Central Virginia Horse Rescue is proud to have participated in the 25th Annual Culpeper Harvest Days Farm Tour on September 17th and 18th. CVHR joins the other 16 participating farms located in Culpeper County for the first year in 2022. CVHR moved to Culpeper County in May of 2020 with the lease of Eagle Hill Farm at the east end of the county. In August of 2022, the farm was purchased, and ownership transferred to the rescue.
The move to Culpeper County provided easy access to both Culpeper and the Fredericksburg regions. Participation in the Culpeper Harvest Days Farm Tour this year has helped to establish CVHR in our new area and provides awareness to the community that we are here. CVHR hosted over 300 visitors during the two-day event as a first-year participant. Visitors were able to tour the farm, learn about the different programs the rescue offers and met the residents of the rescue farm.
We want to thank our partners Sue Fanelli with EQ-Knowledge and Advantage Horsemanship Equestrian Center for their presentations during the event.
September 8, 2022 (Fredericksburg, VA) – The Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS), the only globally recognized organization providing standards for identifying legitimate animal sanctuaries, awarded Verified status to Central Virginia Horse Rescue as of August 30, 2022.
Verification means that Central Virginia Horse Rescue meets the criteria of a true equine sanctuary/rescue and is providing humane and responsible care of the animals. To be awarded Verified status, an organization must meet GFAS’s rigorous and peer-reviewed animal care standards which are confirmed by a site visit and they must also adhere to a demanding set of ethical and operational principles. The Verification status also provides a clear and trusted means for the public, donors, and grantors to recognize Central Virginia Horse Rescue as an exceptional organization.
“We are proud to announce the recent Verification of Central Virginia Horse Rescue,” said Daryl Tropea, Ph.D., GFAS Program Director-Equine. “Although established in 2010, Central Virginia Horse Rescue moved to this new location in 2020 revamping their leadership and programs. Despite a pandemic, the volunteer base of this organization remains dedicated and committed to helping at risk equines. Also, their educational programs such as the Barn Kids Club, promotes responsible horsemanship for potential future horse owners and supporters.”
“For Central Virginia Horse Rescue, having GFAS certification means that we are meeting the gold standard for care for the equine at our farm,” explained Stacy Franklin, Executive Directory for Central Virginia Horse Rescue. “CVHR aims to provide world class care at our facility and ensures that each horse under our care has a safe place to land.”
The GFAS Equine Accreditation Program is made possible by a generous grant from The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals® and the Kenneth Scott Charitable Trust.
About Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries
Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS) is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization dedicated to the sole purpose of strengthening and supporting the work of animal sanctuaries, rescues, and rehabilitation centers worldwide. The goal of GFAS in working with and assisting these animal care facilities is to ensure they are supported, honored, recognized and rewarded for meeting important criteria in providing care to the animals in residence. GFAS was founded in 2007 by animal protection leaders from a number of different organizations in response to virtually unchecked and often hidden exploitation of animals for human entertainment and financial profit. The GFAS Board of Directors guides the organization’s work in a collaborative manner. While the board includes those in top leadership at The Humane Society of the United States, International Fund for Animal Welfare, and American Anti-Vivisection Society, all board members serve as individuals dedicated to animal sanctuaries. www.sanctuaryfederation.org.
It seems like just yesterday that we were discussing either closing the rescue down or moving it to a new location. The opportunity to rent a farm in Fredericksburg sort of fell in our laps and the decision was made that we would continue operating but in a new location under my management of the day to day operations. Cindy, aka mom, would continue to provide guidance and support as she had done since the foundation of Central Virginia Horse Rescue in 2010. The move presented quite a few challenges that we worked hard to over come.
The farm that we leased was in rough shape as it had not been well maintained for the previous few years. The fences were falling down. The barns needed A LOT of work. The equipment needed work. Donations were down. We started out with no volunteer base and had to try to build one in the middle of a global pandemic. We faced an mounting uphill battle but we were determined to continue the good work that CVHR had done for the previous 10 years.
Despite all of the challenges we plugged ahead and brought in a good foundation of volunteers despite the pandemic. We built new relationships with vendors here in Fredericksburg. And as the months went by we found our way.
We want to again thank TYL Restoration for their community service project helping to restore the pasture fences and hay barn so that we could expand our herd and store hay that was going to be needed through the winter months. TYL took on the project and had teams here for a week taking down the old fences and prepping the new fences for the volunteers to come in and complete the work. Unfortunately the weather didn’t cooperate for the second planned weekend and after 2 reschedules we had to cancel the community service days but their team still finished the project with their employees.
As the year marched on, so did the rescue. We slowly built our volunteer team and continued to work on and fix areas of the farm that needed work. We had our fair share of wins and losses during 2020. We saw an increase in the number of owner surrenders coming in as people were hit by the pandemic and were struggling to keep their horses. We helped the ones we could while maintaining a responsible herd size of our own.
We made it all the way through until the end of the year before COVID finally hit home at the rescue when I was diagnosed with COVID the last week of December. This was one week after we brought in 6 horses from a local kill pen and in the middle of dealing with a horse suffering from choking incidents that we couldn’t get under control and determine a cause for. We had a handful of new volunteers that were still in training, 6 horses that were in quarantine and were requiring special handling due to various medical issues one of which had to be fed 6 times a day and I was out of commission for 2 weeks. Our volunteer team stepped up, put in the extra time and hours and found a way to ensure that the horses were cared for in the way that they needed to be but this made us realize that even though we were still in the middle of a pandemic, we needed more help.
