URGENT CareTo Save 43 Dying Horses
As you can see from these photos, the worst of which were taken as recently as June 23, these horses are in dire conditions with limited access to food, water, shelter and sanitary stall conditions. They have had no vet care for the duration of their boarding at the farm since the first week in May; prior to that, their vet care is unknown, however, they arrived at the farm in poor condition and are known to have been subjected to similar conditions at two prior farms. They have only deteriorated since that time due to their abandonment. Neither Chuck or Maria have been to the farm to care for these horses since May.
A group of three women have been shouldering the expense and labor of caring for all 43 horses on this farm since the Borell's were last seen; they are the only ones who have been allowed access to the farm by the Sheriff. The volunteers have been relying upon donations of food from concerned parties due to the exposure this case has been receiving in the local television and horse racing media. The horses have not been able to receive proper vet or farrier care due to the outstanding debts the Borell's have accumulated in the state over a number of years. These volunteers cannot realistically continue to care for all of these horses out of pocket; THEY NEED YOUR HELP!
HOW YOU CAN HELP:
* Donate to this campaign!
* Contact local feed stores to donate money for food, if you would prefer. Once we are able to secure a veterinarian and blacksmith to go out to the farm, you can make donations directly to them. Contact info will be provided at that time.
* If you're local and have horse experience, they may possibly be able to use your help volunteering in daily care at the farm.
* Contact the local social, print and television media outlets in Lexington, KY and Louisville, KY to let them know about the situation - Attention needs to be brought to this matter so that the Mercer County and State authorities will be pressed to act IMMEDIATELY to finally sieze these horses so they can be removed from the farm. They have drug their feet for OVER A MONTH on getting these horses off of this farm despite the glaring evidence of neglect, news coverage and the multiple calls from the former owners of these horses and rescues to offer homes and care for them.
There have been multiple visits to the farm to document the condition of the horses and the farm by the State Vet, Sheriff and County Sheriff. Unfortunatly, we can no longer afford to wait for them to act on behalf of these horses. If they do not receive the necessary care TODAY, they will begin to die. These horses have suffered for years under the care of the Borell's, please help them finally get the relief they deserve.
All funds will be put into a PayPal account and will be dispersed as soon as they are received.
Thank you for your time and concern for these horses. Pertinent updates will be posted as frequently as possible. Do not hesitate to contact us with questions on how you may help.
If you can do nothing monetarily at this time, at the very least, please SHARE this campaign!
First, I am happy to report that all 43 horses are getting healthier by the day and are learning to trust humans again. They are receiving the finest care the industry has to offer in the regards to dentistry, farrier & veterinary services, and are adhering to individualized feeding programs with premium feeds and supplements.
To date, $20,000 has been donated to the Throughbred Retirement Foundation's (TRF) Blackburn Facility, where the eight horses in the most severe conditions are now being taken care of by local inmates. These inmates are giving new life and excellent care to these horses under the supervision of Farm Manager, Linda Dyer, and Herd Manager, Sarah Davenport.
A couple horses have been transferred to the Old Friends facility in Georgetown, KY, where they are coming along wonderfully.
The remaining horses are still on the Mercer County farm where lead volunteer, Angie Cheak, manages the herd and coordinates volunteer efforts. Volunteers are needed and welcomed. I can put you in touch with her if you are interested in going out to the farm. The needs range anywhere from stall cleaning to grooming to fence repair.
The Thoroughbred Charities of America (TCA) has created an account funded by the generous donation from LNJ Foxwoods called the "Horses First Fund," which is specifically earmarked to aid in the expenses for the horses on the Mercer County farm.
There is also a long list of donated resources from organizations and individuals throughout the industry, including: The Jockey Club, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, Fox Hill Farm, Gallery Racing, Bluewater Sales & Bloodstock, the Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners & Breeders Association, the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association, Sallee Horse Vans, Blacksmith Duane Raglin, Horse Cents, Inc., Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital, Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, Baccari Bloodstock, Buckeye Feed, Winchester Feed, Hallway Feeds, Commonwealth Animal Hospital, Patterson Veterinary Supply, Bluegrass Equine Dental, Shawnee Farm, Scarteen Stud, Kay Thomas and Zayat Stables, as well as several volunteers who have come from all over Kentucky and beyond to give hands-on attention to the horses and the farm, including those in the Kentucky Equine Management Internship program.
Now that the initial $20,000 goal has been met, the additional funds have been and will continue to be donated the the TCA's "Horses First Fund". I would like to thank Carrie Gilbert for her assistance in helping me to liaise with the TCA's President, Michael McMahon, and Executive Coordinator, Erin Crady, to appoint them as the new beneficiaries of the Abandoned Horse Fund.
Donations are still needed for all 43 of these horses and may be donated directly to the TRF, TCA and Old Friends Farm (preferably, to avoid the Go Fund Me fees). If you prefer to donate through the Go Fund Me site, the TCA will receive your donation and utilize it for the horses specifically on the Mercer County farm until such time as they are removed from the farm. This date has yet to be determined. The Horses First Fund will continue to provide for horses in future neglect cases.
Here are the links to donate directly:
TCA: https://toba.org/wp-content/tca/donation.html (Select the box for 'Horses First Fund')
TRF: https://trf20546.thankyou4caring.org/Make-A-Gift (Designate 'Blackburn Correctional Facility' in the drop down menu)
Old Friends Farm: http://www.oldfriendsequine.org/how-to-help.html
Through DNA testing administered by The Jockey Club, all of the Thoroughbreds from the farm have been identified. Here is the list: http://www.kyagr.com/statevet/strayhorse/ (They are under Mercer County.)
