GIVE THEM THE HAPPY, HEALTHY OFF-TRACK FUTURE THEY DESERVE
By supporting Fresh Start, you can help stop the abandonment and mistreatment of horses who can no longer earn a living on America's thoroughbred race tracks. Together with our racing industry partners, we're advocates for a comprehensive retirement plan that will provide lifetime care, rehabilitation, retraining and a future for every former thoroughbred race horse who needs someone to love them and a pasture they can call home.
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Glorious Alliance, finishing first at Golden Gate Fields, 5-26-95, 6 furlongs.
In our minds, Glorious Alliance was the finest thoroughbred horse we ever knew. Although she was of two minds about continuing to race, she was of only one mind in pursuing her long, glorious life, enjoying her beloved pastures and her adventures in jumper rings at AA horse shows throughout Southern California and Calgary, Canada. We gave her the finest care and the most love that any former thoroughbred race horse could hope to have, and she reciprocated that love in countless ways for every day of her existence on this Earth.
Glory's good graces, passion for competition, and limitless love of life set a standard that we felt we had to honor by founding Fresh Start in her name, and to honor her legacy -- because we know that she would have wanted all her thoroughbred cousins to enjoy the quality of life she had during her "retirement" years.
If you love the sport of racing, if you love thoroughbred horses, their history, their inimitable spirit, we ask you to join us, and our now Heavenly founder, Glorious Alliance, in what we have decided will be a lifelong effort to ensure that every off-the-track thoroughbred horse in need will receive a fully-funded retirement, rehabilitation and training program suited to their condition and talents.
Karen R. Graninger
Founder, Fresh Start Thoroughbred Lifecare, Inc.
Chairperson of the Board
Fresh Start's Mission
The mission of Fresh Start Thoroughbred Lifecare, Inc., an IRS 501(c)(3) Federal and California tax-exempt charity, is to ensure that every Jockey Club-registered thoroughbred horse in the United States in need will receive retirement benefits that assure them of a life that respects their contribution to the sport of horse racing.
It is important to emphasize that we formed this charity because we love the sport of thoroughbred horse racing, and want to help assure its continued existence and attraction to the public forever, and for no other purpose, apart from our love for the horses that make the sport possible in the first instance
We believe the handicapping public, those who make the sport of horse racing possible, are a key constituency in acheiving our goals, and to that end, have developed technology-based systems that will be incorporated into our website that will allow bettors to directly contribute to the long-term care of the horses they bet on.
We have also developed a technology platform that will allow disparate individuals, who share a love for the sport and the horses that make it possible, to pool their financial resources to support those horses' retirement needs, communicate amongst themselves using social-media tools, and participate either directly or vicariously in those horses' lives, using the panoply of text, audio, and video communications capabilities now possible on the internet.
We also intend to offer pre-paid retirement annuities for retired thoroughbred horses, consistent with applicable State insurance regulation affecting charitable annuities and Federal Securities Laws, that will afford former thoroughbred race horses a secure life in an appropriately accredited retirement facility anywhere in the country. In cooperation with qualified veterinarians, horsemen, and horsewomen, we intend to develop and most importantly, enforce, standards of care that will ensure that our horses enjoy happy, productive, and healthy lives.
To the extent they are physically capable, our programs will encourage and support the horses' retraining for a whole range of sport horse activities, including hunters, show jumping, dressage, and eventing, with a physical presence at prominent shows in each discipline, and an advisory board of world-class riders, trainers, and owners that can assist in transitioning capable retired race horses into their respective disciplines.
We also intend to engage in grass-roots lobbying activities, consistent with and subject to limitations imposed by our Federal tax-exempt status, that will be targeted at State legislatures, State racing commissions, the United States Congress, and the U.S. Jockey Club, to create an effective legal framework that makes funded retirement a mandatory component of the horse racing business.
Get to know us!
Karen R. Graninger
Chairperson of the Board
Veronica 'Ronni' Berman
Born in Wiesbaden, Germany and raised in Munich, Mara's love for horses
began as a young girl on vacation with her parents at an Austrian horse
ranch. She spent several years helping out and learning the basics of
horseback riding at a neighborhood stable. Returning to riding later in
life, she took lessons at a stable at her then home in the former East
Germany. After moving to the US, her love for horses continued, and for
the last few years, she has provided significant financial support to
organizations trying to save wild horses, and since 2017, has focused on
helping to find new homes for racehorses retiring from the track.
Mara's professional career as a corporate communications executive has
concentrated on the international semiconductor and electronics design
automation industries, including positions with one of Germany's largest
multi-national chip manufacturers. She later co-founded a Silicon
Valley-based semiconductor industry software start up business, and then
founded and ran her own successful international tech industry corporate marketing agency. She
currently manages North American Field Marketing activities for a leading electronics industry company recently recognized as one of the top 100 Great Places to Work in the US by Fortune Magazine.
In addition to her continuing love for horses, Mara brings her proven
international managerial and organizational skills to Fresh Start in her
role as Treasurer. Mara lives with her husband, 3 dogs and 2 cats in
South East Florida, commuting regularly to Silicon Valley in California,
where her employer is headquartered.
