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late afternoon, the horses relax inside their stalls in the shady, red-roofed barn at Eden Farm and a Jack Russel terrier bounces around, hoping to have a go with one of the barn cats.

The hot summer weather means more flies dart about, harassing horses and biting people who&

ve come by to check on the 15 Equamore horses that will live out their days on the 23.3-acre horse farm three miles southeast of Ashland.

Some evenings the horses are groomed or their feet get trimmed. On others, the animals just rest and munch on hay as they cool down from the five hours they spent playing and grazing in the fields during the morning and early afternoon.

&

They eat and play, and eat and play, and then they go to the beauty parlor,&

said Linda Davis, the founder of the Equamore Foundation and owner of Eden Farm who came to the area 30 years ago.

It&

s a good life for the 15 horses at the farm that have been rescued by Davis and the foundation.

&

They&

re just totally retired and in a really nice, caring environment,&

Equamore volunteer Arlene Dickinson said.

And it&

s a huge step from where the horses had been.

Some were malnourished, two had vision problems, others had infirmities and all had nowhere to go. They come from owners who can no longer care for them or from auctions where, had the Equamore Foundation not stepped in, the horses may have been sold for slaughter and served on a European dinner table.

&

They get here for different reasons,&

Davis said.

— Boogie is a 10-year-old appaloosa gelding who is — completely blind and partially deaf. His family could no longer care for — him and he would have been destroyed if not for the foundation. —

— Taz, the second horse by that name at the farm, — is a 28-year-old thoroughbred mare who came to the foundation suffering — from malnutrition and severe hind leg injuries. The injuries made it impossible — for her to walk. Even though she still has swelling in her hind legs, she — has improved and now runs, bucks and plays. Very little is known about her — past; she has a tattoo on her upper lip, which means she raced at least — once.

— — Happy was purchased in the fall of 2002 when she — was approximately 28 years of age along with her 32-year-old faithful companion, — Red Cloud. The Emerald Valley Rescue group in Eugene bought them at an auction — with the intention of taking Happy home and humanely having her put down. She was suffering from malnutrition, and neurological damage that affected — her coordination and left her almost completely deaf and blind. The group — brought her to the foundation, where she is now thriving.

— General UC (You See) Davis was found in the spring of — 1999 all alone in the mountains, tangled in brush and left by the herd. — He was only two weeks old and completely blind from bilateral cataracts. — Had a kind rancher not found him, he would not have survived. — The General now has vision in both eyes, thanks to eye surgery performed — at the University of California-Davis. The General is sponsored by a group of Equamore members and has been given — a permanent home at Eden Farm.

— Lord Sexton (Gabe) was born in 1998 in Kentucky. — In 2002, after a short career in racing, which took quite a toll on him — physically, he was purchased by a woman near Atlanta, who started his training — in jumping. Within three months, his left front fetlock started to swell — due to a severe arthritic condition in the joint. Gabe could no longer be — ridden and, in December of 2003, he was moved to Northern California with — a horse that had been purchased from the Georgia farm. Gabe went along as — a companion horse. At his new home Gabe injured himself again when he got — tangled in a fence, which resulted in scarring in both forearms. — He came to the foundation in April of 2005 and, in a short period of time, — Gabe&

s overall physical condition has improved tremendously in his — overall physical condition. — Gabe is sponsored by Jennie Spearin, Rachel Black and Elizabeth Wood. —

— Shooter was born in 1981. When he first came to — Eden Farm in 1992, he went through a series of owners who boarded him at — the farm. He spent some time living at Mountain Gate Stable, where he was — used as a lesson horse and trail horse before returning to the foundation — in October 2001 to retire because of some lameness issues. In November of 2003, Shooter was taken to Eugene to be a pasture pet for — another Equamore horse named Taz, but in April of 2004 he was again returned — to the foundation. Taz also returned to Eden Farm in October of 2004.

