47
47
8

Support for Connemara Ranch Horses

$7,534 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 49 people in 9 months
Talley Hutcherson (Mom) and Connemara Hutcherson (daughter) and our 10 horses have evacuated Malibu during the Woolsey Fire and are safe ...though the fires continue it is clear to me that it won't be business as usual even when the fires are out. As my only source of income is taking people on trail rides and equine therapy, I am realizing that I will need assistance to get my horses settled and cared for until I can return to work. If you are able to help I am grateful to receive assistance. Hoping that we can get through this with grace and ease. I have set up this Gofundme to specifically raise money for maintenance of the Connemara ranch horses while we are unable to work.  With this money we will be able to shoe them and feed them or buy any needed vet care until we are allowed back into the Santa Monica Mountains to ride and work.
+ Read More
http://www.malibutimes.com/malibu_life/article_58997172-24f7-11e9-a2b4-5f7081eb17ed.html

Saving the Overlooked Small Business Victims of the Woolsey Fire

Malibu Trail Riding Businesses are Struggling Without Income as Zuma Canyon Park Remain Closed, Putting Public Horseback Riding in the Santa Monica Mountains at Risk of Closing Forever

I speak for the interests of several women owned public recreational horse businesses in the Santa Monica Mountains. On November 9, 2018, The Woolsey Fire raged through the hills of Malibu burning 88% to the ground, leaving both structural, as well as emotional devastation behind. The aftermath of the Woolsey Fire has greatly impacted these women by halting all business operations, leaving them with no income and the ongoing responsibility of caring for their herds of horses. Local Malibu horse business owners urge the surrounding communities to get involved in the support of saving their equine businesses, as well as the Malibu horse community to insure horseback riding for generations to come.

MALIBU, CA FEBRUARY 2019 — Much of the Santa Monica Mountains remains closed more then 4 months after the fires due to complications with intense rains, mud and debris flow. Many of the trails are ruined, dangerous or impassable. One focus of this organization is getting the Santa Monica mountain trails reopened to horseback riders, mountain bikers and hikers. Another is financially helping the women owned businesses with the horse expenses and an extensive array of animal responsibilities, in order for them to keep what they have worked so hard to create and have invested in so passionately, until the ocean view trails reopen. A further reaching dream is to acquire a permanent location near the trailhead to protect horseback riding for both recreation and therapy for future generations.

Connemara Ranch, owned by Talley Hutcherson for over 30 years, is the last remaining Malibu based trail riding company and equine therapy business. It has been closed since the fire and has lost 100% of its income.
Malibu Riders owned by Laura Toston, a native Malibuite, has also lost 100% of its income. Much of the help they have received so far has come from other women owned businesses who have also suffered difficulty with the fires.

Hutcherson and Toston have offered horse related experiences to the Malibu and Los Angeles communities for over 3 decades. If they cannot reopen, they will be forced to
halt all operations, with no possibility of rebuilding once closed. If this happens, the smiles and healing that their businesses provide will be lost, creating another tremendous loss for the Malibu community and its surrounding neighbors.

“I further believe that if we can’t remain open for future business, no one else will be able to operate or open a public riding facility in the area and public horseback riding opportunities will cease to exist,” Hutcherson said. FEMA is not available to these women because they had no property losses and neither one had fire insurance that covered loss of income. Taking out an SBA loan isn’t an option for Connemara Ranch, as adding debt to the current situation only makes her financial situation more vulnerable.

Although the women initially connected for moral support, it has developed into both a fundraising and community outreach effort to highlight the challenges of business owners after natural disasters. Going into debt to survive at this time only compromises them and creates more difficulty.

Horses have been an integral part of Malibu since the Chumash Indians. The aftermath of the Woolsey Fire has created a very real danger of losing the last vast area open to horseback riding.

We are committed to creating a happy new beginning from a tragic disaster.

