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EQUUS Foundation & Animal Planet Provide Hope for Horses and Humans

WESTPORT, CT - October 8, 2012 - Empowerment and healing are essential elements created when a chemical reaction occurs — especially a chemical reaction between a human with special needs and a horse that needs a new home.

EQUUS Foundation, a non-profit organization that helps horses heal people and improves the quality of life for horses, assists in this alchemy. That chemistry is displayed in the graphic and tagline, "Rescue, Re-Train and Re-Home", selected by the EQUUS Foundation for its participation in Animal Planet’s R.O.A.R (Reach Out. Act. Respond) matching campaign at www.animal.discovery.com/roar.

The EQUUS Foundation is one of just seven leading animal welfare organizations that were invited to participate to receive matching donations from Animal Planet and bonuses for the:
• Top Monthly Fundraiser – Dollar Amount ($2,500);
• Most Unique Number of Monthly Donations ($2,500);
• Highest Number of Shares on Facebook ($2,500) each month; and
• Loudest ROAR Heard by Judges ($2,500).

"A Picture Speaks A Thousand Words - In This Case, Three Pictures!"
"We are so grateful to Animal Planet for not just the opportunity to raise funds on behalf of horses and people in need, but also the opportunity to raise awareness of the plight of unwanted horses in the United States - on the one hand - and the incredible therapeutic power of horses - on the other," said Lynn Coakley, EQUUS Foundation President.

"The best way to tell our story," continued Coakley, "is to tell the stories behind the photos in our graphic, Rescue, Re-Train, Re-Home." Royal is a horse that was rescued and rehabilitated by Days End Farm Horse Rescue in Woodbine, Maryland, and Eliza shown aboard Blueberry is a student at the Hoofbeats Therapeutic Riding Center in Lexington, Virginia. Both organizations are grant recipients of the EQUUS Foundation.


Royal - Before & After

Royal Rescued by Days End

Royal Rehabilitated by Days End

Royal came to Days End Farm Horse Recue in April of 2011. He had been locked in a stall in Prince George County, Maryland, surrounded with three feet of urine-soaked manure. A ramp had to be built into the waste to get him out the door.

Once he was out, the severity of Royal’s neglect became evident. He was desperately malnourished and rated a 1 out of 9 on the Henneke Scale and his hooves were so neglected he had “slipper feet,” a condition in which the hoof resembles a Persian slipper that may be synonymous with chronic laminitis.

"Royal had to undergo several months of intensive care to improve his body condition," Days End Founder and Executive Director, Kathleen Schwartz-Howe said. "Gradually, his comfort level greatly improved until he no longer had to spend more of his time lying down to rest his sore feet."

Then, Royal began enjoying daily turnout sessions. His feet will always require front shoes, but he is pasture sound and is being ground trained with the hope of being lightly ridden some day.

"This boy’s a fighter and we hope he is able to have a happy, healthy life after more than a year of rehabilitation," continued Schwartz-Howe. "He is known around the farm for having a very opinionated personality and is dearly loved."

Royal is awaiting his next re-homing to his forever home.

The before and after photos of Royal were provided by Days End Farm Horse Rescue. For more information about Days End Farm Horse Rescue, visit www.defhr.org/.


ROAR Now!
There's only 24 days to go!


To learn how you can help people with special needs and their horses, like Eliza and Blueberry, or provide assistance for horses like Royal, visit www.equusfoundation.org.

Before October 31, 2012, help us put Horses on the top of the leader board. click and share this link with all of your friends and family: http://www.facebook.com/sharer/sharer.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.globalgiving.org%2Fprojects%2Frescue-retrain-and-re-home-horses-to-heal-people%2F&t=Rescue%2C+Retrain+%26+Re-Home+Horses+to+Heal+People

Or Give at www.equusfoundation.org/ROAR!

