May 11, 2018
Contact: Lynn Coakley
mail@equusfoundation.org | 203-259-1550

Zoey's Next Chapter Was Just a Hop, Step and Jump Away

When it came time for Zoey, Margaret Huber's 11-year old Welsh pony, to find a new home, the Huber family wanted to explore all the options available and turned to the EQUUS Foundation for advice. Even though a competitive career was still an option, the Hubers thought Zoey might be better suited as a companion, teacher and even a healer and wanted to consider donating her to an equine charity.

"It's important to recognize that there is a great disparity in horse care practices among equine charities," said Lynn Coakley, EQUUS Foundation President. The EQUUS Foundation is known for its unique and rigorous screening process that ensures donor confidence in the equine charities that receive financial support from the EQUUS Foundation each year. "There is no guesswork."

Stabled at the Fairfield County Hunt Club in Westport, Connecticut, it turned out that Zoey's next chapter was just a few steps away. Coakley reached out to nearby EQUUS Foundation Guardian, New Canaan Mounted Troop (NCMT), whose mission is to build leadership, responsibility and confidence in youth through sound horsemanship and to enrich the lives of individuals with special needs through equine assisted activities.

The horses at both Fairfield and New Canaan Mounted Troop are under the care of Fairfield Equine Associates, PC, founded in 1989 with a world-wide reputation as one of the finest equine medical practices in the world, making it very easy to share important health information on Zoey.

"NCMT is a great organization," said Robert T. Neff, VMD, one of the two owners of Fairfield Equine Associates, PC, and a 1995 Magna Cum Laude graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine.

Dr. Bob, as he is fondly referred to at NCMT, added, "NCMT provides horses a second career when they can no longer endure the rigors of competition. For other horses who may have never shown, it is an opportunity to serve an important role - that of a teacher or a therapist. Every horse who I have ever worked on has a special place in my heart. They all have their special qualities and characters."

Zoey "All of our horses and ponies are donated," said Sara Tucker, NCMT Executive Director. "We could not run our programs without them. Although many ponies and horses may need to step down from the show world, like Zoey, they can continue to lead productive lives and teach children and adults about horsemanship."

Zoey arrived at NCMT in early November 2017 for a 30-day trial. The trial period was to make sure that Zoey would be a fit for the NCMT program and enjoy her new surroundings and new friends.

"Zoey is cute, classy AND funny - and she knows it! She is a great teacher and very forgiving. Zoey challenges kids so they are always learning skills while enjoying their ride," continued Tucker.

"NCMT places a high priority on providing the best possible veterinary care to their horses and ponies while working within the constraints of a budget -- and Fairfield Equine Associates has always been there for them 24/7, 365 days a year," continued Dr. Neff.

Margaret Huber aboard Zoey at a Fairfield County Hunt Club horse show.
Alexi Goodman aboard Zoey at New Canaan Mounted Troop (NCMT).

"Zoey is a happy ending story. It's very fulfilling and rewarding as a veterinarian to be able to follow a patient throughout their lives and career moves.", added Dr. Neff.

"It can sometimes be quite challenging to maintain many of these horses as they come from diverse backgrounds and often have complicated histories. We hope that someday all horses will naturally transition from career to career and eventually to retirement and finally experience a peaceful end of life without being at risk for abuse and neglect.

I take the health and well-being of the horses and ponies in our care very personally. They are like family to me. They are a very special group of animals and I am honored to be their veterinarian."

"The work of veterinarians like Fairfield Equine Associates is critical to safeguarding America's horses throughout their lives," continued Coakley. "We are proud to count Fairfield Equine Associates as an EQUUS Foundation Partner. We depend on veterinarians, like those at Fairfield Equine, to help us carry out our mission to protect America's horses and strengthen the bond between horses and people.
Dr. Neff
Dr. Bob at home with his horse Levi

Our first 2018 "Next Chapters" event featuring adoptable horses and ponies from EQUUS Foundation Guardian charities will be held on Sunday, May 20th, the final day of the Old Salem Spring Horse Shows in North Salem, New York.

Stay tuned for the launch of the new EQUUS Foundation online platform - NEXT CHAPTERS - for horse lovers to connect directly with organizations that have horses who are ready for adoption AND with organizations that are looking for program horses.

The EQUUS Foundation's Annual Benefit Luncheon will be held on Saturday, June 23, 2018 in association with the Fairfield County Hunt Club June Benefit Horse Show, Tuesday-Saturday, June 19-23, 2018.

Guests will have the opportunity to enjoy our "Welcome to Summer" reception starting at 11:30 am, a fabulous auction with something for everyone, a delicious luncheon, and exclusive ringside seating for the $30,000 Fairfield Grand Prix. This exciting show jumping competition is the culminating event of the five-day show, the largest and most celebrated equestrian event in Fairfield County. Sponsor a class here.

About EQUUS Foundation: The EQUUS Foundation, a 501(c)(3) public charity established in 2002, also known as Horse Charities of America, the only national animal welfare charity in the United States 100% dedicated to protecting America's horses and strengthening the bond between people and 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: mail@equusfoundation.org, Website: www.equusfoundation.org.

About Fairfield Equine Associates: Fairfield Equine Associates is a leading hospital and referral clinic having served the equine community for over 25 years and having gained a world-wide reputation as one of the finest equine practices. Receiving national and international recognition for excellence in the care and treatment of the sport horse, Fairfield Equine has been proud to serve the United States Equestrian Team at multiple Olympic Games, the World Equestrian Games and many other notable events around the world. Fairfield Equine is committed to providing its clients with the most comprehensive diagnostic imaging and the highest caliber of veterinary care. The Fairfield Equine team consists of a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons, a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation, four veterinarians and a full-time fellowship veterinarian. Learn more about Fairfield Equine at www.fairfieldequine.com.

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