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‘Open barn’ event at Equamore Sunday

Woody, a Mustang who was abused after his capture in Nevada, left, and Chaps, who was wounded and near death, are two of the rescued horses at the Equamore Sactuary in Ashland. Photo by Denise Baratta

Refreshments and a meet-and-greet with stabled, rehabilitated equines will headline a free public event at Equamore horse sanctuary from 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday, July 10.

Attendees of the “Sanctuary Social Sunday” can expect cookies, cupcakes, wine, soda and possibly hors d’oeuvres, though Equamore founder and Executive Director Linda Davis said she hadn’t finalized the menu.

Davis said the nonprofit currently has 53 horses and three donkeys. Most are people-friendly and will be ready to meet visitors at 4723 Highway 66, Ashland. Most of the animals come to the sanctuary in bad shape.

“Almost all of them have no alternatives for their care,” Davis said.

Animals come to the facility from financially strapped owners or seizure operations of the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office.

The latest to come in, she said, was a 1 year old that had been left unfed in someone’s backyard. The horse came to the sanctuary “at death’s door,” Davis said. He’s healthy now.

Davis said she began boarding and training horses in 1975.

“I started taking in horses that had nowhere to go or nobody wanted to take,” Davis said. In 1991 she started a facility designed around caring for these horses, work that eventually became the Equamore Sanctuary.

“Our laser focus right now is getting all these horses sponsored,” Davis said.

Davis said the charity costs between $400,000 and $450,000 a year to run — money that comes from donations and a smattering of small grants. Davis said the sponsorship program could fund the entire enterprise.

“You feel connected to the horses when you do it,” Davis explained.

She said some donors choose to take on sponsorship of a horse independently, and some become part of a team of people caring for one animal.

Reach Mail Tribune reporter Morgan Rothborne at mrothborne@rosebudmedia.com or 541-776-4487. Follow her on Twitter @MRothborne.