Gary Stevens gives Mucho grant to help T’breds

Gary Stevens rides Mucho Macho Man to win the Breeders' Cup Classic. Two days later, he pledged a portion of winnings to Remember Me Rescue. Photo by Terri Cage

Gary Stevens rides Mucho Macho Man to win the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Two days later, he pledged a portion of winnings to Remember Me Rescue. Photo by Terri Cage

Two days after winning the Breeders’ Cup Classic aboard Mucho Macho Man, leading US jockey Gary Stevens pledged a portion of his purse winnings to a Texas Thoroughbred charity seeking to better treat injured racehorses.

Remember Me Rescue President Donna Keen announced this week that the top-winning jockey and his wife Angie Stevens pledged $5,000 to the horse charity; the funds will go toward the purchase of an expensive piece of equipment to help racehorses recover from racing injuries such as bowed tendons.

Keen is actively fundraising to buy a $60,000 cold, salt-water spa to treat the injuries of ex-racehorse Thoroughbreds coming to her sprawling Texas facility for rehabilitation, training, and re-homing.

Such a spa would drastically reduce recuperation time, which often takes as much as a year, and enable Keen to re-train and re-home horses more quickly. And the quicker an animal can be moved on to a new home, the more horses she can accept into her program, she reasons.

Her facility re-homed nearly 100 horses so far this year, and approximately 90 last year, she says, noting that her goal is to help even more horses find homes through faster treatment of their tendon injuries.

Stevens’ pledge to her facility was a blessing, one she hopes will encourage other prospective donors to follow his lead, Keen says.

Donna Keen of Remember Me Rescue

Donna Keen of Remember Me Rescue

“When he first told us he wanted to give us a check for $5,000, he said he wanted it to be anonymous. So my husband Dallas got on the phone and said, ‘Gary, when people like you do a donation, we have to tell people. It inspires people to give to their charities. It’s important for people to know.’ He wasn’t a big fan of the idea of us telling people—he’s so humble, but he really loves the horses.”

The Hall of Fame jockey, who is also a well-respected sports broadcaster, has been a good friend to Remember Me Rescue.

He recently allowed the horse charity to quote his great love for the horse on their landing page:

“Each and every horse I rode in my career helped make my career. Each one meant something to me, whether it was a low-level claimer or a Derby winner. Every horse deserves a happy life at the end of their racing career. Unfortunately, most don’t get one. Remember Me Rescue can make a difference by giving horses the happy life they deserve after their racing career,” Stevens states on the charity’s website.

Buoyed by Stevens surprise donation, Keen says she is hopeful that others will follow his example, and donate toward the purchase of the cold, salt-water spa.

“If we can get 10 people to do what Gary Stevens did, we’re there,” she says. “This machine would help us drastically reduce the time that it takes to rehabilitate our horses; some with bowed tendons need almost a year off before we can retrain them.”

19 responses to “Gary Stevens gives Mucho grant to help T’breds”

  1. Jan /springtime Farm

    Gary is a jockey so deserving of his renewed success. He works hard, loves the horses, and is one of the few jocks taking steps to insure the aftercare of these beloved racehorses. He rides for our trainer Mr. Mandella…everyone at SA has the utmost respect for both rider and trainer. Keep up the success Gary…You deserve it…plus you make us 50 and up look good!!!!

  2. Warren Eves

    Thankyou Gary for setting an example of giving back. For many years I’ve pleaded with the top riders of America to sign an agreement where a percentage of a Breeders Cup win goes into a fund. So far, that has not happened. Gary sets a great example here by donating to a good cause. I’m fully aware of those who have suffered life changing injury, but we must remember it is their chosen profession. My only wish is the jockeys, especially the top names in the Guild, would get serious about helping their own. This year to year begging for dollars for those who have gone down with serious consequences should not be the case. We should all be helping one another, and we don’t see enough of this. Thankyou Gary for giving back. My hope is others will do the same.

  3. David Peard

    Not only a great ride on Mucho Macho Man to win the Breeders Cup Classic but what a great gift he has given to the horses that no longer can race.

  4. Bill.corbett

    Donna, $500 is on the way from us. Hats off to what you are doing.

  5. Saturday Links from Tipperary : EVENTING NATION

    […] Gary Stevens donates a portion of his Breeders’ Cup winnings to help injured racehorses.  […]

  6. Victoria Richter

    WAY TO GO !! THANK YOU !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Judith Ochs

    Finally – a real plus mark for the horse racing “industry”. Gary Stevens is obviously a class act. Glad to see him doing what he loves – for it certainly loves him back.

  8. Susan Crane-Sundell

    Thank you to Gary and Angie Stevens for acknowledging the horses that have given them a good life. The life of a jockey is arduous and fateful as is the life of a race horse.Either career can be ended in the passing of a split second. The horses and jockeys are bound together in this and it’s heartwarming to see him honoring the horses and what they leave out on the track. Here’s to the opportunity he has provided to help more horses have second careers. And here’s to Remember Me Rescue for trying to give second career thoroughbreds the same chances as working racehorses get during their racing careers.

  9. abby fuller

    The whole thing just gets better & better!! mucho kudos to Gary! Very well done!

  10. Jeanne Mirabito


  11. Gloria

    I hope what Gary Stevens did gets the ball rolling (for more donations) so Remember Me Rescue can buy their salt-water spa. I’d never heard of this outfit, but I’ve now “liked” them on my Facebook page. I love that Gary wanted to donate anonymously but I agree making his donation public could help RMR get more money. Good luck to them!

    1. Donna Keen

      Not just for RMR, I sincerely hope folks will give to their local 501(c)3 thoroughbred placement organizations and help the horses close to home. We accept horses from all over the country, as most rescues do, and are proud to call Gary Stevens a hero for the horses…all horses, not just the famous ones.

  12. GASafeHorses

    Its wonderful that Gary has done this for the TB’s. Now its time for the owners to step up to the plate and give their horses retirement after their racing careers end not a quick trip to slaughter.

    1. roey dunn


      1. robert retchless

        amen !!!

  13. roey dunn

    50 shades of 50…
    Gary Stevens… just keeps getting better with age…

  14. Kate

    Bravo and Brava to Mr. and Mrs. Stevens!!! Leading by example is so commendable in this day and age of take, take, take.

  15. SusanA

    Gary is 1st class! I’m so happy for him and his successful comeback to racing…he deserves it! Everybody and every horse deserves a “second” chance! Thank you for sharing the story.

  16. Patricia Bewley

    what a gentleman and a person who shows gratitude for what he has. thank you Gary and hope this inspires more jockeys to help the horses who make then what they are.

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