2019 Platinum Performance
Horse Welfare Awards

Nickname: Fiona
Birth Year: 2000. Gender: Mare. Breed: Quarter Horse.
Affiliated with Horse Helpers, Inc

Fiona was rescued in 2013. She was thin and suffering from lack of care for sarcoidosis and pedal osteitis. For the first year she struggled to walk comfortably and we worked hard to build up her hoof. We had the huge tumors removed surgically (one was grapefruit size the other about the size of an orange) and then she had a year's worth of chemotherapy. We also had to take her away from her baby with no warning because the owner wouldn't give up the baby. Fiona's problems meant she would likely never be adopted but surprisingly she made a job for herself at the farm and has become indispensable. She welcomes all new horses into the herd of rescues and insures they are not bullied and transitioned smoothly. We never worry about how a new rescue will be integrated into the herd because of her strong and kind leadership. She is also the most important of our horses for equine assisted activities. She has a sixth sense about how much or how little to push our at-risk youth when doing activities, at liberty, in the ring. And I know, no matter how irritated she might get, that she would be the last horse to be reactive with the kids. Finally, she is a star in a book about the farm called Chester's Barn. We take our miniature horses into schools with the book to teach about horses and human-animal bonds. The thousands of children who have met Fiona in the book become so excited to meet her for real when they visit the farm and she lovingly greets each one. Fiona is not your typical sweet laid back mare. She was used as a barrel horse and she is spicy, strong willed, and opinionated. That is what makes her kindness all the more significant, she is not kind because she doesn't know any other way to be. She is kind because she is truly kind and makes the choice to engage with someone. She is quite an amazing mare. Fiona was diagnosed last year with liver stones and she was very uncomfortable and depressed. The medication did not work and so now we are left with keeping her comfortable. We focus on nutrition and supplements to keep her immune system boosted and she is again comfortable, engaged and happy. She looks fabulous. Her health waxes and wanes though and she needs even more supportive care for her immune system. It is unclear how much longer she will be comfortable and engaged with the farm's activities but for now we are determined to do everything we can to support her health and quality of life. She has given so much to all of us we want to insure she gets everything she needs.

Relationship of Nominator to Nominee
I am the executive director of Horse Helpers and was the person who picked this mare up from her previous home and have been part of her transformation, watching her grow and age, feel better, and then feel sick again. -- Amy Hudnall

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