Kenwood Press

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News: 02/01/2020

Glen Ellen racehorse sanctuary celebrates 25 years

Founder reaches out for help providing for older horses

A former racetrack steward in Northern California, Pam Berg took her love of the people and animals in the business and invested her life – and money – into caring for as many of the horses as she can, for life. Tucked away in the hills between Glen Ellen and Kenwood, her 8.5-acre Glen Ellen Vocational Academy, Inc. (GEVA) is now home to more than 30 equines, 90 percent of which are former racing Thoroughbreds.

When she founded GEVA in 1995, “the racing industry did not realize the enormity of the problem of how to handle the increasing number of horses when they could no longer race.” Berg saw too many animals that were needlessly euthanized or inhumanely slaughtered. Others ended up abused and neglected in some pasture. For almost 25 years GEVA has worked hard to help horses avoid that fate, not only retired race horses, but also other horses in need of care and shelter.

Berg and volunteers have cared for hundreds of animals, rehabilitating many, finding homes and adopting out when possible, but mostly providing a lifetime of peace and pleasure for all she takes in. She relies almost exclusively on grants and donations to make the project work.

As a 501(c)(3) non-profit, GEVA has been accredited by The Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries and the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance. Because of the high standards required to gain accreditation, GEVA is favored in many grant applications. Berg announced being accepted for four grants in 2019. Not that she has too much on hand, by any means.

“Since the funds GEVA receives from donors go directly toward the cost of feeding and maintaining the horses,” Berg wrote, “there’s nothing left over for other needs, some of which are critical. So, we’ve made a wish list of things that would be appreciated as donations.”

Those items include volunteers, tractor, pickup truck, pipe gates, pipe panels, fencing materials (pressure treated 2x6 and 4’ non-climb wire), grant writers, fundraisers, donors of “skills” to sponsor special interest clinics, contractor, electrician or handyperson, water buckets, feed tubs, hay nets, rubber mats – interlocking or plain, farm supplies, feed, tack, winch, office equipment, clean fill dirt, and sand, to mention a few.

GEVA also provides a variety of services for their wards: clinics and seminars, equine legal matters and contracts, expert witness and consultation, farm tours, horse and foal registration, re-schooling and problem solving, retirement boarding and lay-ups, and vocational training with horses.

If you want to help or learn more about GEVA and Pam Berg, call 527-8092, or visit

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