Leading Thoroughbred owner Maggi Moss stepped forward this week to offer ongoing financial support to a Texas-based horse rescue that recently saved the day for nine mares in danger of going to slaughter.
Moss has granted Remember Me Rescue, of Burleson, Texas the use of her credit card in the event of a veterinary emergency like the one that ultimately claimed the life of rescued mare, Karistas Punch, July 30.
Before she died of colic, Karistas Punch, along with eight other broodmares reportedly belonging to the Asmussen racing family, were rescued at the Round Mountain Livestock Auction, a sale frequented by kill buyers.
In a team effort, the mares were bid on, against kill buyers, and brought to safety by a network of horse connections. California-based Thoroughbred advocate Deborah Jones bid on the horses, and Dallas businessman and Thoroughbred racehorse owner John R. Murrell funded their purchase.
Lastly, Donna Keen, owner and operator of Remember Me Rescue, offered a roof over their heads, sheltering half of the horses on her own property, and the others at a friend’s farm.
The good news of their rescue and quick purchase by those providing permanent homes, had a sad note however.
When Karitsas Punch was stricken with signs of severe colic, possibly of tie-up, there wasn’t enough money in the coffers to pay for the required and expensive surgery.
In a note on her Facebook page, Keen wrote: “Sadly, Karitsas Punch was euthanized this evening after a heroic effort on her part. She was very tough all the way to the end,” she stated. ”I am so sad to say I feel somewhat responsible for her death in that we did not have an emergency fund set up for something like this.
“Vet clinics will not take a horse in for surgery without a huge deposit, we just didn’t have it.”
Keen, says Moss, deserves financial backing so she won’t be in this position again.
“Throughout my long experiences with horses, I have found that Donna and her facility is as close to being an angel on earth as you can get,” Moss says. “When I think of her, that is the first word that comes to mind: angel.”
Crediting Keen for being one of the first to step up and offer help, even in mass-horse rescues, Moss says, Keen should, at the very least, rest easily should one of her horses ever need costly medical aid.
“When the hospitals just want a credit card to do the work, I said, I’d be happy to give them mine,” Moss says.
This way, Keen can use the money she gathers through fundraising to handle the day-to-day operations of the facility, and not leave it sitting in an emergency-care fund, Moss reasons.
For her part, Keen says she was thunderstruck by the offer.
“When she offered to do that, it just blew me away!” Keen says.
Keen is looking forward to helping more horses transition to healthy and successful off-track lives, and doing so with still a little buffer in reserve for emergencies.
She opened her national nonprofit in 2008, and so far has helped approximately 350 horses.
She is currently trying to raise funds to add a roof onto some stalls, so that she can accommodate the overflow of horses, which tend to crowd into her facility as the racing seasons.
And while Keen concentrates her fundraising efforts on providing for the short and long term needs of the facility, Moss’s promise hangs in the background, ensuring that no animal will suffer or possibly die needlessly, from lack of emergency care.
OffTrackThoroughbreds.com salutes two angels of the equestrian world.