May 18, 2009 -- Last year, in response to the plight of abused and neglected horses, the Kentucky Horse Park created the John Henry Memorial Equine Adoption Fair to provide assistance to organizations involved in rescuing them. "Last year's adoption fair was such a big success, we knew it was something that we wanted - and needed - to do again this year," stated John Nicholson, Executive Director of the park. "Horses are the sole reason the Kentucky Horse Park exists and they have provided a living for hundreds of park employees for 31 years. We intend to return the favor by using this opportunity to improve the lives of some horses who haven't been as fortunate as the ones who live and compete at our park. "We believe that it is very important to make a statement to the world about the priority we give to equine welfare. Our adoption fair may be a rather humble event, but has certainly made a difference in the lives of the unwanted horses who were adopted and the starving horses who were fed as a result, and our goal is to assist even larger numbers of horses this year."
The John Henry Memorial Equine Adoption Fair on June 27 at 4:30pm is named in memory of the park's beloved former resident, the legendary racehorse John Henry, and will be held in partnership with the Kentucky Horse Council. The adoption fair will feature adoptable horses from several equine rescue organizations, in an effort to assist these organizations in finding good homes for their rescued horses. The adoption fair will also include a live and silent auction, and all proceeds will benefit the Kentucky Horse Council's Save Our Horses (SOHO) fund, which has already saved the lives of many horses and ponies across the Commonwealth of Kentucky this year and last through its emergency horse hotline. The SOHO fund provides financial support for food and veterinary care when an agency or county cares for a horse that has been confiscated due to its poor condition. In addition, the fund provides an Equine Abuse Investigation Class to train local officials on how to successfully identify horses that need help, and how to ensure prosecution when it is warranted. Last year, the inaugural John Henry Memorial Equine Adoption Fair netted more than $16,000 to assist abused and neglected horses through SOHO. The public is invited to attend the adoption fair. Nicholson concluded, "The Kentucky Horse Council and these equine adoption organizations are out there on the front lines every day, battling to save the animals who have made Kentucky the Horse Capital of the World. We want to come alongside them in their life-saving mission and make it a little easier for them to continue their work on behalf of horses."
For more information, contact Cindy Rullman, 859-259-4209 or Cindy.Rullman@ky.gov. To watch a video about the life-saving work being done by the Kentucky Horse Council through their SOHO fund, click on www.kentuckyhorse.org/SoHo_PSA.shtml