June Community First Saturday Benefiting OPEN

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Join us in supporting Olympic Peninsula Equine Network (OPEN) by making purchases or donating directly during our “Community First Saturday” event on Saturday June 2nd, 2018. OPEN representatives will be present at both stores and are bringing a mini horse, educating people on their outstanding non-profit and selling tickets to their fundraising dinner, auction and barn dance, with music by the Buck Ellard Band. The fundraiser will be held at the grand opening of Foxbell Weddings and Celebrations! If you can’t drop by and purchase your tickets in person, call Mike Vaillancourt @ 714-222-0755

Funds raised at the stores will be used to assist in daily maintenance of rescued horses, the construction of additional horse shelters, infrastructure, paddocks and property drainage at OPEN’s property in Sequim.

We chose Olympic Peninsula Equine Network as a Community First Saturday recipient because we are aware that the expense and labor of taking care of horses in need can be monumental.  Angeles Millwork and Hartnagels felt that the opportunity to support and build awareness for the only horse rescue in Clallam County was essential in our mission for Community First Saturday. OPEN is in great need for additional working funds and always looking for likeminded horse lovers that can be devoted volunteers.

According to information published by The Humane Society of the United States, approximately 100,000 horses are sent every year to slaughter facilities in Canada and Mexico. And the USDA has documented that “92.3 percent of the horses sent to slaughter are in good condition and are able to live out a productive life.”

The goal of OPEN is to rescue as many of those at-risk horses as possible, and help if even in a small way, reduce the number of horses that are unnecessarily killed.

Officially a non-profit in 2012, OPEN was created after Valerie Jackson and Diane Royall spent years together, rescuing, rehabilitating and re-homing at risk horses.  In the beginning, the pair did whatever they could, paying for expenses out of their household budgets and on many occasions having to purchase horses outright in order to save them. OPEN evaluates the needs of each horse they rescue, giving it feed, veterinary and hoof care, and sometimes just time to recover from any traumas. OPEN is not a sanctuary, the goal is for all animals to eventually find good new homes or if their riding days are behind them, place them in long term foster care.

OPEN cares for the horses at their facility in Sequim, that after years of hard work and generous donations has grown from a 3-acre plot of raw land to a cross fenced facility with covered paddocks, hay shelter, offices and a new tack store. The tack store features donated horse related items and tack, it is open to the public and provides funding support for ongoing expenses.

To support older and semi-retired horses, OPEN created a Golden Retirement program.  When horses are deemed ready, they look for long term foster homes where as companion or light riding horses they stay under OPEN’s nonprofit umbrella and their expenses can be considered a donation to the rescue. These horses can seriously deplete the resources of any rescue, but they are worth their weight in gold as teachers and companions and deserve a stress-free retirement.

Several times a year OPEN hosts a public Equine Vet Clinic in an effort to keep routine vet care affordable.  At these clinics the vet provides care such as vaccinations, tooth floats, castrations, x-rays etc. OPEN has found that helping a horse owner through a rough financial time can sometimes make it possible for a horse to remain with its owner, rather than being given up to a rescue or sold at auction, which is how most horses enter the Kill Pen (slaughter) pipeline.

OPEN recently joined LARRG, Local Animal Rescue and Recovery Guidance Team, run by the Clallam County Sheriff. The program is designed to help deal with displaced animals in the event of a natural disaster. OPEN can offer assistance with temporary containment and with the help of local Back-Country Horseman groups, could have a dozen horse trailers ready to go within hours in case of emergency or evacuation situation.

One of many happy stories from Olympic Peninsula Equine Network

Six Lives Saved by Valerie Jackson, OPEN president

On a cold Saturday morning in January, Diane Royall, our ranch manager and I left Sequim at 3a.m. with my horse trailer in tow, intent on making the long drive to Sunnyside, Washington, on the other side  of the state.  We had a strict 9 a.m. appointment with a kill buyer. If we weren’t there in time, he said we would have to come back on Tuesday, and there was a chance the horses we wanted might have been shipped to a slaughter plant in Canada.  We had raised enough money to save two horses, and we brought more cash of our own to possibly save two more.    We not only made the meeting in time but managed to stuff 4 horses into my 3 horse trailer. Two of the mares were pregnant, so in the end we saved 6 lives that day.  Vannah was one of those mares, and she gave birth to a healthy colt in May.

Mark it down on your calendar, set a reminder on your phone and gallop on down to Angeles Millwork or Hartnagel Building Supply, Saturday June 2nd, and shop with a purpose.  Community non-profits help to keep our communities whole, profitable and productive. But it can’t be done without everyone’s help. Your participation matters!

Want to know more about the Olympic Peninsula Equine Network?

  • You can Donate directly on their website HERE
  • Follow them on their Facebook Page HERE
  • Visit their website HERE
  • Contact them directly at HERE
  • Or Call @ 360-207-1688