CLAY – Clay racehorse rescue organization Sunshine Horses is partnering with the EQUUS Foundation for a fundraiser that will benefit horses at home and in the wild. “Going Out for March,” which runs until April 3, seeks to raise money for the care of Sunshine’s mustang cross, March, who has Cushing’s disease and insulin resistance.
An anonymous donor to the EQUUS Foundation, a national non-profit organization that focuses on the welfare of horses, will match the first $25,000 raised in “Going Out for American Horses” campaigns across the country. These funds will be used to help the country’s wild horse population by promoting fertility control measures, protecting the ecosystem and providing a safe sanctuary or adoptive homes for the horses.
Sunshine volunteer Heather McCrone shared March’s story with the Star-Revue.
“She came to us two years ago. It was delivered by a woman who had a fire and unfortunately lost everything,” said McCrone, who has volunteered with Sunshine Horses since 2011.
While Team Sunshine immediately fell in love with March, she soon began to exhibit a number of health issues, including hoof and smelter issues, which occur when the area where the lamellae (coffin bones) attach to the hoof begins to break down. A number of conditions can cause founder, including Cushing’s disease.
Sunshine’s vet diagnosed March with Cushing and insulin resistance, and she was put on a low-starch diet and medication.
“She walks, runs – she’s back to her old horse persona,” McCrone said.
Although March was able to wean herself off some of her medication, she will still need special care for the rest of her life. That’s why Sunshine Horses joined the EQUUS Foundation’s Stepping Out fundraiser.
Participants can walk, run or ride at their own pace, when and where it suits them – safe from crowds and COVID. They collect pledges from friends and family for every “step” they take.
In addition to helping the horses, Stepping Out encourages participants to get outside and be active.
“With spring coming, who wouldn’t want to help themselves? Get out there and take a few steps,” McCrone said.
Last year, Sunshine volunteer Christie Muldoon raised over $650. She said she was delighted that the anonymous EQUUS donor would match the funds for the care of wild mustangs.
“There’s a certain level of spirit that comes with this breed of mustang,” Muldoon said. “And that spirit is reflected in our walk, a mustang cross, as it recovers from a painful illness.”
According to Wild Horse Foundation of America, the Federal Office of Land Management currently has about 45,000 wild horses and burros in paddocks and pastures on federal lands. The Wild Horses of America Foundation seeks to reduce the number of animals in federal captivity through the use of a immunocontraceptive called Porcine Zona Pellucida (PZP) and the creation of animal shelters.
“The use of contraception allows management of the growth rates of horse and donkey herds without using the disruptive herding and culling strategies that are commonly employed,” it reads. wildhorses.org.
McCrone said mustangs, which are descended from colonial Spanish horses first introduced to the Americas from 1493, are intelligent animals that can be trained to live in private sanctuaries and farms like Sunshine Horses.
“Their intelligence, their ability to survive, their ability to adapt is so deep inside them. A good trainer of natural riders can transform them in 10 days,” she said.
To register or donate for Stepping Out for March, visit sunhorses.org and click on Current Fundraisers.