MEET OUR VOLUNTEERS
Queen of Hearts Thoroughbred Retirement is a 501c3 nonprofit organization. We depend entirely on volunteers to help take care of the horses and maintain the facility. We are so grateful for all our volunteers!
Gerry has been volunteering at the farm since 2004. He currently works at Tampa Bay Downs in the winter as the Stakes Coordinator, and comes north to Monmouth Park and the Meadowlands Racetrack for their summer meets. When he worked at Suffolk Downs in the summer, Gerry was able to be with us at the farm as we began to work with thoroughbreds.
Whatever needed to be done he helped – clean paddocks of rocks and nails, muck stalls, feed and groom horses, trim tree branches, repair fences. He helped us train, cool down, bathe, and tend to injured horses. He is our go to guy for advice no matter where he is!
Elissa was about seven when she first started crossing the field from her house to ours. Spring, summer, fall, winter – Elissa was here. Muck stalls – okay. Brush horses – okay. Prepare their feed – okay. Play cards – okay. Walk the horses – okay. Sweep – okay. Ride the horses – really okay!
She was a daring young girl, a natural rider, and had great rapport with horses. All these qualities combined to bring Elissa to where she is today: training horses (her own too). Elissa is also very adept at diagnosing the medical needs of horses.
In college now, she is studying for a career in the field of equine management, and whenever she is home she is eager to help care for her equine friends at QHTR!
They have experience with horses and live minutes away, so they can be here for any emergency. When new baby Kelsey arrived, they helped, along with Gerry, to care for all the horses.
Sylvia walks the horses with Tamay on a weekly basis and she gladly gives horse rides to the little kids in the neighborhood! Always smiling, never complaining. . .
Rob’s son, Cameron, has helped with mowing and haying. Once, Cameron was the only person around for an emergency. He arrived with an axe and chopped large tree branches that had fallen into the back paddock area. He stayed until we could carry all the debris away.
Two or three times a year, hay is delivered to the farm. Rob is here directing volunteers and stacking hay for almost all of these deliveries.
Scott and his family have helped so much over the years. When we were first here, the back field was over grown with scrub bushes – four to six feet tall. Scott’s dad, Tom, was the person who cleared the field that year. Scott is the one who plows the fields encountering wasps and wild turkeys. We now use this area for cross country jumping and for walking and jogging the horses.
One late fall evening the entire family was here: Scott, his wife Annette and children, Aaron and Elizabeth In the rain, in the cold, and in the dark, they repaired a fence line with flashlights, car headlights, and gumption. Scott, Aaron and Elizabeth also come to load the hay.
Scott always helps to maintain the paddocks and fences. Please note that when Scott helps repair the fences, he also invents ways to make it easier.
Bob and Jamie
Bob and Jamie volunteer for us all the time! They have no set schedule and anything that needs doing becomes their area of expertise. Following storm damage to trees and fences, in the wind and rain, they are here. Not only here, but here with a large, hot pot of coffee!
When Bob helped Scott bring our largest fallen tree limb to our back field, our cross country area was much improved.
Bob also offers his carpentry skills when our horse stalls get chewed and kicked in.
What would we ever do without them?
Keiren is a volunteer who relates well with the horses. She has been learning how to train the horses, listening in on clinics. She helps exercise them in the ring, and walking along the road. Along with all this, she mucks stalls, sweeps, feeds hay to the horses, grooms them and fills their water buckets,
Most recently, Keiren has helped us show our retrained horses in jumping and dressage competitions by loading up the van, organizing tack, walking the horses and keeping them focused.
Her goal is to enter a dressage event with Cori.
Brianna is in High School and her father drives her here. He and her brother stayed one day to help prepare for a birthday party! Brianna has an interest in art as well and we hope to see more of her work!
In the future we are planning to implement some of the many fundraising ideas that Brianna has for us.
Andrew has been a volunteer for over two years. He helps maintain the stalls, clean out feed tubs and water buckets, cut caterpillar tents out of tree limbs, weed areas under fences, shovel lots of snow in the winter and repair plow damage along the driveway in the spring,
Let’s not forget he also helps with hay deliveries!
We can work with more horses when Andrew is here because he grazes them and cools them down. He also helped us this year by coming to horse shows.