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Eliza & Blueberry

Eliza & Blueberry at Hoofbeats Therapeutic Riding Center

Eliza has been with Hoofbeats Therapeutic Riding Center for more than 10 years. She has Down Syndrome and started the program with someone leading her horse while two walkers flanked her as she sat astride. In the fall of her first year at the program, she participated in a Therapeutic Riding Association show where her outgoing personality and natural talent won her new friends and supporters.

"A star was born," exclaimed Carol Branscome, Hoofbeats’ Instructor Program Director and Head Instructor.

Meanwhile, Blueberry, who belongs to Hoofbeats Board Member Tenny Mudge, came to the program to be evaluated for membership in the therapy herd. Blueberry was not in need of a new home, but he was perfect for the program and is now a specialist for riders with hyperactivity and panic disorders.

"When Eliza came to meet the new horse, she was immediately drawn to him and he was very interested in her," Branscome said.

Branscome added that once the two started working together, they progressed at an amazing rate. In just one season, Eliza went from requiring the help of leaders and side walkers while at the walk and trot to performing semi-independently. She was also able to groom Blueberry, tack him up and care for him after her rides—all independently.

"That year, they went as a new couple to the VMI Games Special Olympics competition at the Virginia Horse Center and won three gold medals in Equitation, Dressage and Musical Freestyle," Branscome continued.

That prompted a heart-to-heart talk between Eliza’s instructors and her parents. She was winning everything at her level and it was time to move up, but the step was a giant leap. It meant a big commitment and a level of risk for her and for Blueberry. The gelding would have to safely carry Beard at the walk and trot with no assistance in a group of unfamiliar horses and riders.

"There was no hesitation," Branscome exclaimed. "The answer was 'Yes!'"

Eliza and Blueberry practiced rising trot and changes of rein, circles and safe ring etiquette, transitions, and traveling down the centerline to a balanced halt.

Two years later in the spring of 2011, team Blueberry and Eliza debuted at the B1 Independent Level at the VMI Special Olympics Equestrian venue and they continued to the TRAV Show in October of that year in the Independent Walk/Trot Division for Equitation, Dressage, Musical Freestyle and Trail.

Eliza is now a member of the Hoofbeats Drill Team and has her eye on jumping and competing in open classes in shows offering classes for disabled riders.

The photo of Eliza and Blueberry was taken by Katy Baron, a former rider with Hoofbeats. Eliza had just performed her musical freestyle for Katy after halting on the centerline when she spontaneously raised her fist in pure joy.

For more information about Hoofbeats Therapeutic Riding Center, visit www.hoof-beats.com/

About The EQUUS Foundation

The EQUUS Foundation, a 501(c)(3) public charity established in 2002, also known as Horse Charities of America, is dedicated to improving the quality of life of horses, advancing the use of horses to enrich the lives of people in need and educating the public about the horse’s unique ability to empower, teach and heal. What started as a local effort is now a nationwide campaign on behalf of horses. The Foundation accomplishes its mission by providing financial support to horse-related charities across the United States; connecting a network of equine organizations to equine enthusiasts; providing scholarships to reward volunteer service on behalf of horses, and conducting information outreach to educate the public about horses. Donations are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law. Contact The EQUUS Foundation, Inc., at 168 Long Lots Road, Westport, CT 06880, Tele: (203) 259-1550, E-Mail: equus@equusfoundation.org, Website: www.equusfoundation.org.

About Animal Planet Media

Animal Planet Media (APM), a multi-media business unit of Discovery Communications, is the world's only entertainment brand that immerses viewers in the full range of life in the animal kingdom with rich, deep content via multiple platforms and offers animal lovers and pet owners access to a centralized online, television and mobile community for immersive, engaging, high-quality entertainment, information and enrichment. APM consists of the Animal Planet television network, available in more than 96 million homes in the US; online assets http://www.animalplanet.com, the ultimate online destination for all things animal; the 24/7 broadband channel, Animal Planet Beyond; Petfinder.com, the #1 pet-related Web property globally that facilitates pet adoption; and other media platforms including a robust Video-on-Demand (VOD) service; mobile content; and merchandising extensions.