Through a partnership with CCHR spanning 5 November 2013 to 12 March 2014, MJL raised the $6,500 USD needed to sponsor a stall, pasture and dedication bench in Michael’s memory, made possible by generous givers from no less than 19 countries including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Brazil, Canada, England, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, Sweden and the USA.
California Coastal Horse Rescue, located approximately 80 miles from Neverland, provides food, shelter, rehabilitation and medical care for horses that have been abused, abandoned or neglected. Unfortunately, the horses will often arrive at the sanctuary hundreds of pounds underweight and some have injuries — physical and emotional — inflicted by cruel people. The dedicated volunteers work hard to bring them back to health to slowly teach them that they can trust again.
Enclosed and covered horse stalls become the horses’ new home on the California Coastal Horse Rescue’s (CCHR) ten-acre rescue property. Each of their 14 stalls are 24 x 24 feet in size. Feed troughs and drinking water containers are in each stall, and they even have plans to install automatic water misters for the horses’ comfort during the extremely hot Ojai Valley summer months.
MJL has sponsored one of these stalls at a cost of $2,500 USD. A dedicated plaque has been mounted on the stall and this specific stall will honor Michael’s name in perpetuity. Part of the funds raised will purchase a permanent breezeway cover, so that all the stalls will be dryer in winter and cooler in summer, providing much greater comfort for the horses.
CCHR also has two beautiful horse pastures. Each pasture is home to about eight horses, giving them a vast, wide-open natural setting to graze and play. Through the generosity of donors around the world, for a sum of $4,000 USD, one of these two pastures will now honor Michael Jackson in perpetuity.
From 25 June 2014, the stall and pasture were officially sponsored in Michael’s memory. As part of our negotiations with CCHR, a special dedication bench would be constructed and placed at the site. As from 29 August 2014 – what would have been Michael Jackson’s 56th birthday – the dedication bench was constructed and installed. It is situated in close proximity to the pasture, allowing people to sit and view the horses as they recover.
Both bench and stall include a dedicated and exclusive 8 x 8″ bamboo plaque, honouring Michael and his legacy and displaying the name of the charity.
CCHR’s vice president/secretary Cathy Cunningham says, “Please know that the volunteers and horses of California Coastal Horse Rescue are appreciative of the good work you do and are honored to have been selected as a recipient of your generosity. Thanks for all you’ve done for us and for all you’re doing for causes around the world in Michael’s honor.”
We were all touched to hear that Cathy took it upon herself to research Michael’s favourite foods and she says that CCHR will serve up some plain M&Ms, among other surprises, to those visiting the dedication.
Other than the dedication of the stall, pasture and bench, which will be in Michael’s honour for posterity, the monies raised so faithfully by fans across the world will be put towards many different and pressing needs.
“Our horses have many needs, ranging from the basic food, water and veterinary care to installing new pasture areas with sprinkler systems. We have a long list of projects that will make our beautiful property more useable and enjoyable for both the horses and the people who care for them and visit them,” Cathy says.
“We are blessed with a beautiful property so the horses can have a safe home. I really hope donors can see it one day and meet the horses.”