News and events

Evacuation Update for Ivey Ranch
Monday, 12/11/2017

We are pleased to share that all of our program horses have been returned home – safe and sound. The first horse was loaded onto a trailer at Del Mar at 9:30AM and the last one stepped off a trailer back at Ivey Ranch at 2:30PM. 23 horses in all and, if you know our horses, that is one more than we had last Thursday, 12/7 when this emergency started.

Meet Zip – a 15 year old Quarter Horse gelding that, until last Thursday, was an only child. You may have seen Zip on the news during a heartwarming reunion as his owner and he were reunited after the Lilac fire had separated them. Zip had been following his owner to the horse trailer for evacuation when the smoke became so dense and caustic they were separated. Both called to each other but neither could connect – it was devastating. Zip’s owner was forced to flee – nothing short of sick, heartbroken, and grief stricken.
Fast forward a day (which were some of the longest hours for both Zip and his owner) and thanks to news coverage that a family member saw, Zip was spotted, tracked down, picked up, and brought to Del Mar. That is the great news – the unfortunate news is that Zip’s owner lost everything (home, barn, and belongings) during those same despairing hours.
As Zip’s owner works on rebuilding, Zip is going to try his skill set as a lesson horse at Ivey Ranch. He will audition for both therapy and able-bodied “work” and will be integrated into the herd as time progresses. We are happy to be able to help Zip and his owner while at the same time they are helping us.
And speaking of helping us – we would like to again thank the Del Mar Fairgrounds, our staff and volunteers, the donors who will help with the costs incurred during this urgent situation, and those that stepped up with the resources to assist – like Stateside Farms.

Evacuation Update for Ivey Ranch
Sunday, 12/10/2017

It has been a long four days filled with vigilance, fear, evacuation, monitoring, and coordination. But along with each of these there has been equal care, concern, program support, volunteerism, and community rallying. We are happy to share that, as you may know, conditions have stabilized and we will be bringing our herd home on Monday, 12/11. Thanks goes to our First Responders for getting the situation under control.

We would like to acknowledge the dozens of volunteers who came down to feed, water, clean, and care for our horses over the past three days and the staff that stayed around the clock. Thanks also goes to the Del Mar Fairgrounds for coordinating such a massive intake of evacuees and being so gracious to disperse the donated feed, treats, and supplies. And to the trucks and trailers that are showing up to get the horses home – a heartfelt thank you; John McAndrew’s Stateside Farms also agreed to send another semi-truck to get the balance of the herd home safely.

Since there is always a silver lining to every cloud we will soon be sharing the rescue story of a new horse that is joining our team. His family’s circumstances are heartbreaking but he is coming home with the Ivey Ranch herd and he will have a shot at a new career while his family is working on rebuilding as well.

Thank you for your continued thoughts and prayers – we are blessed by both!

Evacuation Update for Ivey Ranch

Friday, 12/8/2017
As of Thursday, 12/7, at 8:30PM when the San Diego County Sheriff’s Office issued an “Evacuation Warning” to our area we decided to proactively get ahead of the potential chaos a last-minute mandated evacuation may cause.  At that point we had received 14 horses needing temporary housing and, in addition to the 21 horses we have in our program on-site, we knew we would have our hands full.  Thanks to amazing community support we had six trucks and horse trailers, along with two semi-trucks and trailers from John McAndrew’s Stateside Farms, to get all of our horses safely down to the Del Mar Fairgrounds.  We loaded horses from 9PM to 2AM and had the help of two-dozen volunteers to make it all happen.
All volunteering and lessons – Therapy and Able-Bodied – are canceled for the weekend (Saturday, 12/9-Sunday, 12/10).  Del Mar is welcoming volunteers to help with the care, feeding, and cleaning of the 600+ horses that are there.  Ivey Ranch is maintaining a two-person on-site team to oversee our 21 horses and make sure that they remain safe, calm, and sound.
The ranch itself is fine.  Our on-site care and office is closed.  We plan to resume care and regular administrative functions on Monday, 12/11/2017  – but please check back in case the Lilac fires continue to push west or create further air-quality issues.
Please keep us, and all the families and animals affected by this devastating wildfire, in your thoughts and prayers.  Some of our families have lost homes and animals – distressing events singularly; overwhelming when combined.