Rescued horses spotlight November show
By SAMANTHA GOWEN
Charley, originally owned by country superstar Reba McEntire, was surrendered by another owner. Marcus, a former camp horse, once nearly starved to death before he was sent to slaughter.
Now they live with bountiful alfalfa and gentle caretakers.
Volunteers with the Hanaeleh Horse Rescue saved these horses and many more. The rescue group each year takes in neglected, abused or surrendered horses left to die or en route to a processing plant. Many of the animals, says president Elizabeth Zarkos, were highly bred champions and work horses that had outlived their uses in the race world or became too expensive as a family pet.
To help provide for these hungry foster “kids,” the nonprofit will host a horse show from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 6 at the O.C. Fair & Event Center.
Volunteers, including Cindy Brinkhaus, donate their time to the care and upkeep of these large, expensive and needy animals.
“A lot of people don’t understand the expense of keeping a horse,” says Brinkhaus, who has worked around horses most of her life. “The cost of hay has gone through the roof.”
While several of the horses eventually will find new homes, others will remain at the facility for the rest of their lives.
Brinkhaus says some of the horses have medical issues or tricky temperaments that make them difficult to place with new owners.
“It wouldn’t be fair to adopt the horse out” in those conditions, she says.
To help cover the costs of sheltering the horses, the rescue will put on a show for equestrian and animal fans. The event will feature the Imperial Knights, a performance group, pet adoption and vendors. Several of the horses from the sanctuary also will make an appearance.
The Imperial Knights, which feature all rescued horses, will perform full-contact jousting, sword fighting, and dressage.
Before the show, during intermission and afterward, animals from nonprofit rescues will be able to showcase their animals.
Participating rescues include Red Bucket Equine Rescue, Bethany’s Gait, Modjeska Ranch Rescue, Pugs ‘n’ Pals and the Siberian Husky Rescue.
General admission tickets are $20; children ages 12 and younger, seniors age 65 and older, and military personnel are $15. Children 5 and younger are free.
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