Rainey’s Corner sponsors benefit for neglected horses

Founded 20 years ago by executive director,  Linda Davis, Equamor Foundation is  probably the West Coast’s oldest organization devoted to horse rescue. According to Equamor  volunteer, Colleen DuMont, every horse has a story. On March 26 at Sams Valley Elementary School, she addressed scores of area residents at a fundraiser presented by Rainey’s Market.

“True, some equines suffer extreme neglect and abandonment through callous human indifference,” DuMont continued. “These might come to us via Sheriff’s confiscations. We received one animal seized in a meth raid. He’d been living in a dog cage for two years, and near starvation.”

“Others may have owners who love horses, but simply have no ability to care for them. People unexpectedly fall on financial hard times, or severe health problems of their own.”

She then spoke of the Oregon Hay Bank. This non-profit entity, has worked with Humane Society rescuers to furnish hay that aids eligible horse owners through rough times. “We sorely lack money to buy this feed. $12 provides  the equivalent of  100 lbs. ”

DuMont  showed “before and after” photos indicating it took 45 hay bales to bring a stallion from near starvation to good health over a six month period.”

Among a team of volunteers present, Gene,  Debra Ziesmer, and business partner, John Tepper donated eleven tons of hay upon learning about the Ashland based Equamor Foundation.  One of the March 26 event’s co-sponsoring companies, Tepper Innovations,  produces custom made halters plus other livestock and pet items sold at Rainey’s.

Chloe Ellis, Rainey’s manager, introduced Purina Company Representative, Stash Easton, who addressed elder horse nutrition. He also praised Ellis and Rainey’s as “Top Notch” in the local community.

Equamor’s veterinarian, Dan Cochran, D.V.M., answered the question of  how much a 1,000 lb.  horse should eat. “Since the rule of thumb is 1.8 to 2 % of body weight, that means 18 to 20 lbs. per day. When it comes to supplements, keep it simple. Some supplements are worthless.”

The headliner for the evening, “Leapin’ Louie” David Lichtenstein provided non-stop entertainment in an act that included wry humor, original rope tricks, unicycling, juggling, whip cracking, chair balancing, accordion playing, and magic illusion. The Portland resident occasionally jumped off the stage onto the gym floor to recruit “assistants.” One adorable blonde child, Jade West, followed his deliberately inane impromptu choreography instruction so well, audience members believed she was part of the show’s cast.

“This is my first appearance in Sams Valley, Oregon,” announced Lichtenstein, a certified elementary school teacher. In a private interview after the show, he said that in 2008 he toured with Clowns Without Borders to nine foreign countries and nine U.S. states. He recently returned from Haiti, where he’d  stayed in a “high-class, 4-star canvas tent.”

He urged the spectators to support Equamor’s horse rescues with tax-deductible donations. Please visit www.equamore.org, Also to donate to the Oregon Hay Bank, please view www.oregonhaybank.org.

By F. C. Blake
Of the Independent

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