Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Fundraiser for Courtney King-Dye - raffling off a FOAL?

The following email has come through my inbox twice in the past couple of days, and I'm curious if anyone other than me feels this is grossly inappropriate.

I totally support the effort to assist a rider who has had an accident and huge medical bills as a result - especially since she was not wearing a helmet and has now become the impetus behind increased helmet awareness for all riders, regardless of the level of experience or the context of the ride. I have not followed this story closely but am assuming that she is endorsing the use of helmets and using her position and her accident to educate the many young riders (and older ones, too) about what can happen in a moment's time on the back of a horse - and how a family can be devastated by the expense of resulting medical treatment and rehab.

That said, I find myself shocked that anyone thinks that raffling off not even a fully grown trained horse (which I would still find shocking) but a FOAL is in any way appropriate.

I do not see living creatures as being "prizes" to be raffled like vacation weekends or inanimate objects. It greatly disturbs and saddens me to think that this is the way horses have come to be viewed. Whether as a vehicle to blue ribbons, trophies, or the prize for a winning raffle ticket, this view of these animals, in my opinion, demeans and dishonors them.

I sincerely hope that the folks responsible for this rethink the raffle and choose something different to offer for the winning ticket.

We have been fortunate to have been blessed with many friends that have helped us over the years. We are now trying to "pay it forward" To that end:

As many of you know, on March 3, 2010 dressage rider, Courtney King-Dye fell from a horse and suffered a traumatic head injury. The injury resulted in severe brain trauma and Courtney was in a coma for several weeks following the accident. Courtney has defied the odds and has not only regained consciousness, she is making miraculous progress and recently has even ridden a horse as part of her therapy. However, the costs associated with her medical care and rehabilitation are devastatingly high.

The Oklahoma Dressage Society and Avalon Equine have joined forces in an effort to raise funds to assist one of their own! To that end, Avalon Equine is donating the 2010 Oldenburg colt, Adieu d'Avalon (Aloha x Morticia/Mannhattan) to a fund raiser where tickets will be sold for the chance to win the colt. Adieu is a striking chestnut colt out of one of Avalon Equine's best mares. Avalon will cover all costs associated with Adieu's care, inspection and registration until the winning ticket holder is announced. The proceeds will be donated to the Courtney King-Dye Trust to assist in covering the extraordinary costs associated with her medical care and rehabilitation.

Raffle tickets are $5.00 each or 25 for $100.00. You can go here: to purchase raffle tickets.

If you do not wish to win the foal, but wish to help, go ahead and buy a raffle ticket. We will be drawing a "runner-up" in case the winner isn't able to take the foal. Additionally, we will offer continued support and assistance to whomever wins the foal and of course, to be able to offer updates on how the foal and his new owner are progressing!

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions!
Kathy St.Martin, LLC


Avalon Equine


Matthew said...

Yes this does have the ring of those who call horses "livestock" and "trade in" their horse for a newer model. . .

To some the barn is a home, to others, a garage. . .

billie said...

Amen to that.

Grey Horse Matters said...

Perhaps raffling off some new very expensive helmets would be more appropriate.

I recall some time back before her accident I got a letter in the mail requesting help with monies to further her training so she could go to the Olympics. I thought that was inappropriate too.

billie said...

Arlene, I like the idea of helmets - and I agree, soliciting money for training would not have gone over well with me either. :/

Anonymous said...

Don't like the idea of auctioning a foal - it feels icky to me.

Valentino said...

I agree Billie.

The growing trend towards soliciting financial help through the internet is disturbing in general, and raffling a foal, specifically, inappropriate.

I keep up with Courtney on her blog. Her posts since awaking from the coma have been truly touching and seem sincere.

I get the impression that she realizes the responsibility she bears for not wearing a helmet, as well the severity and long term consequences of that decision on her health and livelihood. Her public acceptance of these harsh facts has been graceful.

I hope and assume that this raffle has been arranged for, not by, Courtney. It would be disappointing to find out otherwise...

billie said...

Kate, glad to hear that it's not just me.

billie said...

V, thanks for the additional info. It doesn't appear from the email that Courtney is directly involved in this effort, although I can't imagine she doesn't know about it.

