Arabian Horse Foundation Names Grant and Scholarship Winners
The Arabian Horse Foundation (AHF) recently awarded $11,500 in grants and youth scholarships. AHF, which is the philanthropic arm of the Arabian Horse Association (AHA), awarded $8,000 to equine rescue and rehoming efforts and equine research, and $3,500 to youth scholarships. Over the past two years, AHF has given out over $60,000 in grants and scholarships.
“The Foundation is pleased to once again step forward and provide funds for projects, which will have a positive impact on the equine world and provide funds to help educate our future leaders,” stated Larry Kinneer, AHF President. Last year was the first year of grant requests and approval for the areas of rescue and rehoming and equine research.
The Foundation granted $2,500 to NorCal Equine Rescue’s Euthanasia Clinic in Oroville, California and $2,000 to Mountain View Rescue in Columbia, Kentucky. Another $3,500 was granted to the UC Davis Veterinary Genetics Laboratory to continue research on Cerebellar Abiotrophy (CA), previously funded by AHF. The total given to equine rescue and rehoming, and equine research over the past two years is over $31,000.
“The euthanasia clinics provide a compassionate and responsible “end of life,” where owners can bring their old or infirmed friends, say their goodbyes in a loving and supportive environment and know that their equine friends will not need to face the uncertainties and even horrors of ending up in the slaughter chain,” stated Carol Darnell, who chairs the AHF’s Equine Rescue and Rehoming Advisory Panel. The Equine Rescue and Rehoming Advisory Panel and the Equine Research Advisor Panel, chaired by Beth Minnich, recommended approval of grants to the Foundation board.
Darnell added, “This has helped so many owners who might not have options, other than the unthinkable, because they simply could not afford private veterinary and disposal services. Our financial support will help NorCal develop and distribute fact sheets on how other organizations, particularly rescue organizations, can develop their own euthanasia clinics or programs. There is considerable interest in this subject within the horse community as a whole. NorCal has the know-how and expertise, and are more than willing to share that knowledge. NorCal has several experienced veterinarians who conduct the clinics.”
The second grant of $2,000 to Mountain View will be used to help those impacted by the nation’s struggling economy by providing hay on a short term basis for owners who have been financially challenged. Darnell explained, “[The Arabian Horse Foundation] developed a hay bank to offer owners short-term help when they are faced with economic challenges. By offering hay free of charge, allowing owners time to become financially stable, [The Arabian Horse Foundation] helps the horses remain in their own homes rather than swelling the numbers of surrendered horses.”
The $3,500 granted to UC Davis is the second grant to that institution. Last year, a $5,000 grant was awarded to the UC Davis Veterinary Genetics Laboratory for the work on CA, which is a degenerative condition of the brain where certain cells in the brain’s cerebellum begin to die, resulting in a severe lack of coordination. Most affected individuals are euthanized before adulthood. Evidence indicates that CA is widespread in the Arabian breed.
“It is important that there be continued support for research into CA so that the mutation causing CA can be located and a direct DNA test can be developed,” explained Beth Minnich, chair of the Foundation’s Equine Research Advisory Panel. Minnich also chairs AHA’s Equine Genetics Task Force. “It is imperative that the Arabian horse community be a leader in genetic disease research, particularly for those disorders affecting the Arabian breed. This research project is one we need to see through to the finish.”
Minnich added, “Research projects are also feeling the impact of the economic downturn. As such, funding has gotten even tighter and every dollar that is available is important.”
Scholarship award winners were notified this spring of their scholarship grants from the Foundation. Nine youth were awarded scholarships, explained Jim Cada, AHF Treasurer and board member, who along with Nancy Harvey, also a board member, comprise the Scholarship Award Committee. The amount awarded was $4,500 which brings the scholarship total given in the last two years to over $35,000.
“It is always rewarding to help someone achieve their dreams and potential by attending college,” stated Cada. “In today’s economy, parents are struggling with increasing financial pressures. I am pleased that the Foundation is able to help these families by providing scholarships.”
The Scholarship Winners are:
Taylor Ferguson, Victor, NY; Kristin N. LaBounty, Scottsdale, AZ; Darcey M. Haggan, Clanton, AL; Hailey Rowe, Henersonville, TN; Kimberly Luebcke, Peoria, IL; Erica Jane Johnson, Lake Oswego, OR; Sarah Schuessler, Attica, NY, and Melanie A. Ray of Wichita, KS. This year is the first year to award the newly-established Myron Krause Equine Research Scholarship. The recipient of this scholarship is Amber Louise Burton of Okmulgee, OK.
In addition to Jim Cada, Nancy Harvey and Larry Kinneer, other Foundation board members are Lollie Ames, Frank Galovic and C.A. Butler. The Foundation is a non-profit entity and as such, gifts are tax deductible. Successfully re-launched two years ago, AHF has core areas where one can direct their contribution: Youth Scholarships; Equine Research, and Equine Rescue and Rehoming.
“This is the second year that the Foundation has made grants to rescue and to research. “We believe that our support of programs, projects, and research will help make a positive difference in a world where we all share a common love for our equine friends,” Kinneer said. “In order to continue doing this, though, we need the ongoing support of our membership. Any contribution is greatly appreciated and will help us continue the work that we are doing.”
To make a contribution on line or to learn more about the Foundation, visit the Foundation web site at www.arabianhorsefoundation.org.