Friday Standing Ovation: Diamonds In The Rough Equine Rescue

Each Friday HN teams up with Ovation Riding to spotlight an individual or organization that is doing good work in the horse world. This week we salute Diamonds in the Rough.

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This week’s honoree:


Each week we recognize an individual or organization that is doing good work in the horse world. Today we salute Diamonds In The Rough Equine Rescue.

Located in Windsor, Virginia, Diamonds In The Rough lists its mission statement as “rescue, restore, retrain, rehome.” Lisen Ringer kindly took the time to tell Horse Nation about the rescue.

What is the story behind Diamonds In The Rough?  

Diamonds In The Rough became a nonprofit 501(3)(c) in 2011. Sonja Reuter had started working years before with other rescues out of North Carolina and felt the need for rescue in our area. One of her first rescues at Diamonds was a pony named Stormy. Stormy had been a child’s pony and when the child outgrew him he lived in the backyard tied to a piece of farm equipment that he had to pull around to get to grass. Stormy’s feet were overgrown and he could not walk on them. His spine had curved from pulling the equipment and he walked on only his back two feet. A vet was called out to put him down but when she saw him she saw the fight in his eyes and rescued him. The vet called Sonja, then Diamonds took him in where he became our mascot. Resident Stormy lived the rest of his three years very happy at Diamonds.

Stormy enjoying a nap in the grass. Photo courtesy of Diamonds in the Rough Horse Rescue.

Stormy enjoying a nap in the grass.

When horses come to you, what kind of situations are they coming from?

Most horses come from animal control seizures where they have been abused, starved and neglected. We also take in horses that owners can no longer afford to keep. We started a hay bank to help owners who are having a tough time by giving them hay in hopes they can work it out to keep their horses.

A big load of donation hay arrives at Diamonds in the Rough.

A big load of donation hay arrives at Diamonds In The Rough.

 What is your rehabilitation/rehoming process?

We have a trainer on staff and several volunteers that work the horses and evaluate them. Our goal is to make the horse more adoptable by training and making them rideable if they are able.


Diamonds In The Rough rescue General Lee has a very loving family and now calls Merry Oaks Stable his home.

How many volunteers do you have?

We have over 100 volunteers on record. Volunteers come and go as they please. They help with daily chores at the barn and the care of horses.

All kinds welcome!
All kinds welcome!
Do you have any upcoming fundraisers?

Our biggest fundraiser is the Haunted Barn every October. This is our third year. Last year we raised over $13,000 with the Haunted Barn, which paid off our veterinary bill. The haunted barn requires at least 30 to 50 volunteers to run each night it is open. The Haunted Barn is open this year on Friday and Saturday nights between October 10 and Halloween — more info here.

Anything else you would like people to know?

We support ourselves by fundraisers and donations. We don’t receive any money from state or government. Depending on funds we can have anywhere from 10 to 50 rescues at one time. You can make a donation online or learn about other ways to help out by visiting the Diamonds In The Rough website here.


We applaud the Diamonds In The Rough for the great work they do and encourage Horse Nation readers to visit their website and Facebook page to learn more.

Go Riding!

Many thanks thanks to Ovation Riding for their support of both Horse Nation and individuals and organizations that are doing good work in the horse world. If you know someone who deserves a Standing Ovation, we would love to recognize them in a future post. Email the name of the person or organization along with a message about the good work they do to [email protected]. Photos/videos are always welcome, and include a link to their website if applicable.


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