Neglected horses being cared for at local ranch

Twenty-seven neglected Polish Arabian horses were recently relocated to a property in Rancho Santa Fe. Their rescuers have a noble mission for these horses–that they will regain their strength and become healers through the newly created Pegasus Rising project.

The horses were discovered at a ranch in Sacramento in September by world-renowned equine behaviorists Cynthia and Tony Royal.

“Once they have been nursed back to full strength, the objective is to utilize their gentle disposition and character to interact with people that are experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder, domestic abuse survivors and underprivileged/at-risk youth,” Cynthia Royal said.

The couple learned that each horse is a direct descendent of two Polish Arabian champion stallions that would be the equivalent of Triple Crown-winning thoroughbreds in this country. The champions had been imported as the result of a letter that President Reagan wrote to the Polish government during his administration.

For more than 25 years, the horses were cared for on the Sacramento ranch. During the last few years, however, the owners’ advanced age prevented them from keeping up with the needs of such a large herd.

After discovering the horses’ living conditions, Cynthia Royal immediately opened her broad network of contacts and created the Pegasus Rising project to rescue the horses.

After numerous phone calls, long days and nights spent planning and preparing, and a magnanimous gesture by John McAndrews of Stateside Farm Horse Transportation, the horses were brought to San Diego and now reside on a spacious open ranch, donated by Rancho Santa Fe resident Irene Valenti.

“These wonderful animals are now receiving much-needed nourishment and health care,” Cynthia Royal said. But she hasn’t lost sight of the organization’s vision for the horses: that they will be used in the Healing with Horses Therapy and Enrichment Programs. The programs use human and animal interactions to help create and establish confidence in leadership and build trust-based relationships.

A core management team of 12 people–supplemented by more than 50 volunteers who tend to the ongoing needs of the horses–facilitates the program. The volunteers include local veterinarians, trainers, feed and pet supply stores, and animal lovers from across San Diego County. But the Polish Arabians need additional support.

“Although the horses’ health has improved and their shelter has been upgraded, there is still a significant financial need to cover their food and routine health care, which amounts to $350,000 per year,” public relations director Alison Wellington-Toth said. “That number will only increase as two foals were born in early March and more are expected.”

A group of Polish Arabian horses is being housed on a ranch in Rancho Santa Fe. Two foals were born to the horses in early March. The Pegasus Rising project is rehabilitating the horses to use in a human/animal therapy program.

Want to help?
-To donate money, time or horse-related items, visit and fill out the online form.

-For more information, contact Wellington-Toth at or call (760) 300-9761 for more information.

Related posts:

  1. Classy horses come to Del Mar early
  2. Carmel Valley woman launches equine advocacy group
  3. Ranch’s 80th year was eventful
  4. Couple has the local horse world surrounded
  5. Another local woman has West Nile virus

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Posted by on Apr 16, 2009. Filed under Archives. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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