Z's Diary | January 8, 2011
Happy Saturday, Everyone!
Thank you for the kind comments about yesterday’s ‘Z SKY’ photo. I think the image of ‘Z’ DANCING in the CLOUDS is simply magical!
In the responses, quite a few of you have asked about the different charities we have in our industry. From a very early point in my career, my Team felt it was quite important for me to be philanthropic. Life often presents so many different types of challenges. This is true for people as well as my fellow horses. It is the belief of MY TEAM that when one is in a position to offer a ‘helping hoof’…one should do so! Thus, I DID!
There are MANY, MANY wonderful charities. It is such an individual thing. It all depends on what type of charitable giving is special and most meaningful to you. Please listen to your own heart on these issues!
With me, I wanted to focus on 3 different areas.
1) I wanted to work with programs which helped to RETRAIN horses leaving the racetrack and prepare them for a SECOND CAREER. A percentage of ALL of my CA purse earnings went directly to CARMA for this purpose. I also worked with CANTER and TROTT to help them with their fund raising activities through T-shirt sales, donating my shoes, halters and signed photos. Additionally, I painted MONEIGHS for Re-Run. This is to give you a few examples…but please remember there are many wonderful organizations who work towards the goal of helping horses to be retrained for a post-racing career. I have worked with several of them and will do so in the future. Daily, we owe GREAT THANKS to a large number of hard working, devoted people who strive to improve the quality of life for countless horses!
2) I also felt a need to help older horses have a dignified retirement. OLD FRIENDS is very, very special to me. My Team has worked with Michael and his staff on this project from the beginning. So many wonderful, older, class horses have found a home with Michael. Old Friends…is very dear to my heart!
3) Additionally, I felt the need to help people! I did this in several different ways. RACE FOR EDUCATION works to provide college scholarships for students who need financial assistance while trying to reach their academic goals. I donated halters and shoes to them and various Chaplaincy programs which assist backside workers. I also supported the V FOUNDATION and its’ work to fund cancer research and related programs. Breeders’ Cup, in my name, contributed $5.00 for every T-shirt, hat, and photo of mine they sold to this organization.
The Breyer Horse photo above is a sweet reminder to me of this part of my life. When originally designed, the Breyer Company sent the prototype for ‘approval’. They wanted to be sure John felt comfortable with ‘how I looked and that the model represented ME well’. Mary Lee and her daughter, Natasha, who worked with us on this project, visited the barn to assist with this evaluation.
They put my BREYER model on the grass for me to ‘check out’. HMMMM…my own MINI-ME! (Look at the expression on my face in this picture! It’s like I’m saying…what’s this???? I know this grass very well…and this is something very different here.) I really examined it, sniffed it and ultimately tried to lick it. I was very interested in investigating “ME”! I finally granted APPROVAL! They did a great job!
I am so fond of all of the aforementioned charities that I eventually decided MY proceeds from the Zenyatta Breyer Sales would be split 3 ways: CANTER, OLD FRIENDS and RACE FOR EDUCATION. I simply could not decide on one. Thus, I was hoping this project would be able to touch all 3 areas of my charitable giving equally.
One’s thoughts on different charities is such a personal choice. You can also go on-line and read about the different organizations and their mission statements. The ones mentioned above are just a few of the charities I have worked with to date. I just wanted to let you know the variety of organizations that are available for your consideration. I must say, during the past 3 years, I’ve been extremely fortunate to meet many wonderful, loving, and giving people……all trying to work to make a difference in our sport and in our lives!
Hugs to All~