California Equine Retirement Foundation: Providing a Happy Retirement to Our Equine Athletes



California Equine Retirement Foundation (CERF) was founded by Grace Belcuore in 1986 to provide charitable assistance to former race and performance horses upon the conclusion of their careers, through permanent retirement or rehabilitation into other careers.

The foundation's goal is a relatively simple one – to give former racehorses a happy place to retire or help them find a new job and new life.

Two years after its opening, CERF found a home in Winchester, California. Bit by bit the facility has been refined, expanded and adapted to the work at hand – making a happy home for ex-racehorses. Since its inception, CERF has rehabilitated more than 300 thoroughbreds and today runs at maximum capacity with some 70 to 75 resident horses.


Click on the photos for a visual tour of the CERF Ranch.


CERF is supported by sponsorships of individual horses, direct donations, special fundraising events such as golf tournaments and stallion auctions, and an ongoing equine art project, Equine Expressions.

Equine Expressions represents a partnership between humans and horses, featuring well-known racehorses creating artwork for sale. The thoroughbred “artists” are assisted by a team of horse lovers who provide the paint, canvas, and motivation in the form of carrots or horse treats and the critical eye that determines when enough is enough. For more information, contact Sharla Sanders, Artist Director of Equine Expressions. All monies from the purchases of these works of art go directly to the care of the horses at CERF ranch.

For more information about how you can help, visit the CERF website.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I sponsored a horse there and then found out that three other people were also sponsoring him which explained why my nameplate was never put up. I also bought him a winter coat that "disappeared".
That place is ugly and depressing and looks like a testing facility or something.And why have so many horses died there? Not all from old age. There is a great need for retirement farms but not like this one.

Anonymous said...

Cerf, although clean, orderly, and efficiently managed, can provide more for it's horses daily health and well being. Horses need trees for shade, lots of clean fresh drinking water available in clean troughs both in turnout and in pastiche, daily exercise ( not just standing around in turnout), a steady grazing diet to prevent boredom and ulcers, grass, and mental stimulation. They need a person at the helm who is approachable and knowledgable about the latest in equine matters. Race and show horses not sent to CERF can suffer a horrible end at the hands of slaughterhouse owners. CERF offers a relaxed environment where a Thoroughbred can live out it's post show days in quietude. Most horses at CERF live a long time after being placed there. Whether they are happy, and have enough exercise, stimulation, and CLEAN plentiful drinking water Is questionable.

Horse Racing Fan said...

CERF is clean and perfect for horses. Anyone who has anything negative to say about this place knows nothing about horses. These horses have shelter, clean stalls, and good food and care. They are turned out every day, and brough in at night. They are treated like kings and queens. I bring my son here frequently, and have never seen one negative thing.

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