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After The Homestretch Arizona; Reaching Out To Help Horses

After The Homestretch Arizona; Reaching Out To Help Horses: After The Homestretch AZ is a rescue that began in 2011 when Dannielle Marturana, founder and president, gathered together a small group of friends for a much needed niche for retiring ex-racehorses in need of a new vocation and home. They received their 501(c) (3) non-profit status on July 25, 2011 with the stated mission being to protect the legacy of former racehorses through reconditioning, retraining and re-homing.

After The Homestretch Arizona

Six additional pens were recently built to help house more rescued horses at After The Homestretch in Arizona.
Photo: Kari Ward

After The Homestretch Arizona provides ex-racehorses the opportunity to rest, have their veterinary needs addressed, and general rehabilitation to ready them for their new adoptive homes. In just over three years of operation, they have rescued 39 horses, including 37 ex-racehorses and 2 colts. They have found homes for 23 horses and now have 17 in their current herd ranging in age from 3-22.

After The Homestretch Arizona is currently located at 12th Street and Maddock in North Phoenix, just off of Carefree Highway. This is hopefully a temporary location. The rescue is seeking a more permanent area so they aren’t as limited to the number of horses they can take in. They need facilities such as a tack room, storage sheds and a place for their herd to call home. Additionally, they see the new locale as a future place to train volunteers, a meeting place for their board and a place to conduct public workshops on horsemanship, equine nutrition and health.

I recently had the opportunity to meet with Dannielle Marturana and her friend/Treasurer Linda Philbin for breakfast to ask them a few question about their operation and up to the ranch to check it all out. As someone who enjoys horse racing, I wanted to know more about what it takes to volunteer at After The Homestretch Arizona.

After The Homestretch is an excellent place to spend a few hours and lend a helping hand. Danielle Marturana stated, “We have 18 active volunteers and need approximately 3 per shift. We have two shifts from 7:00 am to 10:30 am and from 3:30 pm to 6:00 pm 7 days a week.”

Volunteers with little experience can support After The Homestretch Arizona with numerous assignments, Marturana explained, “At the ranch the volunteers would feed, muck the stalls, tend wounds, fill water and some light grooming. We can help train some of the volunteers for some of the jobs to the level people are comfortable being around horses.”

Marturana added, “There are no requirements of horse knowledge to volunteer, there is something for everybody here.”

After The Homestretch relies on donations, volunteers, grants and fundraising to help the horses in need. Founder Danielle Marturana said, “Our money comes 1/3 from donations, 1/3 from grants and 1/3 from fundraising. We are always in need of medication, first aid kits (yes, human too), bandages, wraps, topical sprays for injuries, ointments and medical magnets. We use a lot of Eastern medicine and excel in rehabilitation. These horses get magnet treatments, chiropractic, laser, poultices as well as regular veterinarian care. We also need volunteers who can write grants, take photos, fundraise, man booths at local jumping shows and social media.”

The volunteers at After The Homestretch Arizona help plan events to raise money for the rescue. Marturana mentioned a couple of events on the calendar saying, “We have three upcoming events and if you would like to attend any, a portion of the donations will go to ATHA from all of the events.”

After The Homestretch Arizona

Sandyneck (NY) raced on the California-New Mexico circuit with 84 starts and 23 first place finishes. He’s calm, personable, healthy, sound and ready to be trained to many disciplines. He is one very sweet boy!
Photo: Kari Ward

After The Homestretch Arizona Upcoming Events:

7th Inning Homestretch Fundraiser
Join After The Homestretch Arizona for a special BBQ dinner benefiting our herd on Friday, March 27, 2015 from 5:30pm -7:00pm at The Cigar King and Hirsh Luxury Boutique, 7830 Gelding Dr. #100, Scottsdale Airpark. Special guests include former major league baseball players and jockey Scott Stevens. Entertainment by Charlene & Bobby Freeman, D-Back Organist and ATHA volunteers. There will be door prizes, 50/50 and drawing for a Diamondback Suite for the 2015 season valued at $2500 and seats 18. You do not have to be at event for drawing. $25 at door or via website.

Third Annual “Day At The Races” Benefiting After The Homestretch Arizona At Turf Paradise
Sunday, April 19, 2015. 12:00pm-5:30pm. First race approximately 12:55; Lunch served at 12:30 pm.
Cost $34 per person, including luncheon entree, dessert and coffee or tea, tax, gratuities, parking, admission to the Turf Club (3rd floor), program and “how to bet” guide. Prepaid reservations required. Please reserve your table by Friday, April 10th. All proceeds will directly support the work of After the Homestretch – AZ racehorse rescue protecting the legacy of former racehorses through reconditioning, retraining and re-homing.

After The Homestretch Arizona

Sandyneck getting some relaxation and water at After The Homestretch in Arizona.
Photo: Kari Ward

After breakfast we went out to the ranch where I was able to photograph and have some time with the horses. I must say I was quite impressed with what they have done with what they have been given. The place is very well taken care of, the horses are so loved and are placed appropriately together. Often its hard coming from the racetrack to socialize again in a herd. These racehorses are taken at such a young age to race and take a lot of work to get them acclimated with a group again and no longer able to race.

They are a great group of people who love what they do to help these horses get the proper care, rehabilitation and hopefully new homes. I’m going to start volunteering here and would love to have some local Arizonans join me.

There are many ways you can help through volunteering your time or financial support:
Cash Donations
Sponsor A Horse
Adopt A Horse

If you are interested in volunteering or donating items, please email Dannielle at

I would like to thank Dannielle and Linda for taking the time to chat with me about their passion and taking me out to the ranch to show me around. I spent at least four hours with them and it was so much fun. I’m really looking forward to spending some quality volunteer time with this organization and these horses that need our help. Is there anything more rewarding that helping out some recovering horses? Seriously, as much time as I’ve spent wagering on them, winning and losing on them, I think a little time helping them out is not a whole lot to ask for. I’ll be writing a few articles down the road as well about my experiences with the horses. My first volunteer day is Saturday morning, February 14th. What a fun way to start Valentine’s Day with giving a little love to some horses that will surely appreciate it. ~Kari Ward

After The Homestretch Arizona

Stubborn (NOT) Streak (CA), nicknamed “Stu” the spicy redhead, loves to roll around and showoff. He had a short winning streak at Turf Paradise. He ran 7 races total with 2 firsts, 2 places and 1 show. Stubborn Streak was trained by Robertino Diodoro before being claimed and injured. He ended his career with bone chips in his knees. Stubborn Streak may not be ridden but would make a wonderful companion horse. He has excellent ground manners and is very loving. Photo: Kari Ward