rescued by CANTER of Michigan, one of the many agencies we were able to help
this year, is now a successful three day event horse for his new owner Mary Hejna.
Here is his story in the words of Jo Anne Normile
Caring People Make It Happen for Make It Happen
In December of 1999, our racehorse placement program, CANTER, was notified
by an email from a caring individual that a
Michigan children's camp had traded a Thoroughbred ex-racehorse for some construction
work and ultimately that person traded
the horse for a pony that was going to slaughter. Make It Happen took the pony's
place on the trailer and started his horrific
journey towards a slaughterhouse.
By the time CANTER received notice of this transaction, eleven days had passed.
Was it too late? CANTER immediately contacted
Shane Spiess, Michigan's leading Thoroughbred trainer in the year 1999, and he
readily agreed to help and would put out the
word about the "bounty" being offered by CANTER for Make It Happen.
Shane began his search for Make It Happen by contacting
the initial horse dealer/trader and reported back to CANTER that Make It Happen
had sold for $390 at a Kentucky meat sale to the
Bel Tex Slaughterhouse and was in a holding pen with many other unfortunate horses
awaiting the arrival of the transport.
Encouraged only by the reward being offered, the original horse trader went all
the way to Kentucky and Make It Happen was
rescued from the holding pen. He brought him to the Shipshewanna auction parking
lot where a CANTER volunteer met him and
paid him his "bounty" and "Make It Happen" was saved!
his recovery was far from over. His 13 day ordeal from the time he sold in the
auction until his rescue had taken its toll. He was 200 pounds underweight, had
abcesses and thrush in all four feet, was bitten and gouged across his whole body
with a large festering infected wound in his forehead above his eye. Expressionless
and lifeless, he stood wobbling with his legs in splayed position, ready to collapse.
Despite his many problems, dehydration was the main concern. He was transported
to the nearest CANTER approved foster home in Michigan to receive immediate veterinary
care and after two weeks was strong enough to make the several hour trip to the
farm of CANTER Founder and Director, Jo Anne Normile.
Six months later, Make It Happen was fully recovered, at least physically,
and was adopted from CANTER by Mary Hejna of
Chelsea, Michigan, after he successfully passed a prepurchase veterinary exam.
The pair now successfuly compete in United
States Eventing Association competitions in Florida, Kentucky, throughout the
Midwest, and into Canada.
Caring people, both racing and nonracing, worked together to make it happen
for a horse named Make It Happen!!! What better
"barn name" for him now then "Happy"??
Although Make It Happen's story does have a happy ending, the other horses
in that holding pen had no racing trainers that cared, no organization looking
for them. How long had they stayed in the holding pen? Were they hungry and thirsty
and injured too before getting on the trailer for the long drive to the slaughter
house? Did they even make it there alive? Make It Happen surely would have collapsed
in the truck on the way there to be trampled by the others. Timid and shy by nature,
Make It Happen was unable to receive sufficient food or water once his ordeal
began. This shameful and outrageous practice of ignoring the basic needs of animals
destined for "meat" should be exposed so the public knows that the horrors
of the slaughter house begin long before the unfortunate horses are struck with
a bolt. Perhaps Make It Happen's story can help educate people.
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