Champions Give Back
Purina and Hanson Grain
Smokey Chestnut Farm Rescue
Smokey Chestnut Farm is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide a home for horses (and other animals) in need and to provide quality care using conventional and alternative holistic methods and to collaborate with other like-minded organizations and to offer advice and support by way of designing and implementing educational opportunities to help further animal welfare awareness.
In November of 2019, it was brought to my attention that there was a 27-year-old Standardbred in a kill pen in Pennsylvania. What particularly struck me about this gelding was that he was 27 years old and still wearing four road shoes. For those of you who may not know the story of most Standardbreds, they quite often spend the first few years of their lives running races, and after they are determined to be done with that career, they are sold to the Amish communities for pulling buggies and carts on the farms and on the streets taking Amish families here and there. Here at Smokey, we have rescued several other Standardbreds, but most of these horses are in the kill pens by the early teen years. To find a horse who was nearly 30 years old who was still performing for the Amish was incredible. I knew he must be some kind of superhero!
When my transporter picked him up from the kill pen, she advised me to either quickly have him euthanized or get him to a hospital immediately because he was in such poor shape. I asked her to bring him to New Bolton Equine Hospital in Pennsylvania. Upon assessment, it was determined that for the most part his kidneys had already shut down, he had strangles, he had salmonella poisoning, he was terribly thin, and he had pneumonia. Knowing that this boy had such a will to live, I asked the medical team to make him comfortable and offer him fluids for 24 to 48 hours to see if he would respond with this type of support. Not surprisingly, he responded immediately and became brighter and more interested in his surroundings. Long story short, he stayed in the hospital for 5 weeks as he gained strength and he gained his health back. He came home to Massachusetts in January of 2020, thankfully before the pandemic set in. Over the course of time that he has been home at Smokey, he continues to get even healthier and even more handsome. The outcome of his case whether he lived or passed was a success in our opinion because we do not believe any horse deserves to be in a kill pen and sent to be slaughtered. We are, however, absolutely thrilled that he pulled through, and it is our honor to care for him and love him!