Friday Standing Ovation by Ovation Riding: Colorado Horse Rescue Network

Every Friday, Horse Nation teams up with Ovation Riding to spotlight an individual or organization doing good work in the horse world. Today, we recognize the Colorado Horse Rescue Network.

This week’s honoree:

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Nominated by Equestrians Anonymous forum user KariAM

The Colorado Horse Rescue Network, or CHRN, is a 501(c)3 rescue. CHRN is dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation, and retraining of horses in need and those at risk of entering the slaughter pipeline. CHRN educates owners to ensure long-term safe environments, and to prevent neglect, abuse, and backyard breeding. Whitney Applegate, a member of the CHRN Board, kindly took some time to answer our questions.

How does the network operate?

CHRN focuses on rescuing horses before they enter the slaughter pipeline.

CHRN operates primarily through a foster system. We have 2 facilities owned by board members in Berthoud, Colorado and Rush, Colorado. These facilities are their own personal residence, but also house a number of CHRN horses. Most of our horses are in foster homes throughout the state of Colorado. Foster-based rescue isn’t very common in horse rescue. We pre-approve foster and adoptive homes, so many times a horse can go straight to a foster home upon intake.

A wide number of volunteers work together using our Facebook forum to organize transportation and other logistics for rescuing horses throughout the state.

Calisto, before and after rescue.

Calisto, before and after rescue.

Where do the horses come from? Are they surrendered, are you working with animal control, or are you buying horses out of sales?

Horses come from a variety of situations.  Many horses are owner surrendered. We accept owner surrenders if we have available space at a facility or at a foster home and based on need. For instance, we will intake a horse who will have to go to the sale barn the following week due to an owner moving or a foreclosure before we will accept a horse whose owner simply doesn’t want to feed it anymore. We have to prioritize our intakes based on greatest need. We buy many “at-risk” horses from private parties, especially intact stallions of any age. We also frequent several low-end auctions in our area scouting for horses that need a second chance or in need of mercy euthanasia for health or soundness problems that are too far gone to repair.

Charlie, before and after rescue.

Charlie, before and after rescue.

What inspired the creation of the Colorado Horse Rescue Network?

His name is Luke! Luke was listed on Craigslist in a rural part of Laramie, Wyoming. That’s about two hours from me. He was listed a few times over a period of two weeks for free, with no takers. This was in December and our first real polar vortex was set to blow in in just a few days and he was listed again. I knew this horse would die during this cold snap so I had to figure out a way to get him.

My truck was in the shop and I had no one nearby to ask to borrow one. Through social networking, another client of my regular veterinarian volunteered to go get him and bring him back to her house in Wellington (about 45 minutes from me) and house him until I could get there to pick him up. The storm blew in that night, but Luke was snug in a deeply bedded box stall thanks to that woman named Kim. This inspired me to create this network to help rescue horses in Colorado and surrounding areas. Every little bit helps: a stall to spend a few nights, someone willing to trailer a horse a little closer, donate five bales of hay, an old winter blanket, et cetera. And that is why the network works!

Luke was adopted twice, but he was a high school and college rodeo horse for timed events for most of his life and is a bit quirky. Neither adoption suited him, so that last time he was returned, we kept him here. My daughter is 8 and barrel races on him.

Luke, at the time of rescue and today.

Luke, at the time of rescue and today.

Describe your rehoming process.

Potential adopters are asked to fill out an adoption application. After that, a home inspection is conducted. Once the adopter has passed the home check, they will out the adoption contract and can take the horse to their home or approved boarding facility. Upon rehoming, horses are all current on veterinary care, farrier care and dental care.

Morrison, before and after rescue.

Morrison, before and after rescue.

Where does your funding come from? Any upcoming fundraisers?

About 50% of our funding comes from private donations. The other 50% comes from grants awarded from different foundations and alliances that support the type of rescue we are doing. We participate in fundraisers, including ACTHA trail rides, tack sales and flea markets that volunteers attend with donated items to sell. We have several events per year, and we held a gymkhana on September 13, 2015 at Triple C Stables in Fort Lupton, Colorado. This included a jackpot speed trail course and a “rescue only” halter class.

Bandera, before and after rescue.

Bandera, before and after rescue.

If you’d like to learn more about the Colorado Horse Rescue Network, we encourage readers to visit the organization’s website as well as “like” the CHRN on Facebook. If you are interested in joining the Network, check out the closed Facebook group here.

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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