Quebec non-profit A Horse Tale (AHT) Rescue has been crowned the winner of Horse Canada magazine’s 2019 Hero of the Horse Award.
“This is a phenomenal recognition of the hard work and passion that ignites every AHT volunteer. I couldn’t be more proud of our organization as I am today,” Mike Grenier, the organization’s executive director, wrote on Facebook.
“Winning this award means we will be receiving $2,000 from Horse Canada as well as 12 brand new blankets from Canadian Saddlery & Canadian Centurion.”
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Grenier went on to thank everyone who voted, supported and advocated for A Horse Tale during the competition. The seven-year-old Quebec rescue won with 6,165 votes — at least 3,800 votes more than the second-place contestant.
“We could not have done this without you,” he wrote.
“On behalf of our rescued horses and all our AHT members, a heartfelt thank you for all that you have done to make this happen.”
Grenier also thanked Horse Canada magazine for creating the award “with the intent of shining a spotlight to recognize the hard work of wonderful volunteers like those from AHT, but the also the incredible people across the country that were nominated and equally deserving of winning this honour.”
With Montreal’s calèche industry coming to an end, A Horse Tale rescue has already taken in six retired calèche horses and representatives say they are looking forward to taking in more.
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The rescue also works with the MS Society, the Canadian Armed Forces and programs for people with mental health issues and intellectual disabilities, welcoming them on a weekly basis to spend time with the horses and nature.
Grenier told Global News the organization also has a tentative growth project on the horizon. Due to its limited space, the rescue wants to have a new barn built to house an additional 40 horses.
They currently have to refuse up to 15 horses a year due to a lack of space.
More about A Horse Tale’s rescue work will be in Horse Canada magazine’s November-December issue.
— with files from Global News’s Alessia Maratta.