Despite the damp conditions following a night of heavy rain, riders at the June 23rd fundraiser enjoyed nearly perfect weather of partly sunny skies, puffy clouds, and only a sprinkle of rain. Sound Equine Options (SEO) hosted the benefit trail ride, lunch, and silent auction to raise operating funds and increase community awareness to the all-volunteer organization. Willamette Mission State Park offers miles of equestrian trails, horse camping, and large spaces for group events. Park ranger, Bonnie Cunningham, guided SEO through the requirements the of holding a large permitted function at an Oregon State Park.
Kelly Burke and Kathryn Donahue, event coordinators , worked for months prior to the event gathering donations for auction from generous community members, advertising, arranging for food, and scheduling volunteers and committees. “This was the first annual benefit ride for SEO. Putting together all the details for a large equine event proved to be very manageable, with the help of a dedicated team of volunteers.” says Burke. In the final hours, committee members were dodging showers , assembling a series of pop up tents to prepare the event area, in response to the rainy weather.
Nearly 60 registered trail riders headed out to the fertile valley ride, mid-morning. Upon return, horses were invited to become acquainted with an obstacle course featuring some very scary objects; umbrellas, balloons, animal pelts, and more. Professional trainers from Burnt Spur Ranch volunteered their time and expertise to assist riders and horses to become comfortable with the interesting obstacles.
A beautiful lunch was available for purchase, always a welcome treat after a few hours in the saddle. Robin White from White’s Meats donated food items and set up an entire kitchen to serve the riders. Under the tents were dozens of appealing silent auction items, all generously donated. A few hours of friendly bid raising, brought in a much needed of revenue to SEO. So far, in 2012, SEO has helped over 200 horses, many of which require costly vet care, training tune ups and plenty of quality feed.
SEO is a unique horse rescue organization as it is veterinarian based, founded in 2009 by Dr. Scott Hansen. SEO is attempting to strengthen local horse community safety net and communicate that there are helpful options for people and their horses. A wide variety of services are offered through SEO including foster care, rehabilitation, and re-homing of neglected or seized horses. Assistance with emergencies, euthanasia, feed, castrations, and transportation are handled case by case. Another branch provides rain blankets for winter weather to horses in need. At the annual 4H tack sale held in March and October at the Clackamas fairgrounds, SEO has a large presence, advertising adoptable horses, and selling a wide variety of tack and horse supplies to raise funds.
SEO is seeking support in a variety of areas including good foster homes, trainers, volunteers to haul horses or hay, donations of feed, cash, hay etc. See their website to learn more about how to become involved. www.soundequineoptions.org.
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