Equine Rescue

Horse Rescued in Honor of Young Newtown Shooting Victim

By Jonathan Phelps Staff writer for the Salem News

“Jessica loved everything about horses…”

“Today is ‘Feel Good Sunday‘ and we fully intend to fulfill our weekly commitment to supply our readers with a story that will help to uplift spirits and recharge the soul, today shall hopefully not disappoint but this installment comes with a bit of a warning; your heart strings will be pulled.  So with that in mind, revel in the good things that good people do in an effort to flush the evil from our lives.  Only occasionally am I proud to be a member of this species and after reading this story, today has become one of these days.  Keep the faith.” ~ R.T.

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Jessica Rekos

Jessica Rekos

HAMILTON, MASS — Six-year-old Jessica Rekos dreamed of having her own horse one day.

While her parents promised to get her one when she turned 10, Jessica’s dream will never come true. She was among the 20 children and six adults killed when a gunman opened fire at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., two weeks ago.

“Jessica loved everything about horses. She devoted her free time to watching horse movies, reading horse books, drawing horses and writing stories about horses,” wrote her parents, Rich and Krista Rekos, in a statement. “She asked Santa for new cowgirl boots and a cowgirl hat.”

To remember Jessica, a Hamilton-based nonprofit organization, Hope4Horses, has rescued an 8-month-old standardbred colt from a slaughter pen and renamed him Rekos to keep her legacy alive.

Co-founder Janine Jacques will travel to New Jersey next week to pick up the young colt and his mother and will bring them to the organization’s barn in Hamilton. Rekos will live in town until a family is selected to adopt him, she said.

They will be looking for a family with a young girl about Jessica’s age who is also passionate about horses, she said.

The idea to rescue a horse in Jessica’s honor came out of the Equine Rescue Network, a website managed by the group that coordinates rescues for young horses. Hope4Horses rescues and rehabilitates young horses under 3 and uses the network to find homes for the horses.

“What we are trying to do is fill her dream,” Jacques said. “It is really sad for a lot of us, because the horse community very much sticks together. It is just sad we lost one of our own, it is sad to lose any kid in such a tragedy.”

She said many of the group’s supporters grew up with the same “horse gene” as Jessica and understand her passion.

“I grew up as that little cowgirl,” Jacques said. “I can really relate to this little girl who spent all of her time watching horse videos, drawing horses and wanted a horse.”

Jacques said it typically costs about $1,000 to rescue a horse. A group of supporters took to town singing Christmas carols earlier this month to raise money to save the horse.

With 20 carolers, a rescue horse and a donkey, the group raised $900.

Some 157,000 horses will be sent to slaughter in Canada or Mexico this year, Jacques said.

The organization, which is run by all volunteers, has saved 120 horses since being founded in 2010. They saved 46 horses this year alone.

Jessica Rekos also spent time writing in her journals, making up stories and doing “research” on orcas — killer whales — one of her passions after seeing the movie “Free Willy” last year, according to her parents.

Another one of the girl’s dreams was to see an orca, a dream that was realized in October during a trip to SeaWorld.

Once Rekos is placed in the perfect home, a bound book will be sent to Jessica’s family, Jacques said.

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25 replies »

  1. Good morning RT! We are all very heartbroken here in Connecticut. It is wonderful that so much care, concern and acts like this are taking place. Could you please correct the spelling of the town’s name? It is NEWTOWN. Thank you! Happy New Year to all. hopefully 2013 brings light love and peace to all

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  2. Only problem with this story is they bought the horse from another chance 4 horses, which is one of the biggest “rescue” scams in the country. They are part of the horse slaughter pipeline and have been tooting their own horn about this all over their website and fb pages. Another way for them to do nothing and make $ off it. They did the same thing with the Paragallo mare they took in in order to fundraise for her. And the Ferdinand granddaughter that they got from New Holland and use her to fundraise for, dumped her on a former associate and never gave her the money that was donated for her upkeep, ran up a huge board and vet bill for her and never gave one thin dime. They are monsters who profit off other peoples tragedy. They have been begging for money to “save a horse from slaughter” in that girls name. Laughing all the way to the bank

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    • AC4H a scam org?? Can you document your info? Or is this your own opinion? I have witnessed many people slamming legit horse rescues… Just curious to know? To call them monsters is a huge statement which needs some clarification in hard copy. For Example Gentle Giants Draft Horse Rescue has been inappropriately slammed by some disgruntled former volunteers and their org.does an awesome job saving the draft breeds from the slaughter pipeline… Just hoping that you can verify your info. Thanks!

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    • In all fairness, I just read a complaint from Mara Feld, PHD from Boston MA. Ripoffreport.com. ??? Not sure what is going on here with Christie and AC4H? it would seem to me that an org. with shady intentions would be reported immediately to other horse rescue orgs.or Equine Alliance / Fund For Horses, etc.etc. to red flag it immediately. Not sure what is going on here… The bottom line is the horses are the ones who will no doubt suffer here…And that, is unforgivable!

