ASHE COUNTY — Southern Sun Farms Sanctuary’s rescue horse Chance will soon be receiving his very own second “chance.”
Southern Sun Farms Sanctuary is a non-profit animal rescue organization operated by John and Ann Lisk of Glendale Springs. The farm provides a safe, secure place for abandoned, abused, or neglected or retired animals of all kinds including horses, cats, and dogs.
Chance recently came to the Lisks several months ago after they were contacted by the sheriff’s department and the Save-A-Pet Foundation. Chance was found badly neglected with manure up to his knees, but made his way to Southern Sun Farms where he was named Chance.
“He got his name because John and I felt he absolutely needed a second chance at a better life, as so many people do as well,” Ann said.
The 12-year-old horse had no previous training but according to the Lisks, that is now a work in progress.
The Lisks recently attended the annual Wagon Train Revival and Ride on June 13. The event featured evangelist B.J. Grimmett. Grimmitt and his wife Maryanne of Grassy Creek currently oversee Circle G Ministry and travel throughout the United States to preach at revivals, youth rallies, conferences and Cowboy Churches.
According to Grimmett he has two passions in life, preaching and working with horses.
Grimmett is a Ken McNabb certified Master Horse Trainer and uses horse training demonstrations as a supplement to his preaching.
During the revival event, Grimmett agreed to use Chance for a training demonstration. Chance previously had to be sedated to be loaded onto a horse trailer but after 20 minutes with Grimmett, he successfully loaded and unloaded without hesitation.
According to Grimmett, Chance showed no signs of being abused and really picked up quickly. Grimmett said it was just a matter of motivating him.
“John and I believe the very best things happen when folks collaborate for a greater good,” Ann said. “So a cowboy preacher who’s an expert horse trainer went together like a hand-in glove with Southern Sun Farm and our effort to give Chance the horse his second chance.”
Chance will now continue his training in Wilkesboro with horse trainer Josh Walsh who was recommended by Grimmett. After interviewing several trainers, the Lisks feel confident that Walsh is up to the challenge.
“We showed him to several people who were just afraid Chance may have missed his chance and at 12, maybe he should just be a lawn ornament,” Ann said. “But we know he has the best shot in life if he knows how to do something useful.”
The Lisks recently took Chance to the vet to give him a West Nile vaccination and to get his teeth floated to be sure he is able to have a bit in his mouth.
Chance will spend about six weeks in training but according to Ann, he probably will need 60 days worth of training.
Unfortunately the cost of the training is not cheap and will amount to $700 a month.
The Lisks will be providing updates about Chance throughout his training.
For more information about Southern Sun Farms Sanctuary or to donate to Chance’s training call 336-977-8966.
For more information about Circle G Ministries, visit their website at www.circlegministry.org.
Hannah Myers can be reached at 336-846-7164 or on Twitter @cmedia_hmyers.