Thank you for your continued support

<3 <3 <3
+ Read More
Since the fires, evacuation and returning the horses home to the stables that survived the fires I have spent my time recovering from the illness due to smoke inhalation, sadness seeing the damage to the mountains and homes burnt by the fires, and realization that overnight my business has been shutdown and income stopped until possibly spring. All my equine therapy clients homes burnt in the fires and their businesses are also affected…and the entire Santa Mountains is closed with no idea when there are plans to reopen.

The few times I rode into the canyon to take photos before and after the rains it was terrible to see the damage. I have decided to put my energy towards being of service and doing what I can to connect with those like me who were also devastated by this fire and offer healing time with the horses while we wait to see when we can return to riding. My horses enjoy eating the new grass that grows abundantly after the recent rain and grooming and carrot feeding are also popular activities that we can all enjoy together…please feel free to schedule some time with me and the horses and lets enjoy spring together healing and sharing smiles.

In the meantime there was a beautiful showing of photos taken during the fire at Depart a gallery in Malibu. My daughter Connemara who is with her dad in Bali texted me that I was in a picture in Vogue so I went to the show to meet the photographer and shared fire stories with the other fire survivors. Now I am sharing with you…always looking for the rainbows in every storm.
+ Read More
Eight horses are now in Ventura at the fair grounds. with two more coming from Ojai so they can all be together. We are so thankful to all the help we have received and donations. This journey will be a long one and we cant do it alone so please keep sharing a donating. We are having to pay for food, rent, and other bills for theses ten horses. It might take weeks or months to get the Connemara horses back home.
+ Read More
Connemara Ranch in Malibu needs your help after many years of helping others it is now my time to ask for help for the coming months as I face the aftermath of the Woolsey Fires that devastated Malibu and surrounding communities. Here is what happened when the Woolsey Fires hit Malibu on Friday November 9th…

The fire which started the day before in the Chatsworth area, managed to reach and blaze thru Oak Park Thursday night (I live in Old Agoura and had evacuated to Malibu with my daughter, nephew and sister-in-law.) We got up at 6am Friday morning, and soon learned that the fire had crossed the 101 freeway and was heading towards Malibu. I quickly made the decision to begin writing my phone number on all the halters of the 10 horses I have in two different locations, as well as making phone calls to get horse haulers to come pick-up my herd. No one was available or picking up their phones! Looking back they probably are helping others closer to the 101 and Kanan first, as they had no time to evacuate due to the fire moving so fast. By 8 am we could clearly see very large smoke clouds over the mountain and I knew we needed to act fast.

I realized that my only option was to quickly get the herd to the beach at Zuma. Realizing I had ten horses split in two locations I had to move fast. My daughter and I started to throw lead ropes on the horses so we were ready to walk. Tara Ami a dear friend was 5 minutes away and she came over to help me get the first 4 horses on Busch Drive down to the beach. I instructed my daughter to meet us at the beach so we could get the other six horses. Connemara, my daughter and my helper Renato drove around for 15 minutes trying to locate us on a busy Zuma Beach. As soon as we found each other we asked strangers and Renato to hold the horses so we could get back to our cars and drive to the next ranch on Cavalleri Rd. !!!!! PCH was a parking lot so using my 40 years of local knowledge I went back roads until I was able to cross PCH at Cavalleri Rd and drive to the other location my horses call home. Tara and I saddled up 2 horses and each took 2 more in hand and began riding toward the beach. It took an excruciating hour and half to get to the other horses to the beach. Riding on Cavalleri Rd they had just resurfaced the black top and it was like ice skating…the horses were slipping and almost falling down every step. We took a short cut called the chute trail and dropped down to Bonsall Dr… that was just minutes from catching fire then onto Busch Dr and into Zuma Beach a frantic parking lot of evacuees. By noon every horse of the Connemara Ranch was at the beach but no one could use cell phones as there was no service…it was terrifying to see the fire burning up the trails we were riding on, as it moved closer and closer to where we were riding out with all the horses in tow.

