Weather Forecast


Gala to benefit horse rescue Nov. 3

SPRING VALLEY--Refuge Farms Horse Rescue and Sanctuary will host its annual fall gala and silent auction on Saturday, Nov. 3, at the Leatherdale Equine Center on the University of Minnesota St. Paul campus.

The event will feature a chance to meet horses living at the rescue, based in Spring Valley, as well as to hear stories of others, some of which have been victims of abuse or neglect, and are now rehomed.

Executive Director Sandra Gilbert promises an evening warm in memories and the connecting with new and old friends of the organization, which is in its 12th year and has rescued nearly 850 horses from across Wisconsin and parts of neighboring states.

Gilbert said, "On this evening, we will talk about what it is that causes us to work so hard and so continuously. We will share a few images that show the reward of our efforts. And we will illustrate our deep appreciation for the support of our friends."

The evening will begin with a social hour, including complimentary finger foods and desserts, and a cash bar of wines, specialty beers, soda and bottled water. Guests will listen to live music while having a chance to meet the horses, enjoy the program and bid on about 50 widely varying donated items valued at $100 or more in the silent auction, which closes at 8 p.m.

Highlighting the program will be the presentation of "Helen," a blind saddle-bred mare from the Madison area, whose eyes were removed upon arrival because they were causing her pain. Previously rescued by another organization unable to provide for her needs, Helen has proven to be a valued member of the herd living at Refuge Farms, and was one of several blind animals used in a Refuge Farms summer therapy program for young people, "Horses Helping." She was also found to be an experienced carriage horse.

Tickets are $30 in advance or $35 at the door, and may be reserved by phone at 715-772-3379; by email at Refuge Farms, or by mail at Refuge Farms, 3035 Hwy. 29, Spring Valley, WI 54767.

Refuge Farms, which runs on donations and volunteers, will utilize all proceeds in the care of rescued horses.

Gilbert notes, "The media has widely covered the rising cost of hay and the effect that will have on peoples' ability to care for their animals, especially horses, which are often not money-makers for them, but beloved pets whom they must surrender because it comes down to either feeding the horse or paying the rent."

With winter approaching and hay in short supply, she envisions the rescue will be very busy this season.