Salmon Arm horse rescue opens doors for fundraiser - InfoNews

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Salmon Arm horse rescue opens doors for fundraiser

Horses are able to live freely after being rescued by Freedom's Gate Equine Rescue Society. The society is having a fundraiser on Sunday, June 16, 2019.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK/Freedom's Gate Equine Rescue Society
June 12, 2019 - 3:10 PM

SALMON ARM - If you’re looking to open your hearts and wallets this weekend, check out the first ever tack sale hosted by Freedom’s Gate Equine Rescue Society in Salmon Arm on Sunday.

The sale will feature much more than tack, with vendors selling everything from kitchen goods and decor, to clothing and jewelry. The horses will be nearby for visitors to look at, and comparisons of before and after pictures will be posted to highlight the effects of proper care.

The Freedom’s Gate Equine Rescue Society opened the gates in 2017, and has saved more than 500 horses since then, according to the society’s president Carly Marchand-Jones. The organization buys and rehabilitates rescued horses, and facilitates homing arrangements so horses don’t need to be moved around too much.

The event is a first for the organization, although they’ve held an open house before. This time it is an open house, a market and a barbecue all in one to bring in as many community members as possible.

“We want to make sure everyone understands why we’re here, what we’re doing and why this is a benefit to the community,” Marchand-Jones says.

Marchand-Jones didn’t know that this path is the one she would trot when she bought her farm five years ago. After trading the city bustle for farm life, she knew she wanted to be around horses, but couldn’t commit to owning one. She soon heard from a lady who needed to board four horses she had rescued. At the time, Marchand-Jones didn’t know anything about the equine industry in Canada.

To her horror, she discovered that horses were being bought and sold within and outside of Canada for human consumption. She began looking into the meat industry, and as her research deepened, so did her concern and drive to create change.

“I was ignorant to how commercially processed meat was handled and as I started looking into it, I learned more and more about the horses and I was like - wait a minute.  I started looking into all the animals, and I was like ‘Oh, my god. What are we doing?’”

She quit buying meat from the grocery store, and says she now only buys meat from her neighbours.

“I’ve got some horses here that we’ve purchased at an auction in Alberta, they would’ve been slaughtered for human consumption had we not have bought them. We bid against the meat buyer, and made sure that (the horses) are not heading in that direction, because that’s a pretty horrific end of life,” she says.

She says that Canada is the worst country when it comes to horse slaughter rates.

“It’s illegal in the United States and legal in Canada,” she says. “This is what blows my mind as a Canadian. Canada is the one that slaughters or ships horses for human consumption more than any other country. We ship horses live from Calgary to Japan in crates to be slaughtered. When they get to Japan, they’re tortured because Japanese people feel meat is better if it’s got adrenaline pumping through it.”

She began the Freedom’s Gate Equine Rescue Society in 2015, and was finally fully recognized in 2017. She had five staff working with her, but many of them branched off to create their own rescue organizations. Although they aim to have all horses adopted, some of them are too ill or damaged to be put in new homes. Some of those horses can be fostered out to appropriate homes.

“It’s really hard to put horses into foster homes… so quite often we need to have them here at the facility if we want to adopt them out. We usually put horses into foster homes because they’re not available for adoption, either now or ever. Otherwise, we try keep them here, assess them, train them, and do whatever is needed to make them adoptable,” she says.

Her drive to save horses only keeps growing, and she has now reached out to community organizations to share her passion with the people of the community. She partners with the Shuswap Community Foundation to bring in people with mental and physical disabilities, who learn how to care for the horses and gain some work experience. She also recently partnered with Aspire, an organization to help at risk youth gain valuable experience and connections.

“My goal is to get a grant to make the property more accessible to be able to could host more community events for seniors, children, and make it a wheelchair accessible place,” Marchand-Jones says. “By becoming part of the community and more of an asset to the community, people can see how awesome horses are.”

More vendor spaces are available by donation. Anyone looking to sell their goods needs to contact the society, bring their own table, and are responsible for their own set up. You can call the society at 250-515-1056 or email

The sale will be held on Sunday, June 16 at the headquarters for the organization at 4730 44 Avenue NW, Salmon Arm between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

For more information check out Freedom’s Gate Equine Rescue Society's website here.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Jenna Wheeler or call (250) 819-6089 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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