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  3. I was delighted to read this news! Hamilton, MA is a very appropriate place for this to happen. Home of the Myopia Hunt Club, and a town of horse owners, hopefully this will influence more from this community to step up and rescue horses. Awesome news of this rescue!

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  4. What a wonderful story. Each time I read about those so viciously gunned down, I pray for those who have lost their lives. I continue to wonder why this violance continues, especially when it comes to our children. I can only fathom that it is the same wicked evil that continues to rob us of our wonderful equines. I’m sure though that Jessica has her choice of many horses in heaven. To all of the “Warriors” out there please have a Happy New year as we continue with our fight for the welfare of our wonder equines around the US.

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  5. Jessica’s life here on earth has made a profound positive difference. She is powerful from the ‘nother places, where her spirit continues to make a profound difference. How wonderful that her family, friends and others are honoring her life by honoring the life of others; these innocent horses, that she loves, are not only being spared one-life-at-a-time but a MIGHTY message is being sent worldwide that influences the hearts, minds and spirits of man’kind’ that empathy and compassion are the keys to universal well being.

    I love the ancient Native American belief of “The Bridge” and find it so comforting :

    http://animalspirits222.wordpress.com/2012/11/29/the-bridge/

    Blessings on Jessica’s sweet, innocent spirit. Blessings on Jessica’s family who in the face of grieving her loss, honor her. Blessings on the spirits of the horses that have passed on …also at the hands of men. Blessings on all who work to promoted respect, kindness and peace for all living beings.

    Thank you for your post. I believe it touched the hearts of many today. It certainly touched my heart. Thank you for all that you do to raise public awareness of the need for protection of the innocent lives of the horse spirits. I will post a link to this on “The Animal Spirits”on Facebook today.

    ~Gerean Pflug, The Animal Spirits

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  6. Reblogged this on THE ANIMAL SPIRITS and commented:
    Jessica’s life here on earth has made a profound positive difference. She is powerful from the ‘nother places, where her spirit continues to make a profound difference. How wonderful that her family, friends and others are honoring her life by honoring the life of others; these innocent horses, that she loves, are not only being spared one-life-at-a-time but a MIGHTY message is being sent worldwide that influences the hearts, minds and spirits of man’kind’ that empathy and compassion are the keys to universal well being.

    I love the ancient Native American belief of “The Bridge” and find it so comforting :

    http://animalspirits222.wordpress.com/2012/11/29/the-bridge/

    Blessings on Jessica’s sweet, innocent spirit. Blessings on Jessica’s family who in the face of grieving her loss, honor her. Blessings on the spirits of the horses that have passed on …also at the hands of men. Blessings on all who work to promoted respect, kindness and peace for all living beings.

    Thank you for your post. I believe it touched the hearts of many today. It certainly touched my heart. Thank you for all that you do to raise public awareness of the need for protection of the innocent lives of the horse spirits. I will post a link to this on “The Animal Spirits”on Facebook today.

    ~Gerean Pflug, The Animal Spirits

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  7. So many of us were just like her. I was a little girl in Connecticut who dreamed of a horse and asked until I wore my dad down… and mother approved. Age 10, a little mustang was bought. This was a shock wave that knocked us all down. How do we get up and face this again and again? We want change and we are being held at bay while children die? This is not what growing up in America should be about but it is! How far off the mark do we have to be before change is the only answer???? Is it not now, the only answer?

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  8. I am 59 years old and was Jessica, still am Jessica, look for movies about horses, watch Parelli, Monte Roberts as much as I can, can’t wait for the Kentucky Derby & the Breeders Cup. Started asking Santa for a pony @ the age of 4. Was on Pony rides in the park in Denver at the age of 16 months old. My told me I should have been my Uncle Joe’s child (he was a cowboy). Though we couldn’t afford a horse all through my childhood, if I could beg, borrow or even steal (I didn’) I could. I rode, bareback if I had to to exercise people’s horses. Now that I can afford them, I rescue or adopt, and have five, 2 from the BLM, 3 from other places that were going to put down or who knows….My heart is broken for Little Jessica and all the children as well as the adult victims of Newton. It will be hard not to think of her when I look at my beautiful horses, I will send good wishes up to her and maybe she will ride with me, or even ride alone, I don’t mind. She is certainly free to do so now………..

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  9. God Bless that little girl who loved horses so much! My heart goes out to her parents & family. She is an angel in heaven greeting all of the innocent ones who pass over the “Rainbow Bridge”. And they too shall greet her with warming nickers of love, comfort, and tears..

