The 14 horses that Monkees heart-throb Davy Jones was determined to look after for the rest of their days have crossed the United States to stay in the care of the Jones family.
The family of the Monkees lead singer, who died of a heart attack on February 29 last year at the age of 66, are determined to fulfil his wish to provide the animals with the best of care.
Many are rescue animals or retired racehorses.
The Davy Jones Equine Memorial Foundation has been set up by his children, Talia, Sarah, Jessica and Annabel, in collaboration with former Monkees Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork, to ensure a good life for the horses Jones loved so much.
In the future, it is hoped the horses will undertake work with underprivileged children.
The fund website says: “We honor his dedication and are ‘taking the reins’ to provide for his herd as they live out their lives.
“Dad learned to ride at age 14 when he became a stable lad in Newmarket, England, and he remained a committed and hands-on horseman. Whenever he was not performing or on the road doing concerts, he was up at 5am and in the stables feeding, grooming, riding and caring for his horses.
“After he suddenly passed away on February 29, 2012, we established the Davy Jones Equine Memorial Foundation in his memory to continue providing for his herd of beloved horses.
“Many of them are rescues that were faced with an uncertain future while others are retired racehorses – he was committed to keeping the herd together and supporting them for the rest of their lives.”
With great effort and generous donations, the family was able to transport the herd to California to be nearer to them.
“We are now able to personally care for them, which gives us all great comfort and a special connection to our dad.
“As the care and feeding of horses is a costly endeavor, financial assistance is greatly needed. Only with your support of the fund will we be able to maintain our dad’s legacy.”
In the years before his death, most of the money Jones earned performing went to care for the 14 horses at his Indiantown ranch, in Florida.
There is no money in the estate to pay for the herd’s upkeep.
The family looked for suitable equine accommodation in Florida, but in the end shipped the horses to a ranch in Santa Barbara, California.
The monthly cost for their upkeep is $US8,000 to $US10,000.