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Wendy Reuer, Published May 09 2013

High Tail Ranch in Hawley, home to about 25 rescue horses, will host fundraiser Saturday

HAWLEY, Minn. – Nykky Rehovsky met Brutus when she recently visited High Tail Ranch and Rescue here.

The black draft horse was too thin for his mammoth size, and had a coat full of winter hair mats.

Despite Brutus’ rough appearance – the result of his owner’s inability to properly care for him, similar to many other horses the ranch has rescued – something between Brutus and the Fargo woman clicked.

“We just bonded right away,” Rehovsky said.

She began caring for the big draft horse and now plans to adopt him from ranch owner Charlotte Tuhy.

Their story is similar to many others at the ranch that is home to about 25 rescue horses, two llamas, numerous chickens, turkeys, guinea hens and two peacocks.

On Saturday, Tuhy hopes others will meet a horse they can bond with at the ranch’s biggest fundraising event of the year: an open house, adoption event and consignment auction.

Tuhy said the ranch needs to raise about $10,000 to buy enough hay for the winter. It’s a cost that could increase if more horses need rescuing and hay prices keep climbing.

From fall 2011 to fall 2012, hay prices doubled, said John Dhuyvetter, North Dakota State University Extension livestock specialist.

“The reason they spiked so much last year was the widespread, devastating drought,” Dhuyvetter said.

“Now if we can reverse that and actually break the drought over more areas, hay prices will remain high, but I don’t see them going much higher.”

Tuhy said the hay prices did more than run up the cost of running her ranch; it meant more horses needed rescuing. Horse and livestock owners couldn’t keep up with soaring feed costs, leading to neglect and causing the ranch to step in, Tuhy said.

“We have a waiting list right now of horses for us to take in,” she said. “Most of those are owner surrenders. The owners are over their head and can’t keep them.”

In November, High Tail helped the Ottertail County Sheriff’s Office rescue 11 abused and neglected horses from a farm north of Perham.

Bruce and Allison Breun, of Frazee, appeared in Otter Tail County District Court in March to face 26 separate charges relating to the horses’ abuse.

Many of those horses will be up for adoption Saturday.

There will be a silent auction in conjunction with Saturday’s open house and adoption event at High Tail Ranch and Rescue for two horses: Diamond, a rescued 13-year-old sorrel gelding with about 90 days of training, and Chili, a 17-year-old quarter horse gelding who was donated to the ranch as part of the fundraising event.

A consignment auction of tack, clothing and other ranch items is scheduled to begin at 3:30 p.m. There will be equine dental and communication clinics throughout the day.

Tuhy said she hopes to make Saturday’s event an annual one.


If you go

What: Open house, auction and silent auction fundraiser for High Tail Horse Ranch and Rescue

When: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday; 3:30 p.m. consignment auction begins

Where: 28953 15th Ave. N., Hawley, Minn.

Info: Full schedule of events at www.hightailhorseranchandrescue.com


Readers can reach Forum reporter Wendy Reuer at (701) 241-5530