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Greener pastures for horses involved in accident
By Corrinne Hess | Daily Herald Staff

Handler Bob Brown tries to keep a nervous horse under control at the Fred Carney horse farm in Wadsworth. The first of the horses that survived an Oct. 27 accident were adopted Wednesday.


Gilber R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

Linda and Dan Kelly of Wadsworth take two horses to their trailer as the first of the horses that survived an Oct. 27 accident are adopted from the Fred Carney horse farm in Wadsworth. The Kellys were involved in the rescue of the horses after the accident.


Gilber R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

Donna Ewing of HARPS, or Hooved Animal Rescue and Protection Society, pets one of the injured horses on Wednesday. The first of the horses that survived a rollover accident Oct. 27 were adopted from the Fred Carney horse farm in Wadsworth.


Gilber R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

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Published: 11/15/2007 12:16 AM | Updated: 11/15/2007 6:44 AM

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On the night of Oct. 27, as Beth Sabor helped pull 59 draft horses -- some alive, others dead -- from an overturned double-decker trailer, she swore one of them would be going home with her.

On Wednesday, a 4-month-old chestnut Belgian became the Johnsburg woman's first pet horse.

"I left there saying if they stay in Illinois, I'm going to get my first horse," Sabor said.

Sabor's still unsure what her horse's new name will be.

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"I was going to name him Gunner, until I saw how he acted. Now I'm searching for something calmer."

While there are still many unanswered questions surrounding the crash and the intended destination of the horses, the animals' futures have finally been determined.

Adoption proceedings have begun for the 41 surviving horses. On Wednesday, about 10 horses left Fred Carney farm in Wadsworth, where they've been recuperating.

The remaining animals will be adopted over the next few weeks, said Donna Ewing, president of the Hooved Animal Rescue and Protection Society in Barrington Hills.

Ewing was given ownership of the draft horses by the Great West Casualty Insurance Co.

Ewing said HARPS received more than 250 requests to adopt the animals with applicants from as far away as Sweden.

"We are so heartened by the outpouring of offers from so many excellent homes," Ewing said.

The cost to adopt a horse under a year old is $50 and $100 for the others.

Surviving horses include Belgians, Percherons and Haflinger ponies.

Dan Kelly of Wadsworth took home two Haflinger ponies Wednesday.

Kelly's family owns Patch 22 farm and offers pony rides to area children. His new horses will be a perfect fit, he said.

"I was out there that night and feel a sort of an obligation to them," Kelly said. "I remember these guys coming out of the trailer. I wanted to make sure they got a good home and they will with us."

Megan Curran, 16, of Salem, Wis., picked out two large Belgiums for herself while her mother, Sandy, found a smaller horse to take home to their farm, Emerald Acres.

"I plan on working with them a lot and hopefully getting them ready to compete in the Kenosha County Fair next year," Megan said.

Ewing said with 250 applications for 41 horses, she knows many people will be disappointed.

"You just can't help but fall in love with these animals," she said. "I hope those who were interested go to the sales barns and purchase one of the horses for sale there. Otherwise these horses likely will have a horrible fate involving a miserable uncomfortable trip to Mexico or Canada."