Rescue Wins Big with $25,000 Grant

ASPCA Awards More Than $100K to Help a Horse Day Contest Winners

Ramona, CA—TheraPony, a small volunteer-run horse rescue and sanctuary located in Ramona, CA has been awarded an ASPCA grant to continue their life saving work. More than 170 rescues and sanctuaries nationwide participated in ASPCA’s Help A Horse Day celebrated in April. TheraPony was awarded the grand prize of $25,000 for their efforts to lower the number of unwanted horses through 30 Geldings In 30 Days campaign., providing 30 free castration surgeries in the San Diego area during the month of April.

Each year we are proud to recognize the commitment and creativity of equine rescues across the country through the ASPCA Help a Horse Day national competition,” said Matt Bershadker, ASPCA President and CEO. “ASPCA Help a Horse Day illustrates how much can be accomplished when communities and advocates come together to make the most of their ideas, efforts, and resources. I congratulate this year’s winners and thank everyone involved in the lifesaving work of caring for horses who’ve been abused and neglected.”

We are extremely grateful and humbled by the generosity and support of ASPCA and our community,” said Anika Russell, TheraPony’s young founder. “This validates years of hard work. I am so proud of our little rescue and looking forward to doing even more to help our community. We are already working on ideas for next year’s Help A Horse Day. And yes, it will include more new members of the Gelding Club”

I’d like to thank Mylestone Equine Rescue and New Jersey and San Diego Horse Coalition for stepping up and supporting this campaign. Both organizations provide community support programs, on opposite sides of the country,” said Lana Russell, TheraPony’s Treasurer. “I’d also like to recognize the following sponsors, without whom this program wouldn’t be possible: Unwanted Horse Coalition, FarmVet,, Harmel’s Helping Hands Equine Massage, our dedicated veterinarians at Exact Equine in Lakeside, CA, and our trainer Pete Spates of Natural Responses Horsemanship. Special Thank You goes out to our community and Ramona Chamber of Commerce for their support of our organization and Help A Horse Day Celebration”

TheraPony has several projects that will benefit from the much-needed funds. Part will be set aside for next year’s gelding campaign. The rescue plans to fund their Community Support Program with a portion of this grant. The facility TheraPony leases needs work to help accommodate 9 horses who joined the program this year. One new horse, Shelley, was found to be pregnant, so a foaling stall and nursery are in order. Then there are big ticket items that would many more horses but seemed like an impossible dream until today. Because TheraPony focuses on elderly and injured equines, The Magnus Compact Portable PEMF unit has been a wish list item for several years. The group plans to discuss how to get the most bang for their buck during their weekly Saturday night get togethers at the rescue.

How you can help

The routine care for one horse is about $3,000 a year, not including emergencies and acute cases. With nearly 30 horses under their care, the need for funding never ends. Donations and monthly sponsorships are greatly appreciated.

Adopting, fostering, or sponsoring a horse is a great way to help relieve some of the burden on local rescues as well as free up funds for another horse in need.

Help is also needed in areas like website and T-shirt design.There is something for everyone to do.

Upcoming Events

TheraPony hosts Saturday night potluck get togethers at their ranch in Ramona.July 1st Celebration at TheraPony Ranch

First Saturday of every month is Ranch Day. Volunteers gather on this day to tackle larger projects and clean up the ranch.

Second Saturday of the month Pete Spates with Natural Responses Horsemanship holds a clinic at the ranch covering variety of topics.

Tax-deductible donations can be made here PayPal Giving Fund


Media Contact: Lana Russell 714.658.5333




List of all 2017 Winners

ASPCA video