Veronica (Ronni) Berman, has been riding since childhood when her grandfather first bought her a pony. Those early days of riding bareback on her pony led to riding hunt seat, and having her own horses. She learned to ride saddle seat after boarding her horses at a Morgan Horse breeding farm, sparking a love affair with the Morgan breed and her purchase of two Morgan horses, Merwin’s Boom Town (aka Townie) and Gallant Colleen. She competed successfully as an amateur owner in the park saddle ranks with Townie, and driving ranks with Colleen. She and Townie competed in the first Grand National Morgan Horse Championships. Colleen went on to become a foundation broodmare for Kohler Farms, and Townie became a well-loved pasture horse with a new family.
After earning her nursing degree, Ronni moved to Phoenix AZ and worked in a trauma center for several years, before beginning her current career in the pharmaceutical industry working for large pharma companies. She has two boys, aged 15 and 17, and has been a life long horseracing fan. After following the saga of Barbaro throughout his treatment at New Bolton, she decided to learn about adopting an off-the-track thoroughbred. Her research took her to a woman in Georgia who worked with contacts at several tracks to help retiring thoroughbreds find new homes and careers off the track. One evening she found her own boy listed at Philadelphia Park, now Parx. That horse, Dr. Kenny Winn, aka Kwinn, was adopted almost 13 years ago and will be 20 years old this January, 2020.
Still a devoted fan of horseracing, she has had the opportunity to visit several of her favorite racehorses, including the great Rachel Alexandra, and California Chrome. Not every horse is lucky enough to have a soft landing, and this is especially true for racehorses that can no longer succeed at the track. Ronni is honored to be part of FreshStart’s programs dedicated to giving these horses a new life.
Fresh Start's President, Karen Graninger, has been riding and caring for horses since the age of 8 at hunter-jumper barns in Alabama, New York, Virginia and Southern California. A graduate of Ithaca College with a degree in Cinema and Photography, she pursued a career in the Hollywood film industry, working for various directors, producers, executives and studios, including News Corporation, the then parent company of 20th Century Fox, where she worked for senior executives across the world. Karen and her husband, Jeff Wales, a technology industry entrepreneur and consultant to FreshStart, moved to La Quinta, CA in 2004 where Karen found her off-the-track Thoroughbred mare of a lifetime named Glorious Alliance ("Glory"). Karen competed with Glory in Southern CA AA jumper shows including the HITS Coachella Desert Circuit, Del Mar Showpark, Oaks Blenheim and in Canada at Calgary's Anderson Ranch with her trainer and coach Marilyn Dawson-Dixon, one of Ireland’s top Grand Prix riders.
Today, Karen is the “executive assistant” to her beloved mare, Glorious Alliance, now running free in a perenially green pasture in Heaven, whose Twitter account @GloriousAllianc has nearly 5300 daily followers in racing, eventing, jumping and polo throughout the world. Karen is also the “executive assistant” to Smoothie, a sport horse and a great great grandson of Seabiscuit, whom Glory and Karen rescued in December of 2017. For the last 15 years, Karen has spent practically every day caring for Thoroughbreds, becoming knowledgeable in equine massage and acupressure, and along with her husband Jeff, trains and coaches Thoroughbreds and other horses in correct ground manners, flat work and jumping to prepare them for a second career as sport horses.
Karen's interest in horse racing began at Saratoga when she first visited age 13 and has continued ever since. Favorite horses include Phar Lap, Java Gold, Curlin, Mine That Bird, Dynaformer, Pioneerof the Nile, California Chrome and Beholder.
Karen founded Fresh Start in an effort to create a nation-wide, funded retirement and retraining program which can ultimately provide every off-the-track thoroughbred horse in need with the same high-quality care and training that her horses have been fortunate enough to receive during their lifetimes.
Love the game? Now you can share some of that love with the horses that make it all possible! Fresh Start's exciting "When You Win, They All Win!" donate-a-bet system lets you donate your best picks to Fresh Start any time you wager. Use your cell phone to upload a picture or screenshot of your matching betting slip, whether you wager in person at the track or OTB, or via your favorite online ADW system, we accept them all. And when you win, the horses win, too. Plus you'll earn a tax-deduction for your generous charitable gift!
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A great place to call home!
Located on nearly 30 acres in beautiful, sunny Coachella, California, within minutes of the Empire Polo Club and the Desert International Horse Park show grounds, Fresh Start provides off-the-track thoroughbreds with large irrigated pastures, stalls and both sand arena and turf training facilities.
Please check your email for a welcome message that will allow you to activate your account.
We look forward to working with you to assure that every thoroughbred in need receives the first class retraining and retirement benefits they deserve.
Achieving that goal requires broad-based public support, hard work and money.
That's why we're asking you to donate as much as you can afford to this effort on a regular basis.
All contributions to FreshStart, an IRC Section 501(c)(3) qualified charity, are tax-deductible for federal income tax purposes to the maximum extent provided by law.