Barnyard Ball Raises Funds for Dorset Equine Rescue

Barnyard Ball Raises Funds for Dorset Equine Rescue

Barnyard Ball Raises Funds for Dorset Equine Rescue

The Dorset Equine Rescue (DER) invites you to their sixth annual Barnyard Ball fundraiser starting at 5 p.m. on Sunday, July 14. The evening will include dinner, cash bar, live music, dancing, a kissing booth and silent auction in the Celebration Barn at The Inn at Manchester, located at 3967 Main Street in Manchester Village, which is generously donating the space. Tickets to the event are $100 each and can be purchased at The event is DER’s main fundraising event, and allows the organization to continue its important work and a nonprofit organization dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and re-homing of neglected, abused and slaughter-bound horses of all breeds and sizes.

Horses come to DER from a variety of situations, including many owner surrenders due to loss of a job, illness, divorce, death or even loss of interest. It is difficult to turn any horse away, but because of limited funds and space, DER is forced to be selective on which horses to take in; they mainly focus on those in the most dire situations. By intervening, DER prevents horses from ending up in a worse situation or going to auction, which would put them at a high risk of illness and/or shipping to slaughter. DER also receives horses through law enforcement who seize them due to animal cruelty.

When there’s room, they also pull horses from auction or kill pens to protect them from ending up on a slaughter-truck bound for Mexico or Canada. Often these animals arrive at the slaughterhouse seriously injured from transport and severely dehydrated, having had nothing to drink or eat for days. It is an exceptionally long and grueling trip for them. Slaughter is a terrifying and brutal end to a horse’s life. Horses have played a major roll in building our country and deserve better.

Each incoming horse to DER goes through a 30-day quarantine to protect those already on the farm from any contagious illness. During this time, they are thoroughly evaluated by a team of skilled equine experts, including veterinarians, trainer and farrier. They provide each horse with all the necessary care and make sure the transition into its new herd is as stress-free as possible. Horses are happier and healthier when they have a job, and so, when they are ready, they begin working with DER’s full-time trainer, who evaluates each horse’s abilities and physical condition with input from the veterinarians. Because these horses rarely come with a history, each is treated as if they have not had any training. This training continues for as long as they are with DER; an educated horse is far more adoptable than an uneducated horse.

Sometimes age or injury prevents a horse from being ridable, but that does not mean that they are useless. They can be companions to younger horses that are insecure and need stability; some end up being good lead line horses, or therapy horses for people to pet and brush; or they get adopted out as a companion to another horse who is alone. All DER horses are brought into the barn regularly and taught to to have excellent ground manners so they are a pleasure to be around and are well-behaved for the veterinarian and farrier.

When a Dorset Equine Rescue horse is ready for adoption, it is listed on the website at and on social media. Anyone interested in adoption must fill out an application and provide references. A barn check is also required before a home is approved. Every home is required to provide a certain level of care including shelter, a good-sized turnout area and basic vaccinations. Once approved, the new owner signs a contract to insure that the horse continues to be well cared for. If they can no longer keep the horse, the adopter is required to notify DER so that they can be part of the rehoming process. This is to ensure that the horse is safe from falling on hard times again. DER strives to make sure each horse and adopter is compatible so they can develope a life-long and successful partnership.

The Dorset Equine Rescue runs completely on donations and is made possible by the generosity of people like you. Since its founding in 2012, they have been able to help over 120 horses in need. Most have been adopted into wonderful new homes. Donations allow them to continue to help these amazing animals, and are tax deductible; they can be sent to The Dorset Equine Rescue, P.O. Box 92, East Dorset, VT 05253 or can be made through the website with a credit card.