“Prevent A Rescue”
Meet our husband and wife co-founder team, Sheryl Fulop, DVM and Ken Lian, DVM. Both Sheryl and Ken have similar backgrounds in education and horses. They spent most of their childhoods in the Los Angeles area. Sheryl graduated from Kennedy High School and Ken graduated from Newbury Park High School. These areas were slowly becoming urbanized but still had a lot of their rural roots (ranches, farming, horses, etc.). Sheryl and Ken met in the San Fernando Valley in the 1980's at a horse ranch. Their mentor was a South Dakota horseman who grew up with range thoroughbred horses. They rode many miles in the hills of the San Fernando Valley on off-track thoroughbreds. Through their experiences with their mentor and his horses, they learned not only about the spirit, versatility and athleticism of the breed, they also became aware of the plight of thoroughbreds in the racing industry. During this time, they rescued numerous thoroughbreds off the track. At this point, they knew that they wanted to make more of a difference than just helping one horse at a time. Their journey would take them through graduate school (Sheryl received her Masters degree from Cal State Northridge and Ken received his Masters degrees from UCLA) veterinary school (both Sheryl and Ken attended the University of Minnesota), always keeping in touch with their thoroughbred roots. After receiving their veterinary degree, they returned to California to begin their professional lives. They had a small group of horses and were looking for opportunities to breed and race thoroughbreds. They witnessed how thoroughbreds, when raised and trained correctly, love to run and work. They also knew that to make a difference for racing thoroughbreds, they needed to be part of the industry that they loved. Over the next decade, they began documenting raising babies and rescuing horses. Their journey was very educational and they forged great friendships. Also, they were exposed to the dark side of the industry which only strengthened their resolve to make a difference. In the summer of 2010, they formed Thoroughbred Education Foundation, Inc. (ThoroughbredEd) with board members Bob Ferber, Tenna Hansen, and Theresa Black. The team’s collective backgrounds include thoroughbred racing, breeding and training along with veterinary medicine, animal welfare legislation, horse shoeing, natural horsemanship, show training and rescue. Sheryl and Ken recognized that having a multi-discipline team collaborating with thoroughbred racing provided the best opportunity to make the changes needed to reduce the number of “Unwanted Thoroughbreds”.