— Cosmo, a Dutch warmblood, was born in the Rogue Valley — in 1999. He began his dressage training and was sold to a new family — with hopes of continuing his training at the higher levels. — Unfortunately, he became unsound because of some problems in his hocks, — the large joints in his rear legs, and was given to the Equamore Foundation — in July 2005. He is a sweet, affable and a curious boy who, one day, may — become serviceable again.

— —

Tillie is from a local farm. Her owners said she — was a &

hard keeper,&

which meant that she didn&

t eat well — or couldn&

t keep weight on. As a result, at 28 years of age she had — become emaciated. — When Tillie first came to the foundation in August 2002, she was given — all of the food she could eat and she never stopped eating. She ate a — 50-pound bag of ground-up hay a day, as well as a senior supplement, a — high-fat race bran and beet pulp mash, plus a never-ending supply of nutritious — hay. — Within 16 days, the old dry coat of hair had fallen away to show a beautiful — dark coat on this little thoroughbred.

Red Cloud was purchased by the Emerald Valley Rescue — group in Eugene to protect him from being sent to slaughter. He has some — lameness issues and, because of his age, has out lived his teeth and needed — to be fed a special diet of ground alfalfa and grain hay. — He is stabled next to Happy, as they are inseparable. When turned out — into a field for exercise with several other horses, Red Cloud follows — Happy and looks after her.

— — SATURDAY'S EVENTS

— 2 p.m. &

Music by Continental Drift and Teri — Coté on drums — 2:45 p.m. &

Breed Parade part I, narrated by Arlene Dickinson — 3:05 p.m. &

Jumping demonstration by Karen Shears and Derek — Latty, narrated by Joan Latty — 3:20 p.m. &

Breed Parade part II, narrated by Arlene Dickerson — 3:35 p.m. &

Miniature horses with carts, a musical drill team — performance — 3:45 p.m. &

Introduction of Equamore horses and brief explanation — of what the Equamore Foundation is all about — 3:50 p.m. &

More music by Continental Drift and Teri Coté — on drum. The music will continue throughout the event, while raffles and — the silent auction take place — 4:30 p.m. &

Barn tour, guided by Maryline White — 6 p.m. &

Silent auction ends

— —

But General UC Davis, Tillie, Happy, Snoopy, Red Cloud, Taz, Shooter, Boogie and the others all stay because of the same benevolent spirit &

the decades-long history of horse rescue at Eden Farm.

&

I&

ve always been taking in horses,&

Davis said. &

You just can&

t turn them down.&

Creating a safe place

About 40 horses always live at the farm, which offers boarding services for horse aficionados without space for their animals at home. For the rescued horses, Equamore&

s guardianship enables them to recover from their ailments and live happy, safe lives.

On Saturday, the farm will host the third annual Equamore Summer Festival to benefit the foundation, which is supported entirely by donations and volunteers.

The daylong event opens at 2 p.m. with music by Continental Drift with Teri Coté on the drums; admission is free. Riding demonstrations, a breed parade, raffles and a silent auction will take place throughout the five-hour festival. Maverick&

s Steak House will be serving food and the barn will be open for tours, where people can meet the 15 horses the event will benefit.

All of the revenue generated by items sold in the auction or raffled off during the event will go directly to fund the keep of the Equamore horses. Only three of the 15 animals currently have sponsors, who donate $150 a month to fund the boarding and care of a horse.

&

What we&

re looking for are people to get together as individuals or as a group and sponsor an Equamore horse,&

Davis said.

The festival is one of several outreach efforts by the 30 people involved in the foundation. Members of the group are producing a documentary that shares the biographies of the Equamore horses and the impact of horses in human history that will play on RVTV. Others associated with the foundation have planned a speakers bureau that will take the video and the Equamore foundation mission to service organizations, schools and other groups.

&

We just want to get the word out about how important (it is) for horses who aren&

t serviceable to have a place to stay,&

Davis said.

Staff writer can be reached at 482-3456 x 3019 or jsquires@dailytidings.com.