Illinois Group Adopts Retirement Plan for County Horse Herds

The ordinance allows retired horses to be rehomed or for the district to keep and maintain the retired animals.

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The DuPage County, Illinois, Forest Preserve District has unanimously approved an ordinance establishing a policy governing the retirement from service of horses residing in the district’s herds.

Bob Lahey, director of community services and education for the Forest Preserve District, said 19 horses—used for riding lessons, children’s camps, and horsemanship classes—reside at the Danada Equestrian Center in Wheaton, Illinois; of those, five or six horses are approaching retirement age, he said. Another seven horses used in demonstrations of 1890s farm life reside at the Kline Farm in West Chicago, Illinois; one of those horses is approaching retirement age, Lahey said.

On Dec. 15, the Forest Preserve Board of Commissioners unanimously approved an ordinance that allows retired horses from each facility to be rehomed to qualified adopters or given to other approved local government groups or nonprofit organizations, Lahey said. The ordinance also allows the Forest Preserve District to keep and maintain the horses in their retirement or to humanely euthanize the animals in appropriate extreme medical circumstances.

“That would be a last resort,” he said

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Written by:

Pat Raia is a veteran journalist who enjoys covering equine welfare, industry, and news. In her spare time, she enjoys riding her Tennessee Walking Horse, Sonny.

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