Fostering horses gives Basehor woman ‘peace and contentment’

Beth Kornegay/Special to the Times
Kendra Ford is currently fostering two horses, including Haco, a severely abused retired thoroughbred racehorse.

Kendra Ford owned her own horses for many years but after her son’s pony passed away in 2018, she wanted to take a break from horse ownership to grieve that loss.

When looking to get back into horses, she wanted to either adopt a rescue horse or partner with a rescue organization and foster a horse in need. After learning about an organization called Risen From The Ashes from a friend, she is currently fostering two horses.

The organization is located in Centerview, Missouri, just over an hour away from her home in Basehor. The rescue specializes in emergency medical, senior, maternity and rehabilitation of horses that are found at local auctions and feedlots to offer them a second chance at life.

Etta, a senior appaloosa, and Haco, an 8-year-old thoroughbred retired racehorse, are now being fostered by Ford.

“By fostering them for awhile, I can see how they do with me, if they might be a good fit for my lifestyle and what I have to offer here,” she said. “I take into consideration what is best for the horse and am fostering Etta and Haco to help them gain weight and become the healthiest they can be.”

Haco, which is Celtic for flame or fire, was originally sold for $23,000 in 2014. He was professionally trained and ran in his first race a year later. Over the years, Haco ran on many notable tracks and won more than $60,000 for his owners. In 2019, he came in first place in a race but just a few days later, he was put up for auction. He was sold and disappeared from the racetrack for about a year before turning up at another auction.  

Sadly, Haco was only able to be recognized by the thoroughbred tattoo on his lip. He was covered with scars and had open wounds on his legs that were oozing blood and infection. While the owners at that time tried to hide his injuries by wrapping them in bandages, Haco was headed for the slaughterhouse. Thankfully, a rescuer called the rescue organization, which obtained the horse and rushed him to a veterinarian for professional care.

That team had never seen a horse in that bad of a condition and knew Haco was suffering with incredible pain.

The staff worked to clean the wounds, took X-rays and wrapped his legs with the appropriate medical wraps. In just one year after performing so well on the racetrack, Haco had suffered extreme abuse, but his spark to live continued.

For several months, the rescue team carefully tended to his leg wounds until Haco once again was healthy. The scars will never completely fade, but he has kept his sweet nature and made friends with other horses at the rescue prior to being fostered by Ford.

While Ford doesn’t currently own any horses of her own, she was anxious to offer both Etta and Haco a second chance to enjoy their retirement. She sees it as a way to get back into horsekeeping. She has a large barn with several horse stalls on her property as well as a large pasture for grazing.

Ford is responsible for the feed, hay, worming and farrier services but is reimbursed for all veterinary care through Risen From The Ashes.

Anyone interested in donating feed to Etta and Haco can contact Ford via Facebook. Anyone interested in learning about other horses that are available for fostering through the organization can contact them through their website, www.RisenFromTheAshesRescue.org

“Being with the horses gives me a sense of peace and contentment. Helping them become healthy and find the best home gives me a sense of purpose and happiness too,” said Ford.