We came up with a plan and we made the official announcement, Central Virginia Horse Rescue has moved to Fredericksburg and we are accepting new volunteers. The community did not disappoint and reminded us why we felt the move from Brunswick County to Fredericksburg would be a good one. In one week we received more volunteer inquiries than the rescue had received in the previous 10 years combined. We came up with a way to safely do the volunteer orientations, found a way to schedule volunteers to help with feeding shifts and I’m happy to say that as of today, one year later after our move we have a base of approximately 120 volunteers. We have volunteers who travel from as far away as Springfield and Alexandria in order to spend time at the farm.
Our herd numbers seem to fluctuate between 15 and 25. We now have 6 horses that are part of our Youth Enrichment, Barn Kids Club, program. These horses are here to help teach kids how to care for and handle horses. Through our Youth Enrichment program, several have learned valuable handling skills that has helped them as they progress into riding lessons at local lesson barns. They have gained friendships that we hope will last a lifetime. The teens are able to spend days at the farm learning skills from horse handling to cleaning tack and other important parts of horse care and management.
Over the last year, we have taken in 54 horses to Fredericksburg and we have been able to successfully place 5 horses into foster homes and we adopted out 23 horses to loving homes. We have formed a partnership with Advantage Horsemanship to provide training assistance to our volunteer team and a special offer directly from Scott for our adopters. This offer gives every adopter with Central Virginia Horse Rescue a free 3 month membership to Scott’s Leadership Club providing them with a wealth of resources and training videos to help make their adoption successful. (Information on what is included in Scott’s Leadership Club can be found here: Leadership Club)
We continue to look forward to what the next year may bring as well. We have been working on bringing back some of our programs that we have had great success with in the past. Now that we are able to safely do so, we are focusing on our Auction to Adoption program that will give us a chance to help bring horses into the rescue before they land in the hands of the kill buyers. Our Barn Kids Club has been a huge success within our local community and we are always looking for ways that we can continue to provide knowledge and experiences to the participating kids. We have several community events planned at the rescue and our Trail Ride team has been investigating places that will give us the opportunity to start hosting benefit trail rides again.
Thank you to everyone who continues to support Central Virginia Horse Rescue and our mission. Your support allows us to continue to provide the necessary horse care and the education to our community. We hope to see some of you at our 11th anniversary birthday celebration on July 17th at our Fredericksburg farm.
The decision to close Miracle Meadows was a difficult one but also a necessary one. Never would we have imagined that we would soon after be relocating the Horse Adoption Central to Fredericksburg! Central Virginia Horse Rescue was founded by Cindy in 2010 when Rosebud entered her life. That was when she knew that she had a new purpose, rescuing horses from the worst fate imaginable at auction, rehabilitating them and finding them a new loving home where they would have a better chance at life. Rosebud was the start of something that has grown into a successful and respected organization 10 years later.
In 2019, Cindy was diagnosed with cancer and her health has declined in a way that she knew that she would be unable to continue to provide the care needed to continue the rescue herself. The decision was made to close Miracle Meadows and the search for homes for the residents began. Shortly after, the opportunity arose to move the rescue to a farm that was not in use that would be the perfect new home for Horse Adoption Central under the new management of Cindy’s oldest daughter, Stacy.
The move got off to a rocky start due to the challenges that COVID brought to the state of Virginia. Between state shutdowns and health concerns, the negotiations and move took slightly longer than expected however in May of 2020, the lease was signed and the first horses arrived! As the farm had not really been in use or maintained properly for a few years, there was a lot of work to be done. The fences were in rough shape, the barn needed to be cleaned out and fixed and the equipment needed repairs but we were determined to bring the farm back to life and once again be able to start saving neglected and abused horses.
The first two residents of the farm were Coco and Hope. You might remember Hope from a seizure in 2016. She was so emaciated that she was unable to stand on her own 4 legs. Six years later, Hope found her very own little girl! Coco is still waiting for her forever home but until then, she loves to greet visitors at the farm and is always fond of treats. While Coco and Hope may have been the first two residents, they certainly weren’t the only ones. Through the support of the community, we built a solid core base of volunteers at the Fredericksburg facility enabling us to save a total of 26 horses from a variety of places including abuse/neglect cases to auction horses saved from kill buyers.
Between August and December we had 12 adoptions with 8 of those adoptions happening in December! In addition to Hope, who had been at the rescue the longest, we were able to find homes for 2 horses that came from an animal neglect situation, 2 mules who were surrendered to us when their owner passed away, multiple horses from auction and one owner surrender.
As we move into 2021, our Fredericksburg team needs your support to help not only the resident horses in our care but also the six Christmas ponies that have landed with us at HAC in Fredericksburg. The number of horses that we are able to responsibly care for at our new farm is dependent on the volunteers who spend countless hours helping to take care of the horses daily and donors who ensure that we have the necessary resources. You can help us continue our mission of making sure that every horse has a loving home by donating, volunteering and sharing! Every volunteer makes a difference in these horse’s lives.
Frosty George – Underweight senior Percheron
We need you to help make Horse Adoption Central successful! Please consider volunteering or sponsoring a horse today.