Sunrise Horse Rescue’s latest fundraiser, Harvest of Hope, raised a record amount at last Saturday’s event held at Tamber Bey.
“We brought in just over $154,000, which is really big for us,” said Jeff Hoelsken, executive director of Sunrise Horse Rescue.
“We’re extremely grateful to the supporters, volunteers, and everyone who came out for the event, and who helps us throughout the year,” he said.
Jennifer Waite, co-owner of Tamber Bey Winery where Sunrise is located said the event was a success.
“You really knocked it out of the park,” she said to Hoelsken after the event.
San Francisco Giants pitcher Matt Cain and his wife Chelsea were the special guest hosts of the evening, and were instrumental in providing a number of unique auction lots such as being “ball dude” for a day at one of next season’s Giants games, a pitching lesson by Matt Cain, and the opportunity to experience a wild herd of horses and observe them in their natural environment with expert guided horsemen at Montgomery Creek Ranch.
Hoelsken was impressed not only with the level of interest, time and support the Cains gave, but also with how gracious and humble they are, he said.
Chelsea Cain, an accomplished equestrian, reached out to Sunrise last year during the Valley Fire and has been involved with the group since.
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The money raised through the seventh annual event will go directly to supporting the horses, which includes daily care and feeding, veterinary care, farrier services, and natural horsemanship training.
Rider and trainer Matt Brown conducted a demonstration during the event showing his skills in natural horsemanship, which is a philosophy of working with horses based on the horse’s natural instincts and methods of communication, with the understanding that horses do not learn through fear or pain, but rather from pressure and the release of pressure, Hoelsken said.
Sunrise’s recent rescue, Pace, was on hand during the event showing off his healthy recovery. Pace was rescued from being an abused and neglected pack horse used on treks to Havasupai Falls in the Grand Canyon.
Pace is an example, Hoelsken said, of how a horse can learn to trust again. His recovery is mutually beneficial to those who work with him as well.
“You know the phrase ‘the feeling is mutual’? Well, we say ‘the healing is mutual,’” he said.
Sunrise Horse Rescue is a nonprofit organization with a mission to rescue and provide sanctuary for abused and neglected horses in Napa and surrounding counties, as well as provide community members of all ages with life-enhancing skills and experiences derived from horsemanship.
In addition to providing forever homes at our sanctuary, we also regularly provide assistance to horses and horse owners in need by offering food, temporary shelter, foster homes, permanent placement assistance, veterinary care or consultations, and information regarding horse health, dietary needs, and geriatric care.