It has been just over a year since the barn fire. Things have changed dramatically for Copper Horse Crusade and I'd like to stop and think back over the past year. I would also like to say 'THANK YOU' to everyone who has been involved in supporting Copper Horse Crusade. Many people have helped in many ways. CHC has made great strides over the past year (not always smoothly!) and is now in a position to expand and take in more slaughter bound horses than ever.
The end of January 2012 brought the barn fire which destroyed the barn, tractor, tack, hay and contents. Only because of a persistently barking Blue Heeler were the three horses that were locked in the barn saved. As devastating as the fire was the response from the horse community was staggering. People sent halters, blankets, tack, feed. Help came from all directions! It was amazing to see the response to a horse organization's needs in the dead of winter. CHC continues to be immensely grateful.
With the barn a total loss and the Ohio winter weather being prohibitive to rebuilding, Copper Horse Crusade moved to a 6 stall barn with a tack room and small area to ride inside. This barn belonged to Debbie Hendrickson and it was a fortunate connection through facebook that allowed CHC to utilize the otherwise vacant barn. After successfully placing horses from Debbie's barn from Feb to June Copper Horse Crusade moved back to Julie's property on Glenn Hwy. Still no barn, but pasture, arena, and no commute. Jesse and Julie worked, rode, trained and pulled horses out of Sugarcreek all summer.
In August Terri Slack posted a link to an auction for horse property/barn in Cambridge. I had been to this barn previously to help a woman train her horse and I was aware of the facility but didn't have any idea that it was for sale much less going to auction. We went to the auction to see what the property went for but never dreaming that it would be possible to purchase. Because the 100 acres was divided and the house sold separately from the barn it actually wasn't too far out of reach. The following months were agony trying to come to an agreement with the auctioneer/barn owner. The word 'interminable' comes to mind as CHC stared down fall and looked ahead to winter with NO BARN lined up. Finally "Super Storm Sandy" pushed the situation to a breaking point. It rained and rained and rained for days with temperatures in the mid 30s. I had a bunch of wet, cold horses. We couldn't wait for 'paperwork' any longer. I made a desperate call to the person who had purchased the barn at the auction and told him I HAD to get horses in. (We had done business before and he happens to be good friends with someone on my board of directors.) He agreed and I made a phone call to Danyeil Reed, who along with her husband helped us move 14 horses to the new barn at 9:30 at night in the rain.
Copper Horse Crusade had a barn warming party on December 9th where a great group of people turned out and showed their support. Finally on January 21st papers were 'officially' signed on the barn...almost a year to the day of the barn fire the winter before. It has been a long ride. A lot of riding and showing horses in the mud, rain and snow over the last 10 years. Fighting frozen water hoses, a flooded barn, wrestling round bales in the mud. I'm excited to see the direction that CHC is taking. Over the past year Copper Horse Crusade horses took part in a Ronald McDonald Benefit ride and participated in the Delaware All Horse Parade. Julie spoke at the 40 Something Cowgirl's meeting in Reynoldsburg, did a news interview for NBC Charleston and a CHC Etsy store was established. This year CHC is planning to be at Equine Affaire. Henry David Thoreau said, "“Never look back unless you are planning to go that way." Here's to looking forward!