The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) has announced that in 2013 it awarded approximately $1.4 million in grants to support equine rescues and sanctuaries in 43 states and the District of Columbia.

The grants were primarily awarded as part of the ASPCA Equine Fund, with 20% of the grant money supporting the Rescuing Racers Initiative, which aids in the rescue and rehabilitation of retired racehorses, repurposing the horses for other areas of the equine world and giving them a new lease on life for events or pleasure riding.

“Thoroughbreds frequently end up at livestock auctions—or worse, are sent to slaughterhouses—when their racing days are over,” said Jacque Schultz, senior director of the ASPCA Equine Fund. “We were thrilled to provide these equine rescues with funds to help them transition ex-racers out of the racing stable and into someone’s show barn or farm paddock.”

New this year was a special opportunity for 50 organizations to receive grants enabling them to receive a one-year membership to the Association of Fundraising Professionals, as well as a scholarship to its 7-module e-learning course, "Fundamentals of Fundraising."

“Many of our grants address specific needs, but this is one grant that keeps giving,” said Schultz. “It helps groups widen their fundraising capabilities, and make major headway toward sustainability.”

Another new initiative in 2013 was the “Hay It Forward,” project, a supplemental program to the ASPCA’s existing Hay Bale Out grants program, which helps feed horses across the U