How you can help
Dustins Dreamer Fund - Founded By Fran Burns - Assisting Horses To Safety
Dustin's Dreamer was a 3 yr old TB when he was saved from Pimlico Racetrack in 2005. His workouts proved to be too slow to race. The owner/trainer then stopped feeding him. Dustin, an exercise rider rode him daily and worried that he was too slow to race. The horse's future was in question he most likely would be sent to auction and then to slaughter. So he paid off the board bill and borrowed a trailer and brought him to his barn in Monkton . After a few weeks he brought him over to my barn for me to try out as my next trail horse. My 22 year old thoroughbred, Ben, had recently aggravated an old racing injury (prior to when I owned him) and had been retired. So I was in the market.
All he knew to do in the beginning was drag me around in a circle. He was totally unbalanced and I remember thinking this could have been a mistake. However, it wasn't long before I learned he was an exceptionally talented jumper. Wow can he jump! So much so that I decided to hire a hunter trainer to work with him to develop these skills for the show ring. Around this time I had begun volunteering for Angel Acres Horse Rescue in Pa. helping to save slaughter bound horses. I thought Dreamer might make a good poster child for antislaughter.
In 2008 Dustin's Dreamer finished out the Baltimore County Horse Show Association season in 1st Place in the Open Hunter Division and 2nd in the Low Hunter Division with trainer Jennifer Marshall Radebaugh riding. It was truly a dream come true for me to have a horse with such talent in the show ring. Most importantly, however, is that I make sure that EVERYONE knows he is a thoroughbred whose future was in serious jeopardy. It is a happy story with an ongoing commitment on my part to help raise awareness of the brutal practice of horse slaughter. For every blue ribbon Dreamer wins in the hunter ring I donate between $10-20 to Angel Acres Horse Haven Rescue to help save another out of the kill pen. These thoroughbreds are so very deserving of second careers. Whether it is trail riding , showing, polo, fox hunting they just need the chance. Dreamer is giving back to the thoroughbred industry without racing. I wish more people out there would do the same.
I am now currently training a 2nd thoroughbred- this one from Angel Acres to compete in the hunter ring as well. This horse's show name will be Secret Ariat in honor of his grand sire, Secretariat. Keep an eye out- he will be coming soon to a local Maryland horse show near you!!!!
By Fran Burns