Will you consider supporting a dying breed? “Yes!” That was the answer given by Mike and Carlene Kerr in 2005 when the recently married couple founded Epiphany Bay Farm – to save the critically endangered Cleveland Bay Horse. www.epiphanybayfarm.com
Grace needs your help, now
At only 8-1/2 weeks old, she has a dislodged rib and a fractured leg. Five screws and a metal plate were surgically placed into her left rear ‘knee joint’. The fracture occurred at a point of growth in her leg, which means she will need at least one more surgery to remove one or more screws and evaluate her new, life-long accessories. No metal detectors for her!
Please donate today - Every dollar helps Grace and the survival of Cleveland Bay Horses. Learn more about the critically endangered breed http://www.clevelandbay.com/
A bit of horsin’ around
On June 14th, two mares, Epiphanybay Abigail and Epiphanybay Lady Arabella, were startled by a new truck and trailer pulling into the farm. With loud clangs at the gate, a funny sounding truck and trailer making a racket, a new person, and new smells – they took off running. Leading their two foals – Dazz and Grace – as far from the ‘danger’ as they could. While the four ran through the field like ninnies, Abigail, with her tail held high and a snort in her nose, kicked out – expressing her frustration and displeasure at the disturbance. Grace, too young to be having anything but fun running around with the moms and her buddy, was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Not exactly the first time
When Grace was just a wee bunch of cells, her mom, Arabella, suffered a splenic bleed. Her belly was full of blood and another rush to the equine medical center resulted. Although, the true cause for the bleeding remains a mystery, there was a good guess that it was the result of a ‘hoof meets tummy’ scenario. At that point, there was no way to know if the pregnancy had held through the trauma.
Just some 30 days before Arabella was injured, Epiphanybay Serendipity, “Sera” suffered irreparable neurological and vascular damage to her hind end and had to be euthanized. Sera is little Grace’s Grandma on her sire's (father's) side. So much related tragedy to a precious baby even before birth.
Grace is one of few that made it into this world
The hopeful couple that began Epiphany Bay Farm have been hit hard – reoccurring problems with mares getting in foal, doing artificial inseminations, placental infections, a filly that was near to term died from twisting of the umbilical cord, a foal born septic that passed a very short time after birth – and these are only some of the reproductive struggles with a critically endangered breed.
Add this to the declining presence of the Cleveland Bay Horse, a lot of research, and close monitoring of genetic lines for correct and successful breeding. There are less than 200 Cleveland Bay Horses in North America and less than 900 left in the world. As of this writing in June 2020, only 7 purebred Cleveland Bay fillies have been born this year world-wide, and Grace is one of them. Purebred fillies are essential to the survival of the Cleveland Bay Horse.
Grace’s injury and her future
As high as Grace’s spirits may have been post-surgery, she ended up spiking a fever and got an infection at the site of the surgery. The fever started coming down a day later with the placement of a drain and more antibiotics, including antibiotics injected around the metal plate and screws in her leg.
Her injury and her age mean that she is walking a very fine line of healing and growth. The screws and plate are located where a major growth plate is; the growth plate is what lets her grow up big and strong. The metal surrounding the growth plate prevents it from growing in the right direction. The solution for healing her is also a threat that must be closely watched and managed. Because Grace is growing up so fast, she will need another surgery, about 4 weeks after the first to remove one or more screws. Some of them will stay in for life.
Grace and her mom, Arabella, must live at the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center so they can be monitored. And Grace’s infection extended their stay. Soon, the two will be able to return home and Carlene and Mike will take on the additional tasks that come with caring for a wounded filly.
It is all adding up
Grace’s first surgery and veterinary bills are already up to $8,000. Grace and her mom aren’t able to leave the Equine Medical Center yet, and there is more to come with Grace’s second surgery.
Mike and Carlene are already being faced with very difficult decisions and neither would ever ask for financial help. They have never taken without also giving – services in-kind or repayment with interest. I can make these statements, as I know them well; I am their daughter.
If you can give today, your effort will not stop with Grace, they will pay-it-forward.
You are welcome to reach out to Mike and Carlene and to learn more about their farm, how they are supporting the growth and awareness of Cleveland Bay Horses on their web page at https://www.epiphanybayfarm.com/
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