In The News
April 16, 2015
Sundown Horse Shelter featured in The Citizen: Unwanted horses find shelter in Hugo
A May 3 open house at Sundown Horse Farm & Shelter has one goal: to raise money to buy hay.
Owner Cherie McKenzie says quality hay is her main need for the dozen or so rescue horses that live on her farm.
Equines come and go at the shelter as McKenzie finds suitable families willing to adopt or foster a horse. She’s been providing the rescue service since 2006, four years after moving to Hugo.
May 23, 2012
Castration clinic helps horse owners, vet students
The Minnesota Horse Welfare Coalition, developed by a number of animal humane organizations, hosted the fourth-annual horse castration clinic at the Isanti County Fairgrounds on May 19th.
The clinic not only provided local horse owners with free castrations, but also an opportunity for vet students to get training in an area they don’t normally cover in general vet courses.
June 3, 2011
Riding demonstration benefits horse shelter
She gives riding lessons, trains horses and helps rescue them. Christine Wehling, from France, is having a free horse riding demonstration Saturday, but is asking for donations for the Sundown Horse Shelter in Hugo, Minn., that rescues horses from cruel or ignorant owners.
April 19, 2011
Minnesota Castration Clinic a Success
The Minnesota Horse Welfare Coalition (MHWC) held its third Free Castration Clinic on April 16 in Cold Spring, Minn. Twenty-five veterinary students from the University of Minnesota's Student Chapter of the American Association of Equine Practitioners successfully gelded 22 horses and a miniature donkey under the close supervision of 11 veterinarians who volunteered their time and expertise.
May 13, 2010
Put a safety lock on Trigger: Free stallion castration this Saturday
On Saturday, May 15, the Minnesota Horse Welfare Coalition will be holding a free stallion castration clinic at the Isanti County Fairgrounds in Cambridge from 9 a.m. to noon.
The coalition addresses the problem of too many horses needing homes plus the investigation of animal neglect and cruelty. MHWC is made up of equine rescues, veterinarians, and animal agents.
September 25, 2009
Effort to cut down on unwanted horses set for Saturday
BAYTOWN TOWNSHIP - Horses beware. At the Washington County Fairgrounds on Saturday, horse owners can bring in their stallions to be castrated at no cost.
The castration clinic, put on by the Animal Humane Society, in partnership with the Minnesota Horse Welfare Coalition and the Minnesota Horse Council, is being done to cut down on the growing amount of unwanted horses in the area.
September 21, 2009
Letter to Cherie McKenzie
This is Alison Stiller my parents bought Cheyenne from you about a year ago. I just wanted to email you to say hi and thought you might want to know that Chey is doing great. I can't believe that I have had her for almost a year!
I have gotten Chey to ride a lot better. The only things I have to work on is getting her to come when I call her and she likes to try to nip when I bring her to the barn to saddle her up but she is getting better and I have gotten a lot more confident riding. Oh and her leg the Myopithey is there any way she can grow out of that? Me and Chey are having a lot of fun and soon she will probably move down to our house.
Oh and by the way that mark from the halter on her nose is gone. So I just thought you might want to hear how Chey's doing, have a good winter if/when we get another horse than we will surely call you.
December 30, 2008
Cherie and Sundown mentioned by Minneapolis Star Tribune
The Minneapolis Star Tribune wrote an article, "Minnesotans reining in abuse, neglect about how the sinking economy is causing more horses to be abandoned."
Cherie McKenzie was quoted in the article and Doc and Houston, two of Sundown's horses, starred in the article's main photo (above).
Here's part of the article:
As the economy worsens, Minnesota's horse population is growing to unmanageable proportions, with fewer owners able to afford horse care and, thus, more reports of neglect and abandonment.
The trend laps into western Wisconsin, where "horse rescuer" Sandy Gilbert last week described a suburban dream gone awry. Too many people, she said, wanted to own land in the country for horses only to find out they couldn't afford the thousands of dollars for their care annually...
...Swathed from head to toe in heavy clothing, Cherie McKenzie purrs greetings to the horses that just months ago came to her farm sick, hungry and half-dead. "I just don't want the horse to pay the price for people who don't know any better," McKenzie said of her effort to save horses from neglect and abandonment. "People have five or 10 acres and now they're in trouble. They hate to tell you they're in financial despair."
McKenzie manages as many as 20 unwanted horses at a time at Sundown Horse Farm and Shelter near Hugo. She finds foster homes for some, buyers for others. "A lot of cases out there are ignorance in that they don't do their homework on especially training the horses," she said. "People get into really big problems when they start treating horses like people. They're 1,000-pound animals and can hurt you."...
July 16, 2008
Vadnais Heights Press: Rescued horses find new homes
A volunteer at Sundown Horse Shelter, Marie Peterson adopted Dora, one of the two pintos rescued this winter. Photo by Jeffrey Ayer
Here's part of the article:
When two malnourished fillies came to the Sundown Horse Shelter this winter, their caregivers were afraid to give them names. Six months later, the black-and-white pintos have names and new homes.
"They're tough little girls," said shelter founder Cherie McKenzie. The Hugo nonprofit's mission is to find new homes for horses that are neglected, abused or surrendered by owners who no longer can afford to care for them. But the pintos, rescued from a neglectful breeder, were especially tragic.
"It was one of the worst cases we've ever seen. We were so afraid they wouldn't make it," McKenzie said.
After several months of care, they're back to perfect health, according to McKenzie.
"You wouldn't even recognize them anymore ... they are just two of the sweetest little girls," she said.
Now named Dottie, the blue-eyed pinto is living near North Branch with a foster family that likely will become her permanent family, according to McKenzie.
Now named Dora, the pinto with one blue eye and one brown eye was adopted by Marie Peterson. A shelter volunteer, Peterson had helped nurse Dottie and Dora back to health.
February 21, 2008
White Bear Press: "They know they've been saved"
Here's part of the article:
For a yearling who's received very little handling, the black and white pinto stays surprisingly still during her first grooming.
"She doesn't have any fight in her; she's too weak," says Lisa Erhardt as she attempts to untangle the horse's knotted mane.
"Hey pretty girl," Cherie McKenzie says as she sprays down the blue-eyed filly with a disinfectant. "I know you're looking pretty homely right now, but we're going to keep calling you that until you are."
In a nearby stall, a second filly, with one brown eye and one blue, eagerly munches on hay while waiting for her turn for grooming.
Their caretakers estimate both are nearly 200 pounds underweight.
"They're just bones and hair," McKenzie says.