Standing Ovation by Ovation Riding: Thoroughbred Charities of America

Every week we team up with Ovation Riding to recognize those doing good in the horse world. Today we recognize Thoroughbred Charities of America, which is awarding over $1 million in grants this year.


LEXINGTON, KY. – Last week Thoroughbred Charities of America (TCA) announced that grants totaling nearly $1,070,000 will be awarded this year.

A record 92 grant applications were received earlier this year during the organization’s annual grant cycle. Ultimately, 70 organizations were approved for a grant including 45 aftercare organizations, 16 backstretch and farm worker programs, five equine-assisted therapy organizations, three Thoroughbred incentive programs and one research organization.

In May, TCA’s Horses First Fund made emergency grants to three backstretch organizations, seven aftercare organizations, and supported two feed assistance programs across the U.S. to aid in the relief efforts during the Coronavirus pandemic. The total expended from the Horses First Fund was $79,900, bringing the organization’s total 2020 grantmaking over the $1 million mark.

“In a year where we’ve seen a greater need than ever before, we are so grateful that we are able to increase our impact among our grantees,” said Erin Crady, executive director of TCA. “TCA’s investment in our charities helps to make their work with Thoroughbreds, backstretch and farm workers possible.”

TCA’s expanded giving in 2020 is bolstered by two bequests received since its last granting cycle. Last fall, a generous gift from the estate of Robert D. Byington of Lansing, Mich. was received. Mr. Byington was an avid horsemen and part owner of 2011 Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom. When told about the increased impact of TCA’s grants due to Mr. Byington’s gift, a family member shared, “I know my uncle is beaming with pride right now.”

A second generous bequest from the estate of Maryland horsemen Bob Manfuso was received this summer. Mr. Manfuso was a founding member of the TCA Board of Directors where he worked closely with TCA founders, Herb and Ellen Moelis and Allaire duPont. Mr. Manfuso served as a director until 2017.

“The contributions from Mr. Byington and Mr. Manfuso were so important and we couldn’t have hit the seven-figure impact mark without them,” said Mike McMahon president of TCA. “As a founder and an active board member for nearly 30 years, Bob Manfuso served horses and horse people. He was a great man. Generous with his hard work and financial support right to the end. Likewise, the generosity of Robert Byington has made a deep and lasting impact on TCA and our grant recipient organizations. We are forever grateful. TCA has had a great volunteer board over the years, and our current board is no exception. Our volunteer board members do a great job giving generously of their time, especially during the pandemic.  We are so proud to offer the horses and the people that care for them a million dollars in total 2020 grants.”

TCA’s annual grants are provided to organizations that successfully meet the criteria set forth in an annual grant application.  Grant applications for the 2021 grant cycle will be available in early January.

Grant recipients from the last three years can be found on If you want to help make a difference in the lives of Thoroughbred racehorses and the people who care for them, you can donate here.

About TCA:
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 $24 million to more than 200 charities. TCA is the charitable arm of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (TOBA).

Many thanks thanks to Ovation Riding for their support of both Horse Nation and individuals and organizations that are doing good work in the horse world. If you know someone who deserves a Standing Ovation, we would love to recognize them in a future post. Email the name of the person or organization along with a message about the good work they do to [email protected]. Photos/videos are always welcome, and include a link to their website if applicable.