When I returned to Zuma there were 100’s of people, horses, dogs and many other animals collecting on the beach and in the parking lot. Many people helped us get to a safe location and took turns holding the horses (much gratitude to all the beautiful and helpful souls on the beach!) I still had a chance to go back and save my car so I left one more time and got back just as the fire was burning just 100 yards short of Cavalleri Rd. We drove back to Zuma Beach and the smoke was thick and black making the beach look a surreal night time. We held the horses for six hours with so many people helping and bringing water to the horses as well as feeding them to keep them happy. We moved the horses to a safe location and was finally able to secure an enclosed area (after one lady refused to give up the enclosed area she had for her two horses to put my 10 in, even though we offered to hold and walk hers!) Between 12pm – 4pm the thick smoke was really burning our eyes and making it hard to breathe, it was very unsettling to say the least!

As we settled in for the evening people gathered and shared food and drinks with each other, while telling dramatic tales of things they had been thru. There was a strong sense of community and camaraderie. While trying to fall asleep our view was of Point Dume burning towards the ocean. We were eventually able to sleep in the car for a bit, while we waited for the trailers to help rescue our horses. Given the stressful situation, all of my horses were relatively calm most of the time. There was only one incident with one of the horses being very frightened and taking off when a helicopter landed, but she quickly settled down. I saw other horses run off as well but were ultimately brought to safety. We waited for hours hoping trucks with trailers would come to evacuate our horses out of Malibu. Took too long for them to come.


During the night truck and trailers came to evacuate horses. Mine started leaving at four am because two wonderful women heard my plea. These women could only fit eight of my horses, so I chose to stay with the two I knew I could get out once the sun was up. In the morning we saw a family walking with 3 mini horses a pony and a large horse. As most of my horses had been evacuated I offered them the enclosure and took my 2 horses out and tied them nearby. They were tired and hungry so we fed the horses and the family with food that had been shared with us. The children were so grateful. Finally at noon on Saturday the Ventura humane society was able to drive in and evacuate my last two horses. I feel blessed that there were so many people willing to help, it also seemed they were soothed by the horses they were helping as well.
I returned to the property on Busch at 6am that morning to get food for the horses and was stunned to see that the property where 4 horses lived survived. Almost everything around it was burnt to the ground. I was unprepared for what I saw and it was very emotional to take in the amount of damage and devastation. It will be months before the cleanup is done and we have to face the fact that rains may further complicate the rebuilding efforts. The canyon is completely burnt and may be closed or unsafe to travel in…it is an uncertain time and I appreciate the help and support I may receive in advance. At this point, we have no cell service and everyone is wondering how long we will be stuck here! And what is happening… PCH and all other roads for the trailers to get thru were blocked for safety reasons as the fireman fought the fierce fires.

My horses were evacuated to Santa Barbara and Ojai. Today I hope to visit them and feed them some carrots.
+ Read More
Read a Previous Update

$7,534 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 49 people in 9 months
Your share could be bringing in donations. Sign in to track your impact.
   Connect
We will never post without your permission.
In the future, we'll let you know if your sharing brings in any donations.
We weren't able to connect your Facebook account. Please try again later.
CF
$25
Claudia Field
2 months ago
AS
$75
Angela Shankman
3 months ago
SJ
$350
Susie Jay
4 months ago
SM
$200
Sandy Mitchell
4 months ago
$150
Anonymous
4 months ago
CH
$30
Christina Holmes
5 months ago
$20
Anonymous
5 months ago
SM
$200
Sandy Mitchell
5 months ago
JA
$50
Jennifer Azran
6 months ago
JA
$40
Jennifer Azran
6 months ago
or
Use My Email Address
By continuing, you agree with the GoFundMe
terms and privacy policy
There's an issue with this Campaign Organizer's account. Our team has contacted them with the solution! Please ask them to sign in to GoFundMe and check their account. Return to Campaign

Are you ready for the next step?
Even a $5 donation can help!
Donate Now Not now
Connect on Facebook to keep track of how many donations your share brings.
We will never post on Facebook without your permission.