I would be truly impressed if she requested they raffle off something other than a live animal to help offset the cost of her ongoing treatment.

ponymaid said...

Billie, perhaps a large table or one of those fibreglass horses instead? I would volunteer Molly but ticket sales would fall away to nothing and I would also bear the horrible consequences.

billie said...

Sheaffer, an equine sculpture - just the thing!

You are making me smile with the Molly thing - does she ever come online and read the things you write about her? I am guessing not, or she would be exacting revenge, Molly style!

Kyle said...

Raffling a companion animal is never appropriate, in my opinion. An adoptive owner and the prospective environment must be thoroughly vetted to ensure the new home will be suitable.

Dougie Donk said...

I have also suffered from life-threatening head trauma as the result of not wearing a helmet, so can truely empathise with the financial & emotional costs involved.

But raffling a FOAL???? What checks will they take to make sure that the "winners" are properly equiped to deal with a young life?

I think it's completely inappropriate & have emailed the organisers to sugegst that they offer suitable alternatives - perhaps shares in the ownership & final sale value of the foal?

Maybe if we all do the same, we can make a difference......

billie said...

Kyle, I agree completely.

billie said...

Thanks, DD, I tried to email but it would not go through - I will try again today.

forever in blue jeans, Beth said...

Totally inappropriate !! I see disaster for the foal - a spirit, soul, living creature who is being "set up" by the "odds" as a high risk for ending up as unwanted and in the slaughter-house pen. I want to believe in the good intentions of the folks who set this up, but clearly didn't think it through. A model horse is the way to do this. I've no probably with folks asking for help via the internet - there's lots of folks who need help and lots of folks who want to help - this is all good (assuming honesty and integrity) - I like helping where I can, and admittedly this more often than not, is simply sending positive prayer thoughts. I am now praying for the foal and that somehow those promoting this raffle will get the message, save the foal, and change their approach so that both the foal and the human are helped. nuf said.
Beth and Cookie,
in Virginia

billie said...

Thank you for reminding me, Beth, that we can send good thoughts and energy - I wasn't even thinking in that vein until I read your comment!

Dougie Donk said...

In my email to Avalon Equine, I stated my opinion that "..raffling any animal is highly irresponsible. The raffle process is a game of luck, with no means of ensuring that the eventual winner is fully capable of meeting the costs and development needs of the new life that is now theirs."

I have now had a very lonbg response & since I don't have permission to publish the full thing, I'll just summarise the key points :

> I had made a number of unfounded presumptions & taken a sanctimonious vein in my comments.

> The raffle is such a high proflie situation that Avalon Equine have every intention of being a safety net & following the progress of the foal & his new owners.

> The raffle is directed at horse people, not the general public, so it is "more than likely" that the eventual winners will be horse people.

> The winner is under no obligation to take the foal & there will be anumber of reserve tickets drawn, so that he does go to someone who wants him.

I'll leave you to draw your own conclusions from this - I personally still believe that getting a foal for a $5 raffle ticket is no guarantee of a successful outcome.

billie said...

DD, it sounds like the use of the word sanctimonious is more a projection than anything else!

I've been out of town but so appreciate you letting me and other readers know what response you got. I'm going to post something more tomorrow.

forever in blue jeans, Beth said...

Thank you DD and billie for the follow-up, tho it saddens me to see that those involved are defensive to the point of pointing a verbal finger - "sanctimonious" - they'd be wise to remember that three other fingers are pointing back at them. My father always said that "defensive behavior is the visible manifestation of hidden guilt."
I once saw a chap interview who tried to convince the interviewer that dogs actually "like" to fight.
There goes the emperor with another outfit of new clothes...sigh.
Beth and Cookie,
in Virginia

billie said...

Beth, I finally got an email to go through. We'll see if they respond.

Horse Sports said...

It is so easy to judge and criticize, but very hard to do something to help. In my opinion, all of those making negative comments should have gathered more information first so as not to embarrass yourselves.

billie said...

HSP, everyone commenting here DID gather more information, and no one is, or has any reason to be, embarrassed.

Even now, half a year after this post went up.