Thoroughbred Charities of America is pleased to announce the winner of the Fourth Annual TCA Youth Essay Contest. Katelyn Read, 17, of Los Gatos, Calif., has been named the winner of the contest. Two other essays, authored by Arielle Lacob, 17, of Encinitas, Calif., and Hadley Macey, 10, of Noblesville, Ind., were awarded honorable mentions.
The contest was open to recipients of services, volunteers, supporters or any one, 18 years of age or younger, that has been impacted by an organization that received a grant from TCA in 2016. To participate, contestants submitted an essay containing a minimum of 300 words and a maximum of 600 words, describing how a TCA grant recipient has affected his or her life.
Essays were judged by select TCA board members and staff of BloodHorse on numerous criteria including the presence of a compelling and passionate argument, grammar, vocabulary and style, neatness and adherence to contest rules.
Read wrote about her experience as a volunteer with Neigh Savers a Thoroughbred rehabilitation, retraining and rehoming organization in Walnut Creek, California. The organization will receive a grant of $1,000 for Read's essay. Read her essay here. Lacob and Macey wrote about their experiences with Saving Horses and Friends of Ferdinand, respectively. Both charities written about in the honorable mention essays will each receive $500.
"Our thanks to each author that submitted an essay," said Erin Crady executive director of TCA. "The essays were compelling and reaffirmed the various ways in which our grant recipient organizations positively impact the lives of horses and humans every day."
TCA's mission is to provide a better life for Thoroughbreds, both during and after their racing careers, by supporting qualified repurposing and retirement organizations and by helping the people who care for them. TCA distributes grants to several categories of Thoroughbred-related nonprofits including rehabilitation, retraining, rehoming and retirement organizations; backstretch and farm employee programs; equine-assisted therapy programs; and research organizations. Since its inception in 1990, TCA has granted over $21 million to more than 200 charities. TCA administers the Horses First Fund, a fund recently started by LNJ Foxwoods to assist a horse rescue operation in Mercer County, Kentucky as well as provide emergency aid for horses in need in the future. From 2000-2015, more than 95% of TCA's expenditures were allocated to program services including direct grants. TCA is the charitable arm of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (TOBA).