Founded in 1959, the Washington Thoroughbred Foundation (WTF) has a long philanthropic history. In those early days, there was no HBPA (Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association), so the Foundation provided benevolence to horsemen in need. Things like burial plots and expenses or even basic needs like wood or coal for heating. Horsemen have always answered the call to help fellow horsemen in need, and the Washington Thoroughbred Foundation was one of the first organized attempts to provide structure for these altruistic efforts.

When the WTBOA (Washington Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners Association) and Washington HBPA split into two separate entities, the WHBPA took over the benevolence duties and the WTF went dormant for a period of time.

Eventually the Foundation became active again, first through the broodmare lease program and other youth programs, and later through a variety of scholarship programs, including the THRUST (Thoroughbred Horse Racing’s United Scholarship Trust) communications scholarships and the ongoing THRUST industry grants. Since the opening of Emerald Downs, the Foundation has played a vital role in supporting many of our industry’s charitable efforts. Among these are The Prodigious Fund, which is dedicated to the re-homing, retraining, promotion and care of retired racehorses, and the Emerald Downs internship program.

WTF supported programs include:

Programs such as these exemplify the importance of continuing the work of the Foundation. Given the current economic climate, fundraising to continue these vital programs is a tough proposition. We invite anyone involved in the horse racing industry to consider making a donation to the Washington Thoroughbred Foundation. Your support is deeply appreciated.