On Monday, August 1, Chuck Borell had his first hearing for the 43 charges of animal abuse that have been brought against him for the horses from the Mercer County farm. Represented by his lawyer, he plead not guilty to the charges and a pre-trial conference has been scheduled on September 8. Maria Borell has still not been served as she has not returned to the state of Kentucky. For more, click on this story from the Lexington-Herald Leader: http://www.kentucky.com/news/state/article93099847.html
As it cannot be said enough, THANK YOU to everyone who has donated to and shared the Abandoned Horse Fund so far. Without your help, the horses could not have made this type of progress. You have helped save the lives of 43 horses - SYNERGISM!
I will continue to post updates on this case as they develop.
- Tara Cochran
As I mention in the interview, there has been a staggering outpouring of support for this fundraiser. $20,000 being transferred to the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation's Blackburn Correctional facility! What an AMAZING blessing to these horses!!! Going forward, I am suggesting that people interested in donating to these horses donate to the TRF directly through their website so that 100% of the donation will go to the horses and not towards the Go Fund Me fees.
It is simple to donate to them:
Visit www.trfinc.org and select the 'Make A Gift' link.
From there, select the amount of your choice and designate 'Blackburn Correctional Complex'. That easy! Your donation is tax deductible as well.
Any remaining funds that are raised will be allocated to the needs of the horses and volunteers still on the farm in the state's custody.
GREAT NEWS! Chuck Borell has been arrested and charged with 43 counts of second-degree animal cruelty and a warrant has been issued for Maria Borell's arrest!
Local news coverage continues to grow for this case. They are covering the horses, volunteers and recent arrest.
Arrest Coverage- LEX18: http://www.lex18.com/story/32331288/state-seizes-four-horses-from-mercer-county-farm
Local Fundraising & Volunteer Efforts: http://m.wave3.com/wave/db_336805/contentdetail.htm?full=true&contentguid=KElWJfo2#display
Again, THANK YOU to everyone who has gotten involved in some way to get these horses the care they have desperately needed. They are ALL in good hands now. I will continue to provide regular updates through this page.
- Tara Cochran
USRacing.com has published another update about the improved care the horses on the farm are beginning to receive: https://www.usracing.com/news/analysis/care-improving-starving-herd-borell-horses-mercer-county
The Jockey Club and Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation donated a combined $15,000 towards helping feed the horses. The NTRA has donated a gator so that volunteers have greater mobility to help around the farm. Rood & Riddle Vet Clinic has been out to the farm as well. I am filling out a service contract to create a charitable organization account with Rood & Riddle, which will be linked to a trust account where all of the Go Fund Me monies will be transferred.
The Daily Racing Form, ESPN, and Thoroughbred Daily News have finally jumped on board and have all published stories about this ongoing story and the fundraiser.
The situation was also addressed at the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation's Welfare and Safety Summit today at Keeneland Race Course.
One of the donors on the Go Fund Me page let me know that Z Camelot LOVES sweet potatoes. I let Victoria Keith know - she was already at the store picking up fresh carrots for the horses - and she added them to her cart. A few people have asked if they can send treats to the horses. YES! The horses would love any treats that you may want to donate directly to them. They love anything that is sealed - pre-packaged horse cookies, peppermints, butterscotch, etc. (No fresh apples or carrots, please. We will get those locally.) You can mail these to Victoria at Fox Hill Farm and she will deliver them to the horses.
Please send to:
Fox Hill Farm
C/O Victoria Keith
9050 Tates Creek Rd.
Lexington, KY 40515
There will be another update today regarding the meeting held today once all information is gathered. Stay tuned! Thank you again for your continued support of these horses!
- Tara Cochran
We are getting even more media attention thanks to everyone who has reached out to the media and shared these articles!
- WHAS 11 in Louisville is working on putting together a story to investigate this situation.
- Bet America has invited me to go on their podcast tomorrow to discuss the situation and how people can continue to help
- The Blood-Horse has now gotten involved and has published an article this morning covering the latest in the investigaton: http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/212803/kentucky-neglect-case-under-investigation
Keep up the good fight, everyone! Resolution is imminent.
Thank u to everyone for your amazing support!!! This is going to be a long process, has been a long process, & the people who have stepped up to help, please know that every penny will go for the care of these horses today, tomorrow, and until their journey to recovery is complete!! Thank you.
This is probably a crazy idea... but the farm where these horses are is for sale. We could buy it with a GoFundMe and start a horse rescue. Yes, I know it's half a million, and that would be only the beginning. But look how far this has gotten in only a few days! Why not dream big? Let something good come out of this mess!
Thank you to everyone that has donated to these horses!!!! I have spent a little with these beautiful horses, I don't know a lot about thoroughbreds or horses, but DO KNOW THAT THESE HORSES HAVE BEEN SEVERELY NEGLECTED!!!!
I like the idea of starting a rescue! I am not sure how I can help from Georgia..but I would be happy to contribute in some way!
If the horses need foster and/or adoption- we may not be the closest but we could easily take one and get it back into a living condition. This is so horrifying.
Diane, Facebook me about rescue!
Lovely idea Diane, but proper care for horses is very costly. These are not puppies and kittens. If you could purchase the farm, running a rescue would cost far more in the scheme of things than the half million to purchase the land. Hopefully, these poor souls won't be returned to their owners, and will be adopted out to responsible homes. The legal system is a strange bird. One never knows.
So many are donating. How wonderful is this that we all care THIS much for these precious souls. I hope with all my heart they all make it. They have long journey's to face. I am also sickened by this that it's happening right under our noses IN THIS country. Makes my heart sad. Today seeing how many people really really care just gives us all hope for all these wonderful horses.
These owners disgust me no end. Time laws were introduced to lock people up who neglect and starve these beautiful animals!