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  10. Thank you R.T. for this beautiful story. I too was a little girl on a farm in Iowa who wanted a beautiful Arabian. I finally got a horse, not an Arabian but I loved him anyway, when my family moved to Florida for my mother’s health. Her health didn’t improve there so off we went to Arizona but with no horse. THen to California where my mother died and I never did get a horse again until last year, at the age of 70, when I rescued three and hope to get two more later this year. I keep them at a sanctuary here in So. California with hopes that one the ones coming later this year will be one or both that I can ride. Even at 71, I love these beautiful animals and wish that all those wasted years, sixty plus, that I would have had the enjoyement, fulfillment, and love of the horse. There are many Jessicas out there and I hope they all get their horses long before I did. Many years wasted by not getting to enjoy this lovely gift from God along with his other companions, our dogs and cats. All of these animals are being killed instead of being given the chance to find new homes and being loved, along with our beautiful wild horses where there ranges are being taken away from them for no good reason, and many are losing not only their home ranges but their families only to be left in a feedlot or much worse. May one day all of these horrible people that have hurt these animals get what has long been overdue to them. When that day comes, I will be overjoyed. May Jessica in her new heaven enjoy all the horses that will enjoy heaven with her. I wish she meets the one I wanted to adopt but lost to a heart attack. And, to Jessica’s family, we all love Jessica through her love of these fantastic animals.

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    • Dear Lynn Thank You for your heartwarming story !!!!!!!You are an inspiration !!!!! May the Years be all that you have dream of !!!!! God Bless You and your wonderful Horses !!!!!!

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      • Arlene, thank you. Where do you live. We have e-mailed each other with this website many times. If you are ever in So. California I would love to meet you. Our interests are similar. If I get luck enough to retire, I probably will have to relocate as this State is ridiculous with its costs. I’m thinking possibly Oregon, North Carolina, or Florida at this point in time, but I’m unsure of the location. There are many beautiful areas on the East Coast but the snow in cold makes me think of other places. IF you want to reach me directly, my e-mail is bcco1@sbcglobal.net.

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  11. R. T. In addition to above, I hope this year you will be able to tell us that our wild horses and donkeys will not be hunted anymore by the BLM and our domesticated horses will not be in the hands of killer buyers. WHat a great year that would be when we the advocates can put down our advocacy and start to really enjoyed these beautiful creatures and not have to fight the battle anymore because they will finally get what they should have gotten so many years ago — no slaughter houses in the U.S, no horses shipped over U.S. borders, and no killer buyers supplying the Europeans for their gastly appetites. What a great year 2013 would be.

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    • Wow, What a beautiful thing that would be , we can do this for the Mustangs and the horses, together we are unstoppable !!!!!!!

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  12. Just like Jessica I loved horses when I was young. Now I feel sick around horses, it is not the horses themselves, it is the voices of AC$H that collect money and more money. It is the bullying, lying, extortion. Cash…AC$H…Cash…Even in the memory of a young girl who should be here today. It is not fair what happened to the people in Newtown. Lots of things in this life are not fair. I am am just one of the victims of Christy Sheidy. I am referred to above here Mara Feld, PhD from my Ripoff Report complaint. I have contacted endless people with stories like this one…how a woman’s daughter wanted to adopt a horse off the AC$H website, she tried to adopt it and got the run around…then months later her daughter reports that horse needs to be saved from AC4H yet again. Or the story about the Belgians that were “saved” but disappeared and found neglected in VFH Diane Murphy’s field. Sheidy just collects money…way more then the horses are worth. Imaginary horses saved a hundred times over. Rumor has it she doesn’t sell for killbuyer Brian Moore any further, and he may testify against her. It is the government. They are incompetent and letting this happen. I am pro Obama but legalizing slaughter and not regulating racetracks and supposed rescues??? Suffolk Downs merging with Ceasar’s Casino that means bigger racing purses and more drugged up Thoroughbreds headed for human consumption in Asian and Europe. We need to have all their gambling money fund independent investigation of scams like the Alex Brown (scam-which is listed over on your “horse welfare advocates”. Diane Murphy “rescue” in Ohio is a scam along with the AC4H. Alex Brown knew Sheidy stole my horse and he protected her by deleting all my comments. Spud Noone died of throat cancer so that is what happens, I guess, to killbuyers that tell one too many lies. Farewell Spud. Don’t worry he went to a place far far away from Jessica. The survivors are headed for Federal Court until my horse is returned. See Spud and Sheidy were business partners so she protected him. She and Deb Jones could get more cash from Matt Clarke. The close association of Matt Clarke and the killbuyers-fake rescue makes me very very very suspect of the so called Suffolk Downs “non-slaughter” what a joke. They kill Thoroughbreds. They save the famous ones, collect huge sums of cash, start these fake “recue” organizations, totally unregulated. They extort money from the previous owners. They will ruin you and your reputation if you dare reveal with truth about Christy Sheidy and Deborah Jones. Just ask me. stophorseslaughter2010@yahoo.com.

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