment in retirement at our ranch in San Jacinto, California.

 

WHAT IS A “PMU” MARE?

In 1995 Helen learned about the PMU (pregnant mares’ urine) industry. This business is responsible for the constant breeding of mares for the sole purpose of harvesting an ingredient in their urine. This ingredient is used in the production of Premarin, a hormone replacement therapy for women. Helen began making rescue trips to Canada, where most of the breeding occurs, to save the foals. Without Helens’ intervention the babies of the pregnant mares were otherwise sold to meat buyers per pound.

For decades women with menopausal symptoms have been treated with Premarin. It was the most popular drug for this therapy in the United States. Premarin is made with estrogens extracted from pregnant mares’ urine (PMU). Thousands of mares were used to produce this bitter pill contributing to the unnecessary over breeding of horses.

Every year, from October to March (6 months) pregnant mares live in “pee barns.” Here they are forced to stand in stalls with urine collection devices strapped to them. The stalls are deliberately narrow to prevent pregnant mares from turning around and detaching the collection cups. Effectively the mares live standing in nearly one place in one position for this period of time. In April the mares are led out to pasture to have their foals and are later re-bred in the months that follow. In September the foals, sometimes as young as two months old, are rounded up and taken to auction. There they can be sold in small or large lots. Sold by their weight and purchased mainly by meat buyers.

The manufacturers of PMU drugs would like us to believe that every single foal born as a result of these pregnancies is sold to be used for companionship, recreation, ranching, shows and competitions. They call these “productive markets.” A few fillies (baby girls) are sometimes kept and grow up to replace their worn-out mothers.

Premarin has been one of the most highly used estrogen replacement hormones for women in the past. This meant that thousands of babies simply considered as a by-product of this industry ended up going to slaughter and their meat then shipped to Europe and Japan for human consumption.

 

ABOUT ADOPTING FROM UPF

UPF currently has several horses available for adoption. These horses can be viewed on the ADOPT page. Please remember:

All horses adopted from UPF must NEVER again be raced.

All future transfers of the ownership and contract must be approved by UPF prior to any transfer.

Approval will not be unreasonably withheld.

To read stories of UPF’s “graduates” as told by the families who adopted them, please visit the GRADUATES page.