By Caroline Nickolaus
As The Pioneer reported on Sept. 30, the LIU Post equestrian team set out to complete a daunting mission—raise enough money to rescue a slaughter- bound miniature horse, and make him the team mascot. The team held a bake sale during common hour in Hillwood Commons, posted flyers throughout campus seeking donations, and even created a web page on gofundme.com so that others could donate money to pay for the purchase and future expenses of the miniature horse.
After a lot of hard work and dedication, the girls were finally financially able to travel to the horse auction located in New Holland, Pennsylvania and choose which lucky horse would be coming home with them for another chance at life as their team mascot.
The mission took place on Oct. 13. Hope, a sweet palomino mare, caught the riders’ attention right away. Two of the three team captains, Cristina Bakos, a senior Speech Pathology/Pre-Med major, and Alex Diez, a junior Biology major, as well as one of the fundraisers, Christina Cepeda, a junior Psychology major, brought the mini horse to her new home in Bakos’ backyard barn in Nesconset, where she will have a much more exciting life with the other mini horses—and a donkey—already living there.
All of the money raised by the team will be put towards the many expenses needed to properly care for any horse, including veterinary and farrier appointments (hoof trimming), board, feed, wormer, shavings, and clothing. Hope had a warm welcome to the LIU Post equestrian team when she made her mascot debut at the annual Homecoming Football Game on Saturday, Oct. 18. For such a tiny equine, Hope handled the loud, crazy football game quite well. She tried her best to not get too overwhelmed.
“She was calm at homecoming, but would sometimes get startled with sudden, loud noises like popping balloons or the loud music, but eventually she got accustomed to the all the noise,” said team member Colleen Dreyer, a senior Public Relations major and the team’s Treasurer.
The day at homecoming was a success, which even included raising more money to care for Hope in the future. The equestrian team raised $1,110 through their “Go Fund Me” account, which is linked on the team’s Facebook page. To donate money to help Hope, you can go to www.gofundme.com/save- a-pony, or email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
The next on-campus horse show at the North Shore Equestrian Center will be on Nov. 9, at 8 a.m. Hope, the mini mascot, will be there to show support. The event is open to the public.