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The Cusack Fund

The Cusack Fund is now closed, but if you'd like to contact Horsetalk about him, please email on or call (+64) 03 313 2000.
More about the fund

On behalf of Cusack, thank-you all

May 7, 2011

Today, the small team at Horsetalk has never felt prouder to be a part of the horse community.

Not long after dawn we fired up our computers to discover that the initial fundraising target had blown out by nearly $NZ1000.

A Kiwi resident in Florida had alerted us to Kiwi-born Cusack in a

Cusack in 2004. © Jeni Bassett/Equine Attitude

Washington state auction house only a couple of days ago. He had $US500 on his head and there were real fears he was on a path to slaughter.

Deb Johnson offered him a home in Kansas, halfway across the US, and we decided to start a fundraising drive to get the cash needed to do it.

It was all organised within a couple of hours, but there was one thing that proved remarkable about the effort.

We pondered what would happen if we couldn't get the money together. Do you then return it and turn your back on Cusack?

Of course not. We decided the right thing to do was to save Cusack, and not use his plight to pull at the heartstrings to raise the cash.

We promised Deb that if the fundraising effort fell flat, Horsetalk would meet the cost of buying him and getting him to Kansas, where she hopes Cusack will have a great career in trail-riding competitions.

Deb took us at her word and, as soon as the auction house opened, was on the phone with her personal credit card details to buy Cusack.

When we ran our first story about Cusack, the thoroughbred gelding had already been bought.

When his fund hit the first few hundred dollars, he was on his way to his new temporary lodgings.

It would have been very easy for those who donated to Cusack's cause to take the view that he had been saved already, and there was no need to donate.

We felt the right thing to do was, first and foremost, to ensure his future and then see if the horse community would help Cusack with his journey.

Our faith has been vindicated.

We have decided to keep the fund open for a while longer, for those who want to have a share in Cusack's future.

His freight costs have gone higher than anticipated, he will need to be boarded for an extra fortnight, there is the vet check and Coggins test for his interstate trip, and his "tune-up" will require the attention of a farrier and an equine dentist. He is in light condition and will need supplements to return to fine fettle.

We will very carefully document where every cent is spent and publish it online, to assure his supporters that the Cusack donations have gone to ensure that this gelding who began his race training on a beach on the east coast of New Zealand some nine years ago, will enjoy a bright future in the land-locked state of Kansas.

We will take great pleasure in reporting on how Cusack's new life unfolds in Kansas and share the story with our readers. He is still to get to Kansas, so there is plenty more to tell.

For now, our thanks to you all.



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