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Cusack fund blows out target!

May 7, 2011

by Neil Clarkson

Kiwi-born Cusack has more friends than he will ever know, with Horsetalk discovering that his fund had hit $NZ2855 overnight.

The overnight tally has exceeded the $NZ1900 set initially, but his supporters need have no fear that their money will be funding horse treats that Cusack doesn't need.

Cusack in his racing days in North Canterbury, in 2004. © Jeni Bassett/Equine Attitude

As with most things horsey, prices are now coming in and it's going to cost a lot more than first estimated.

Deb Johnson, who will be giving Cusack a lifelong home in Kansas after he was bought from a auction house in Washington state, where the threat of a trip to the slaughter house loomed large, has been on the phone trying to pin down a price to get 11-year-old Cusack half way across the US to her home.

She initially hoped she might be able to get shipping for $US800, based on the cost of moving a horse from California in the past.

However, Cusack is further north and skyrocketing fuel costs have seen horse shipping costs jump.

The first price in was $US1800, which had her freaking out.

Deb said she then spoke with her shipper, Paul Lynch, of 4railhorsetransport.

"He said if Cusack can stay where he is until June 4, he'll do it for $US950.

"If I can meet Paul on the I-80 in Nebraska, he'll reduce cost of shipping even more.

"Paul is a super sweet guy, amazing horseman, great shipper, and is giving us a heck of a break on shipping.

"Paul takes his time transporting, unloading horses late afternoon and overnighting them in covered stalls with shavings so they can rest, relax and be good to go for another days travel.

"I can't imagine a better hauler. I know he's giving us a heck of a break."

However, this will mean Cusack will need to spend nearly a month at the Back Forte boarding establishment, where latest reports indicate he is tucking into his hay and settling in nicely.

Lisa O'Gorman, who stepped up and will pay for Cusack for a fortnight at the Back Forte, has checked and Cusack can keep his lodgings for the month.

The additional cost will be around $US250.

"I'm thinking that it will give him a month to regain his strength and put some weight on. They tend to drop weight during shipping, so a month to recover is a good thing," Deb says.

She says she is arranging his brand inspection for him to allow him to be transported.

The vet will delay a final check and issuing the required health certification to ensure it is up-to-date for Cusack's trip.

With a month at his temporary lodgings, Deb understandably wants to also get his feet checked by a farrier and trimmed if necessary.

"I'm glad you are chronicling this as a lot of people are unaware all that is involved in rescuing and moving a horse," she says.

"Between hooves, supplements, training, shots he'll need upon arrival - you have to assume he's had none - that horse can get quite costly!

"Indeed, it takes a village to rescue a horse. Without everyone's support, Cusack would be facing his final hours here on earth. I couldn't have done this alone," said Deb, in offering her heartfelt thanks.


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