When Patricia Yeretzian's beloved stallion, an American quarter horse named Three Qtr Bars, suffered a bowed tendon at the San Francisco Cow Palace horse show in 1974, the equine enthusiast knew her horse's days of competing were over. Yeretzian also knew the best place she could receive treatment for her horse was at the William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital Equine Clinic at UC Davis.
The quality of care that Three Qtr Bars received at the equine clinic exceeded Yeretzian's expectations.
Thanks to the skilled veterinarians there, Three Qtr Bars underwent a successful surgery and recovered enough to be ridden in the pasture and enjoy a long life; he died in 1993 at age 30.
"UC Davis took such good care of him, and I appreciate what they did for him," said Yeretzian, who grew up on her family's cattle ranch in Sacramento. "We'd like to see that good work continue, which is why we included the School of Veterinary Medicine in our estate planning."
Yeretzian and her husband, Paul, made their gift through a charitable remainder unitrust (see sidebar). Their planned gift will fund an endowment in the School of Veterinary Medicine's Center for Equine Health that will support research on equine reproduction and infertility.
Yeretzian recognizes the importance of this type of research. In addition to showing horses, she also bred horses and understands the importance of a strong bloodline. Three Qtr Bars, for example, sired several champion horses, including the World Champion Working Cow Horse and Open Bridle Horse Champion named Blackhawk Willy, and a California Reined Cow Horse Association year-end Green Bridle Champion finalist called My Sweet Melody.
Yeretzian said she and her husband wanted to support the Center for Equine Health because of its dedication to advancing the health, well-being, performance and veterinary care of horses through research, education and public service.
"UC Davis is very progressive and on the cutting edge in the way they treat animals and the research they are doing. The only way the school can continue this work is if people donate, especially now," said Yeretzian. She is a member of the veterinary school's Silver Stirrup Society, a group of devoted horse enthusiasts who provide financial support to the Center for Equine Health, and The Heritage Society for Animals, a group of supporters who have made planned gifts to benefit the school. "We gave because we want to ensure the university continues its good work."
In addition to the couple's planned gift to the Center for Equine Health, which will provide future support to the center in perpetuity, the Yeretzians were also interested in seeing the results of their gifts now. For this reason, they make regular annual contributions to support current research at the center.
"The type of research that the Yeretzians are supporting is not only important to California's large and growing horse industry, but also to the thousands of horse enthusiasts who enjoy breeding, showing and riding these wonderful animals," said Gregory Ferraro, director of the Center for Equine Health. "The Yeretzians have been great friends to the center. Their generosity will help the center continue its great work now and into the future."