In Early December, 2016, the Lil’wat Chief and Council shared a memo with the community, expressing their desire to tackle the community’s concern about roaming horses, wandering at-large, along the highways, and in people’s fields, at risk of injury, or causing injury.
A proposed course of action was to round up any animals that weren’t fenced in and contained by their owners, and ship them to the stockyards in Kamloops for sale by January 8, when the auctions re-opened.
Horse lovers in the area knew that stock sales in January means sending the horses to be culled. No one buys horses at that time of year. Over 50% of horses sold at rural auctions go to slaughter. So the Roaming Horse Project was created.
The herd, numbering about 60, ranges freely.
The Roaming Horse Project volunteers managed to connect with some horse-lovers in Squamish, who were willing to purchase 16 of the colts, in order to adopt them out. These young horses were most at risk at auction, of being hit by cars, or being sold as horsemeat.
In 2012, the Canadian horsemeat exports were valued at nearly $90 million.
The team at the Second Chance Cheekye Ranch worked with he owner of this massive herd to try and reduce its numbers, and they hope they can continue to do so.
By mid January, 2017, the Roaming Horse Project was able to announce that twenty colts had been re-homed to the Second Chance Cheekye Ranch, and an online auction found forever homes for many of them.
A second auction followed, and the third will take place July 15.
So far, 31 horses have been rescued.
On Saturday, July 15, the Second Chance Cheekeye Ranch is hosting a fun day fundraiser, with music and entertainment, including songs from Mike Bertini, to help support their efforts.
At Cheekye Ranch the horses are put through a quality training regimen that will provide them with the skills necessary to make them sought-after, longterm partners to their riders and owners.
The fundraiser and barbecue will take place at the epicentre of their rescue initiative, Cheekye Ranch, in Squamish.
After an introduction to the rescue program and meeting all the rescue horses that are in their care, there will be a silent auction with amazing prizes, food and drink for all ages, including alcoholic bevvies for those that want to make a day out of it), and pony rides for the kids (adult kids included).
Entry fee to a jam-packed, fun-filled day is $20.00 and that gets you 1 drink and 1 entry into the door prize. There is a limit to participants and capacity so check out the Facebook Event page and let them know you’ll be there.