LEXINGTON, Ky. – Thoroughbred Charities of America is pleased to announce the winner of the Fifth Annual TCA Youth Essay Contest. Aaron Foley, 10, of San Bruno, California, has been named the winner of the contest.
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 2017. 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 Blood-Horse Publications on numerous criteria including the presence of a compelling and passionate argument, grammar, vocabulary and style, neatness and adherence to contest rules.
Foley wrote about his experience at Square Peg Foundation an equine-assisted therapy and Thoroughbred rehabilitation, retraining, and rehoming organization in Half Moon Bay California. The organization will receive a grant of $1,000 for Foley’s essay. Read his essay here.
Foley and his family participated in a check presentation on Saturday, November 18 in the winner’s circle at Golden Gate Fields racetrack. Race 8 on the day’s card was named in Foley’s honor and the track hosted his family and representatives of Square Peg Foundation in their Turf Club.
“We wish to thank every author that submitted an essay,” said Erin Crady executive director of TCA. “Each essay submission was unique but they all spoke to the important work of our grant recipients with horses and humans alike. We congratulate Aaron on his winning essay and Square Peg Foundation on their outstanding work.”
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 $22 million to more than 200 charities. TCA also administers the Horses First Fund, a fund started by LNJ Foxwoods in 2016 to provide emergency aid for Thoroughbreds in need. From 2000-2016, 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).