Written by Cheryl Hanna, Fundraising & Publicity Director for AC4H
This is the story of an Arabian horse breeder who lived in the country for 25 years enjoying life with his beloved horses. This elderly gentleman and his last 5 Arabians, 2 stallions and 3 mares; one possessing royal heritage of Jansul, resided in harmony and safety in what they thought was their forever home. Ranging in age from 12 - 22, the horses led idyllic lives, were trained for show and were taught to abide by hand signals and voice commands.
A few weeks ago, the life the owner, Mr. James Wright, knew and loved so well began to change drastically for him and his beautiful, dish faced, regal Arabians. The owner of the Pennsylvania farm where they lived informed Mr. Wright that he had lost his lease and that Mr. Wright and his Arabians had to vacate at once. With no one to take them and no place to go, Mr. Wright called a local broker for help. However, unknown to Mr. Wright was the fact that this broker also sold horses to slaughter.
On the day of the move as the horse trailer pulled up, Mr. Wright knew life would never be the same but he had no idea that things would go so wrong. Though this proud breeder might not have known what the future held, the horses could sense the tension in the air. The deal was made, with false promises of new homes, loving families and lush pastures. The broker began to load each horse on the trailer until the last horse, the one and only chestnut mare stumbled out of fear, refusing to load. She slipped, injured herself and sat at the back of the truck, as if to say “I give up”. She stared at her owner, at the one human she had known all her life with her huge black eyes, whinnying at him in despair. The truck moved slightly forward to help her load, but instead of getting up, she lay down on the bed of the trailer, mournfully crying and refusing to stand. Mr. Wright broke down and cried himself, but the deal was done. He could only hope that the horses would find new homes as he had been promised by the broker. Most people who sell to a broker can only dream the horse will find the perfect life again. Little did Mr. Wright know that his hope and dream was soon to become a nightmare for his beloved horses.
One week later, after going through the sales ring at New Holland Auction - the biggest killbuyer auction east of the Mississippi - a local broker purchased 4 of the 5 Arabians. Unless a buyer comes to the broker's farm and purchased these horses, their next stop will be to another auction in Ohio and from there more than likely a trip to the slaughterhouse. This however was not to be their fate.
Another Chance 4 Horses (AC4H), a non- profit , 501c3 horse rescue association located in Bernville, PA, assists horses in broker situations to find homes. Every week Christy Sheidy, Co Founder of AC4H, travels two hours to a broker barn, takes pictures, evaluates the horses in hand and under saddle and returns to her own farm full of rescues where she posts the pictures and stories as relayed to her on AC4H’s website. With over 25,000 unique visitors to the website monthly, hundreds of horses are given another chance to find homes. Often AC4H acts as an intermediary to help with placement of these horses, and sometimes the horses become part of AC4H.
Christy and her husband Rick also go New Holland Auction every Monday. They attend with funds donated to help buy at risk horses and also on the occasional tip of a horse to look out for. These horses are often someone’s pet like Mr. Wright’s or a stolen horse that they have been alerted to look out for going through the auction.
As the pictures of the Arabians appeared on the AC4H website and their story began to be known, the Friends of Barbaro (FOB), a group organized to honor the memory of Barbaro and committed to saving horses from slaughter, joined together with other supporters to raise the funds to purchase the 4 Arabians out of the broker’s lot. Plans were made to send the horses to a foster home on Tuesday and to take care of the horses needs while in foster care, including having the one remaining stallion gelded, their dental needs tended to along with farrier work. As these plans were made, tragedy struck. One of the gray mares fell gravely ill. The stress of her ordeal had been too much for her to bear and she did not live long enough to know the safety of foster care.
Mr. Wright saw the remaining horses at their new foster home today and the fate of his gray mare was not the worst news that he got. Unfortunately, the 5th Arab, the beautiful red chestnut stallion, IBM Jansul, who never left Mr. Wright’s farm until the day he was purchased by a broker/kill buyer was sent to slaughter. Apparently this elderly man very selectively bred his horses, and he bred for perfection; he found that perfection in the chestnut mare and the chestnut stallion and then stopped breeding. His life's work, pride and love just slaughtered.
Another Chance 4 Horses runs on public donations. These horses will need medical intervention before they are ready to be adopted. Please consider donating. You may call Christy at 610-621-5290 or mail donations to 166 Station Road, Bernville, PA 19506. Thank you for supporting horse rescue; one by one we are bringing them home.
Fundraising & Publicity Director
Another Chance 4 Horses