LAKE PLACID - Terry Robards Wines and Spirits will host a "Taming the Wild Horse" benefit Friday for the care and treatment of the remaining horses the Essex County Sheriff's Department rescued in September.
In all, the sheriff's office seized 41 horses from the Wing and a Prayer Farm in Essex and charged owner Shelley Wing and her daughter Emily with multiple counts of failing to provide sustenance, in violation of the state Agriculture and Markets Law.
Many individuals and organizations helped take care of the horses after the rescue, and Essex County took ownership, all of which was a financial burden.
"It is our desire to raise awareness within the horse-loving community - and show support to these organizations and trainers - by helping to raise much-needed funds for the remaining horses' continued care and training," said Lake Placid benefit organizer Julie Robards.
All but four of the horses have been adopted, and those left are considered wild.
"Nobody wants to adopt a wild horse," Robards said. "The ones who are not tame enough to be adopted are currently being housed by retired vet Diane Dodd at her farm in Westport, and every day several trainers arrive to work with them at their own expense. They get no reimbursement for travel expenses or for the daily hours they spend."
Robards is looking at three different donation options after the fundraiser: one for Crane Mountain Valley Horse Rescue, one for Essex County to help reimburse the costs, and one for the ongoing care of the horses by their current trainers.
"We just want to help those who are working hard at this time, at their own expense, to see the remaining horses are prepared for their forever homes," Robards said.
The "Taming the Wild Horse" wine tasting will be held at Terry Robards Wines and Spirits, 2047 Saranac Ave., on Friday. The store will start pouring Wild Horse wines at noon, and at 6 p.m. there will be a gathering with live music, food from Green Goddess Natural Market and guest appearances by horse trainers Nicky Frechette and Helene Watrous from Keene.
For more information, call 518-523-9072 or visit the Terry Robards Facebook page.