Gleaming Key was a successful racehorse who carried his rider to victory eleven times with several second and third place showings in his 44 starts. He had impressive bloodlines with legendary names like Bold Ruler and Man O’ War appearing on his family tree. After his racing career, he went onto a leisurely life as a pleasure horse privately boarded on a small farm and earned the name Checkmate.
This is where things took a turn for the Thoroughbred gelding. His owner fell on hard times and had to surrender his ownership to the farm in order to cover costs. Checkmate was kept in his stall most of the time and grew skinny and listless. He was a shadow of his former self.
It was around this time that Checkmate came to the attention of the Field of Dreams Horse Rescue and Adoption (FOD) in St. Charles, IL. Two young rescue workers began working with him to reintroduce human handling and care. Gradually, his health improved and he was moved full-time to the FOD facility at Silver Spur Ranch in Maple Park. Before long, he was adopted by a new owner and able to finally live the happy horse life he deserved.
This is just one success story from Field of Dreams Horse Rescue and Adoption, but it gives you an idea of the hope and healing that they can provide to animals in Illinois. FOD was founded in 2005 to help with the rescue and rehabilitation of the neglected and unwanted horses in Northern Illinois.
Board member Gindi Orloff shared, “Since our inception, we have grown into a highly professional and well-respected organization run by an all-volunteer Board of Directors. We were recently awarded Verification status by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries and accepted into the Equine Welfare Network.”
She went on to explain that no single breed or discipline of horse is helped at FOD. All of the animals are simply the innocent victims of unfortunate circumstances. The farm serves as a safe haven for the horses until a permanent new home can be found.
Sick or undernourished horses are always evaluated by a veterinarian when they arrive on the farm. Gindi explained, “Following the veterinarian’s guidance, we address any medical issues and provide a carefully monitored diet of hay, high quality grain, and appropriate supplements. Additionally, our horses enjoy daily turnout which helps with overall health and rehabilitation.”
The retraining program involves daily handling, grooming, and weekly exercise rides if appropriate. “Each horse continues to be evaluated by FOD for a minimum of 60 days before becoming available for adoption,” Gindi explained. “This allows time for a comprehensive evaluation so we can find the very best match for each rescue.”
After 60 days of evaluation, horses are eligible for adoption. Just like Checkmate, this is a horse’s chance at finding a forever home with an owner that will treat them as they deserve. The FOD website and social media sites are used to market the available horses and find potential adopters to fill out applications.
Funding is certainly always a challenge for FOD. They make it a priority to provide responsible care and only take on new rescues as their funding allows. Each rescue that is taken in requires unique care for physical and emotional healing. Gindi feels that “Helping them transition into being healthy, happy, trusting and ready for a second chance again is our greatest success.”
FOD currently rents a 2 horse bumper pull trailer but they would love to have a trailer of their own to use for their rescue work. “It would serve the purpose of transporting our rescues to and from our facility and for training to alleviate fears of trailering,” Gindi shared. If you were interested in participating in the Horse Trailer Donation and Sharing Program for this organization, please comment below.
Field of Dreams Horse Rescue and Adoption
St. Charles, IL
Donations: P.O. Box 61, St. Charles, IL 60174
If you are interested in loaning or donating your horse trailer to this particular organization, then check out details of our Horse Trailer Donation and Sharing Program here. Then, post your comments below to help out!
Also, learn more about horse rescues in these two articles: