The Horse Fund Announces Rebranding and New Board Members


The Horse Fund is pleased to announce that, as part of their mission to provide safe and secure retirements for Thoroughbreds affiliated with Wasabi Ventures Stables (WVS), they will now be known as the Wasabi Aftercare Fund.

This decision to rebrand aligns with the organization’s commitment to horses that are bred and/or raced by Wasabi Ventures Stables in an effort to more clearly define their mission via their name and branding. 

“Although this has been the organization’s focus since launching in 2021, the name has not clearly conveyed that,” said Michele Pesula Kuegler, who has served as the executive director of the organization since its inception. “This change cements our role as an aftercare advocate for WVS horses and clearly defines our mission in three words.”

Outside of the change in name, there will be no other alterations. Kuegler will continue in her role overseeing the organization’s fundraising efforts and tracking every horse that has been part of the WVS roster, assisting former Wasabi runners as needed in their transition from racing to a second career. 

“Aftercare has always been a prominent part of the Wasabi Ventures Stables ownership experience, and this adjustment to their nonprofit organization’s name will better represent the lengths to which they go to support and protect their horses,” said Jen Roytz, the Wasabi Aftercare Fund board’s vice president.

Board additions

In addition, the organization announced the appointments of Jessica Paquette and Brit Vegas to their board of directors. Paquette is the track announcer at Parx Racing in Pennsylvania and a lifelong equestrian. She has a professional background in broadcast journalism, communications and Thoroughbred aftercare. Vegas is a professional trainer who specializes in restarting Thoroughbreds for equestrian sports under the banner of her Royal Fox Stables. In addition, she manages her husband’s sport horse veterinary practice and has campaigned her own horses through the Intermediate level of eventing. They join previous board members Kuegler (President), Jen Roytz of Brownstead Farm (Vice President), and George Adams of Housatonic Bloodstock (Secretary) in governance of the organization.

The Wasabi Aftercare Fund (WAF) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that works to ensure that all WVS horses have successful retirements from racing, whether they are still in their barns or not. Through fundraising, WAF assists in the retirement of racehorses, as well as privately purchases WVS horses for retirement. Since their inception, they have assisted in the retirement of 29 horses. Included in that number are ten horses privately purchased from other owners for the purpose of retirement.