St. Francois County Rotary members gave a helping hand to a local not-for-profit organization giving homes to animals in need of a home to roam.
Barbara Hutchinson and her husband, Laurence, are the president and vice president of Renaissance Ranch – 75 acres near Farmington off Route O that offers former race horses a place to recover from injuries and let their “over-amped” brains unwind.
Most of the horses were thoroughbred race horses that were not fast enough or were injured. Once these horses were retired they needed some place to go.
It all started back in 2006 with one horse named Spike from Arizona and blossomed from there. There are horses from all over the country, but most of the horses on the ranch come from Fairmont Park racing track east of St. Louis.
Housing, feeding and caring for the horses are quite a task. Barbara said the ranch relies on volunteers.
The ranch is open for groups to visit – from local nursing homes, Southeast Missouri Mental Health Center as well as local scouting groups.
Barbara expressed her appreciation to the Rotarians for the donation of a sign. The donation for the sign was made possible through the Rotary’s district Cap Grant project.
Past awards through the project were made to St. Francois County school district’s backpack programs, among other events.
Rotarian Brenda Jordan said the organization held a meeting at the ranch where they learned more about the horses and the services provided.
From that visit, the decision was made to award the grant to Renaissance Rescue.
Volunteers were busy hauling brush away from the roadside – making the sign noting the ranch more visible from Route O. Other projects on the list included repairs and painting along the fence line.
“It means a lot to us,” Barbara said of the donation made by the organization and the help provided. “We think (the ranch) does a lot of good for the community – not to speak of the (help provided) for the horses who were unwanted horses.”
Shawnna Robinson is the managing editor of the Farmington Press and can be reached at 573-518-3628 or email@example.com