Rescuing 41 starving horses


Woodside resident and equestrian Gladys Martines, a longtime friend of horses, is seeking donations locally to help defray the costs of the recent rescue of 41 starving horses from a Northern California pasture.

At her 32-acre ranch in Penn Valley in Nevada County northeast of Sacramento, Ms. Martines will be hosting a fundraising event on Saturday, March 14. The proceeds would help fund and reimburse an animal shelter in Nevada County and a horse sanctuary in Butte County for the costs of rescuing, feeding and caring for the horses.

About half the rescued horses have already been adopted from the Horse Plus Humane Society sanctuary, said Cheryl Wicks, founder and director of the Sammie's Friends animal shelter in Grass Valley.

Two of the horses had severe injuries and have been euthanized, Ms. Wicks said. The injuries may have come from fighting with other horses while living unattended in the pasture.

Tickets for the fundraising event are $20 in advance and $23 at the door. The day includes an afternoon concert with country music artist Lacy J. Dalton and the band Robby James and the Streets of Bakersfield.

Go to for details and to buy tickets online.

Donations can be made online, by check and by phone. Call 530-471-5041 or write to Sammie's Friends at 14647 McCourtney Road, Grass Valley, CA 95949.

The horses

Officers from Nevada County Animal Control seized the horses from a pasture on Swanson Ravine road in early January after learning of their plight, Ms. Wicks said.

The roundup, which started in the early morning and extended into the night, was arduous, according to a Jan. 15 story in The Union, a Grass Valley-based newspaper. The horses had become semi-wild and many ran off when volunteers attempted to corral them for transport in trailers.

Animal shelter employees and volunteers with horse trailers helped in the rescue, The Union story said.

The herd included 26 stallions, 14 mares and one gelding. The stallions have been gelded, Ms. Wicks said. Costs to care and feed the animals run from $130 to $150 a day, she said.

Ms. Martines said she learned of the situation when a friend invited her to a meeting about raising money to pay for the horses' upkeep.

The Mounted Patrol of San Mateo County, a men's equestrian association with headquarters in Woodside, recognized Ms. Martines four years ago, naming her the Outstanding Horseperson-Citizen of 2010.

Patrol member and former Horseperson award winner Bill Wraith said at the time that the Patrol was "deeply honored" to present the award to Ms. Martines "for her tireless, lasting contributions to our community for over 50 years, totally dedicated to improving and preserving our county's horse culture, trails and stabling."

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