During September 27-29 A friend and I attended the 3d annual International Equine Conference in Lexington Kentucky, where I made a presentation about Nunki, our last mare, and the desperate fight to save her and her irreplaceable genes. A dear friend, Sami Bolton, went with me and not only held me up but made some phenomenal contacts of her own. Here is her story of the conference with some comments in ( ) where I just had to butt in:
This has been an amazing weekend. Starting off with Friday’s press conference, touring Three Chimneys (thoroughbred race horse farm) and Old Friends Retirement Home (for retired race horses). Mimi’s presentation had the whole room choked up if not crying. I think I have already said I started slinging snot almost instantly, when I saw that first slide of Nunki. Mimi was concerned about some technical stuff with the powerpoint and computer, but no one cared because the story and message came through loud and clear. Loud and clear to some very important and influential people who began reaching out to us immediately. Also just folks attending and wanting to help as well. One person came over with $100, one with $40, and one lovely woman named Bonnie Rapp sat down next to Mimi after the presentation and asked her what she needed right now, Mimi told her fencing and she wrote out a check for $1500. So now we have the money to buy enough fencing to increase Nunki’s foraging area! It is so important for her health and mental wellbeing. So we have her immediate happiness and needs covered. We made some very powerful and right minded friends this weekend.
The next good thing that happened is that today at 2pm Mimi had a very encouraging conversation with a leading equine repro expert who is familiar with our story and believes not only is collecting Nunki’s eggs doable, it is also important and the right thing to do. He is one of a team of 3 LEADERS in the field, who are willing to donate time and effort to saving this breed. As you know we were at the Kentucky Horse Park for this conference and the place is world class huge! There were several horse shows going on including The National Paso Fino Championships. Just the breed Dr Cothran is leaning towards. So we snuck away to find a Puerto Rican stud at the show!
We drove over to the barn area and started asking the Paso Fino people if they knew where we could find a Puerto Rican studs and got some funny looks, but after explaining we meant stallion horses……we did get good advise and some contact names to follow.
So, THAT might be in place or at least started. Throughout the conference people kept coming over to us and giving us encouragement and offers of help. These folks are the real deal and putting themselves out there for horses at risk. They are the cream of the crop in horse rescue, wild horse protection and getting things done. Big things like legislation, saving thousands of Wild Horses and taking real risks.
There are a couple of other things that will be going on that we just can’t talk about yet, but the first steps of actually saving this breed are being taken, with a superstar reproductive team.
The ViaGen kit is in play just in case we need back up. (this is a kit to take a sample of living tissue for use in cloning). Reproduction is looking like a real honest to goodness possibility, MASSIVE political help is being offered and we just got a little shot in the arm with donations and encouragement. For the first time guys we are feeling like there is a powerful team forming.
We . . . are both exhausted from all the energy, other poignant stories and positive encouragement. This is looking totally Do Able! Go Team Nunki!