2012 Pet Hero Award Co-Winners - Sharon Levine and Richard Rubin, Baiting Hollow Farm Vineyard and Horse Rescued

Political Action Award

 

Richard Rubin and Sharon Rubin Levine are co-founders of Baiting Hollow Farm Horse Rescue. In the fall of 2007, they were approached by a horse rescue organization concerning an old barn and some corrals that were being under-utilized at the Rubin family farm in Baiting Hollow. Richard and Sharon were presented a picture of a year old Thoroughbred filly, Angel, who was in a kill pen in Pennsylvania. Since that rescue organization's facilities had no remaining space, there was a tear-filled request begging Sharon and Richard to save this beautiful horse. It didn’t take much persuasion; destiny took its course with this family of dedicated animal lovers.

 

Angel arrived right away at their doorstep with two other horses in tow! This passion for saving horses has led to the expansion of the Rubin family's existing facilities to accommodate 25 horses.  The "horse vineyard" has become so popular, it is not uncommon to see ten or more buses arriving from New York City and the surrounding areas to enjoy the wine, live music, and visit the horses.  Sharon and Richard personally lead tours on weekends to educate their guests about the perils of horses. Many of these guests have been inspired to take up the fight to save lives of these majestic animals.

 

As Richard states; "Most horse rescue organizations are pretty obscure, so we have the advantage of being able to inform the public about the plight of American horses who are slaughtered in mass numbers (most are young and healthy horses) largely as a result of the irresponsibility of and lack of caring by owners combined with an international market for horse meat." Baiting Hollow Farm Horse Rescue provides free horse tours each weekend where visitors get to meet the descendants of Man O' War, Secretariat and War Admiral. have been rescued by the Rubins and are part of the tour.  They have the chance to meet Angel, the thoroughbred filly who started it all.  Angel is lovingly referred to as their star and has a chardonnay named in her honor! The profits of this great tasting wine support horse sanctuaries.

 

So determined to make a difference, the Rubins have encouraged others to take up the cause.  Realizing that they cannot save every horse by themselves, they provide a link on their vineyard website so everyone can easily reach out to their legislators to let them know that they are opposed to the slaughtering of American horses. There is proposed legislation that must be supported since this is the only way to stop this inhumane cruelty. Richard says, "We grew up worshipping horses in the movies and on television, we have applauded their accomplishments in sports, we have fought wars on their backs, counted on them to explore this country, deliver our mail and in certain areas we still use them for farming. Horses are also pets and since it is not our culture to eat our pets, nobody should eat our horses."  Baiting Hollow Farm Horse Rescue has been self-funding but has submitted an application to become a 501 (c) (3). In addition to supporting the Baiting Hollow horse sanctuary, they hope to further lobbying, education and grant money to existing and new horse rescues. They hope to encourage other land owners with facilities to take in horses with the promise of incremental payments to make this feasible.

 

We applaud Richard and Sharon for the countless hours they have spent dedicating their personal time and finances to enlightening others about the concerns of horses and the obligation we have to protect our pets.

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