Horse aficionados across America are mindful of Dec. 13, an annual date set aside as National Day of the Horse. On this day, Americans are encouraged to “be mindful of the contribution of horses to the economy, history and character of the United States.”
In celebration of America’s strong, hard-working companion animal, we bring you the story of a horse named Raven. Destined for death on a kill truck several years ago, Raven was rescued and later emerged as a triumphant champion.
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The moment amateur roper and farrier Drew Boies laid eyes on the mare, he was struck by her rare, grulla color. Raven was scrawny, cast aside by a breeder that could no longer afford to feed her herd, yet Boies felt there was something special about this horse.
Boies paid $200 for the yearling and raised her, restoring her health and broken spirit. When Raven was 3 years old, she began training, and by 2016, Ravens Silver Angel was a 3-time Congress Champion.
Boies’ wife, Victoria, shared a little insight into Raven’s history. “Raven was indeed bought off a kill truck for $200,” she confirmed.
“She has been Reserve Congress Champion numerous times and received so many Top Tens here, but this year she finally got to be a Congress Champion,” Victoria continued. Her breed is nothing to write home about, yet she has the heart of a champion.
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“She’s an amazing mare that anybody can ride,” Victoria expressed. “Although, if you were to ask anybody who knows her, they would quickly tell you her favorite thing to do is eat!”
The Boies’ family envisions future competitions for their champion, and are already discussing Raven’s well-deserved retirement. “Of course, she will retire at home with us and eventually give us some good babies,” Victoria said.
Situations like Raven’s make a powerful case for ending needless horse slaughter in the United States. According to the Humane Society, “over 100,000 horses are sent to slaughter each year, and the vast majority would be rehomed; not every horse going to slaughter needs to go to rescue.”
Working together, horses in America can live a full, healthy life, and properly raised in their natural environments. The solution for at-risk and homeless horses is to “curb overbreeding, educate owners about other rehoming options and expand adoption work,” reads the Human Society’s website.
Chances are, horses like Raven are just waiting for their second chance at life. “She’s an amazing mare that constantly gives you everything she has,” Victoria expressed. “We’re blessed to have her in our life.”