February 14th is a day to celebrate love.

February 14, 2024 would have been beloved Vallelujah’s fifth birthday.

Today, we ask all who loved her and who loved the people who loved her, to consider a gift in memory of this beautiful racehorse who took so many people for a joyful ride throughout her racing career.

“We’re still unsure why Val left us so early, but we want to support a legacy for her that encompasses compassion, resilience, courage, trust, and love.  As her breeder and owner, I believe what she gave us reflects the mission and values of Therapeutic Horses of Saratoga.” – Dr. Carolyn Karlson

In a beautiful gesture by Carolyn, all gifts in any amount given to Therapeutic Horses of Saratoga through this memorial fund will be matched (up to $5,000) to double their impact on the THS special veterinary care fund for the horses who are healing humans at THS.

Give a Gift in Memory of Vallelujah

Celebrating Love!

An opportunity to give a gift to celebrate the legacy of Vallelujah!

Dr. Carolyn Karlson believes that horses make our lives better and she believes in the work of Therapeutic Horses of Saratoga.  As a passionate owner of Thoroughbred racehorses, Carolyn understands how important it is to provide a loving, caring home for her horses when their racing careers are over.  Carolyn is one of the founders of the Retired Racehorse Project/ Thoroughbred Makeover and remains a Board Member Emeritus. She is renowned through the racing industry for her dedication to Thoroughbred Aftercare and has thoughtfully placed each of her horses in their own unique “happily ever after” when their racing days have ended.

In collaboration with her friend, Jeff Deets of East Avenue Racing, Carolyn brought together a very special group of Saratoga racing fans to join her on a journey that began in the strange days of Spring 2020.  As a hardy group of friends gathered that year to watch the morning workouts on the Oklahoma through the fence on East Avenue, Carolyn was inspired.  She invited her friends to join her as partners in a filly she owned that would enable them to participate in their cherished routines on the backstretch despite the many challenges and limitations of COVID protocols at the track.  The filly had been born on Valentine’s Day and her name was Vallelujah.

The story of this special horse and her wonderful collection of owners, the East Avenue Racing Partners, was a beautiful one… and it carried those friends through the thrills of a wonderful racing career. In 21 starts, “Val” achieved 3 firsts, 2 seconds and 1 third and earned more than $200,000 in purse winnings.

In February 2024, Vallelujah would have had her fifth birthday and would soon begin her second career as a broodmare. Sadly, fate had different plans. Days before her birthday, Carolyn received the terrible news that Vallelujah had died from an undetected ailment.  Her passing was sudden and painless, but tragic and shocking for Carolyn and all who loved Val. 

In the days following Val’s passing, Carolyn reached out to the team at Therapeutic Horses of Saratoga (THS) to ask if we might help her create a lasting legacy for her beloved Vallelujah with a generous gift of support for our work “helping horses and healing humans”.

Carolyn has made a leadership gift to the THS in honor of Vallelujah which we hope will inspire other racing owners and she has also offered us a special matching grant gift to help us grow our special veterinary care fund.  Thanks to Carolyn, each gift given in honor of Vallelujah will be matched to double the impact on our THS special veterinary care fund.  

We hope you will join us in this celebration of love!

Click here to read more about the East Avenue Racing Stable and the joyful journey they took together, riding on the back of their beautiful bay mare, Vallelujah.

About Carolyn Karlson, PhD

As President of Starting Gate College Consulting, Carolyn Karlson, Ph.D. has 25 years of experience in higher education, having worked as a professor, academic advisor, program director, and graduate school dean.

She holds a Ph.D. from Michigan State University, an MS from Columbia University, and a BA from Simmons College.

Her academic appointments include Tulane University, the University of Notre Dame, College of Notre Dame of Maryland, and the University of Maryland College Park. Dr. Karlson is also an associate member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA).