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After the tragic Lilac Fire at San Luis Rey Downs Training Center in Bonsall, CA on December 7, 2017, overwhelmed the local horse community, the many affected horses and humans are in dire need of support. The industry has come together at an unprecedented rate during this heartbreaking situation and we turn to the community once again to request help where it is urgently needed. So many have offered their immediate assistance and many more are unable to be here but want to contribute in any way that they can. This GoFundMe page was set up for exactly that reason. Near or far, people will be able to offer any amount knowing that 100% will go towards serving all the Lilac Fire efforts. Feed, bedding, blankets and many other everyday supplies are still needed for both human and equine evacuees, and donations towards medical bills, housing, and other essential amenities are necessary to help the hurting California horse racing community. Santa Anita Park, The Stronach Group, and the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club thank you for your support of the Thoroughbreds and the Horsemen overwrought by this tragedy.

Update (Dec.18) 
Santa Anita Park, The Stronach Group, and Del Mar Racing would like to express our appreciation for each and every person and organization that has donated to the ongoing wildfire relief efforts since the destruction of San Luis Rey Downs in Bonsall, CA on December 7. Though hundreds of equine lives were saved, many were still tragically lost. We extend our deepest condolences to our owners, trainers and stable employees that have lost so much. The community at large has generously come together to raise over $650,000, all of which will go to those whose lives are forever changed. Though the road ahead is long, this money is a tremendous first step in helping to recover. As we conclude the online GoFundMe donation campaign, those who still wish to contribute can do so directly with the two main organizations supporting the workers and horses affected. For all backstretch worker donations, including stable workers and trainers, please contact the California Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Foundation. For all equine related donations, please contact the California Retirement Management Account (CARMA.)
To learn more about the CTHF, please visit

Donations can be made directly online at

Donation by check:
California Thoroughbred Horsemen's Foundation, Inc., noting “San Luis Rey Fire.” 

CTHF - Cliff Goodrich
285 W. Huntington Drive
Arcadia, CA 91007 

 CTHF is a 501(c) (3) charitable trust. Tax ID number - 95-3873222 
To learn more about CARMA, please visit:

Donations can be made directly online at

Donation by check:
California Retirement Management Account or CARMA, noting "Fire Relief.”
285 W. Huntington Drive
Arcadia, CA 91007

CARMA is a 501(c) (3) dedicated to providing funding for the rehabilitation, retraining and/or retirement of California-raced Thoroughbreds.

Update (Dec. 29) 
San Luis Rey Downs Fire – Relief Update

Due to the tremendous generosity of over 5,000 individuals and organizations, over $650,000 was raised by Santa Anita Park, The Stronach Group, and Del Mar’s GoFundMe campaign in just ten days, to help victims of the December 7th San Luis Rey Downs fire. The donation campaign has been closed, and the process of getting those funds into the hands of those in need has been ongoing.

The Stronach Group, Santa Anita and Del Mar’s first step, along with input from a working committee comprised of members of the California horse racing community, was to select our organization, the California Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Foundation (CTHF), to manage the distribution of the funds. The CTHF is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity and was chosen because of our thirty-plus year history of providing medical, dental and other services for the backstretch workers at all California racetracks and training centers. In addition, we are structured to be able to quickly distribute relief funds. After transferring the funds to the CTHF, the fundraising group noted above, worked with us to quickly identify those most in need.

In the first two weeks since the fire started, approximately $525,000 has been distributed to workers, trainers and those caring for horses which were affected by the fire. There are also three individuals who were seriously injured while trying to save horses and we are working closely with them to address their needs. We have made a great deal of progress in a short period of time, but there is more to do.

This tragedy has led to an outpouring of donations and support from around the country and even beyond our borders. It will be impossible for the California Racing Industry to adequately thank everyone who cared enough to respond to those affected at San Luis Rey Downs.  

We owe all of the donors a debt of gratitude for caring about people and horses. Without the hard work of the committee, and the unbelievable response from the donors, our charitable foundation would have had far less to distribute to the needy victims.

We thank you, on everyone’s behalf, and when the dust settles the CTHF will be sending thank you letters and donor acknowledgments.

Best regards and Happy Holidays,

Cliff Goodrich

Executive Director

California Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Foundation, Inc.

Update (Dec. 13)
To address immediate needs of the victims of the San Luis Rey Training Facility fire, a working committee has been formed to oversee those funds and has announced $250,000 will be distributed this week to those in critical need. The committee consists of Santa Anita/TSG’s Nate Newby (Vice President, Marketing), Del Mar’s David Jerkens (Racing Secretary), Madeline Auerbach (owner/breeder, CHRB* commissioner and founder of CARMA*), Alan Balch (Executive Director, CTT*) and Cliff Goodrich (Executive Director, CTHF*).

At the recommendation of the TSG/Santa Anita and Del Mar GoFundMe committee, the California Horsemen's Foundation, Inc. (CTHF) will distribute the funds from the GoFundMe campaign directly to individuals in need. 

This working committee will also be holding regular meetings until 100 percent of the money from the GoFundMe campaign has been distributed to those who need it most. The committee will provide regular updates and continue to solicit feedback from representatives from all aspects of the horse racing industry and beyond. The committee will also be coordinating with the other charitable efforts around the country that have raised money in support of those affected by the fires at San Luis Rey.

*Alphabetized key; TSG (The Stronach Group), CHRB (California Horse Racing Board), CTT (California Thoroughbred Trainers), CTHF (California Horsemen’s Foundation) and CARMA (California Retirement Management Account).

Learn more here.

Thank you for your amazing support!

San Luis Rey Training Facility is owned by The Stronach Group. The GoFundMe committee is working closely with General Manager, Kevin Havell.


  • Anonymous
    • $25 
    • 7 yrs

Organizer and beneficiary

Santa Anita Del Mar
Arcadia, CA
California Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Foundation

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