“So… how did Bella Run Equine start?”
Zack and Rachel started saving horses from kill auctions together in 2008. Each time, they would bring home one or two horses, fix them up, train them, and find them homes. Rescue, rehabilitate, rehome, repeat! One by one, they would work with the money from one adoption and take it back to the auction to save more horses. Once the ball was rolling, there were three horses at a time, then five, then ten. Eventually, people were returning to Zack and Rachel to adopt a second or third horse, and the Bendlers’ reputation as thorough, honest horsemen was growing.
Because the funding for this program for years came solely from Zack and Rachel, they learned quickly that EVERY PENNY MATTERS and that wise decisions must be made if the business were to survive. That micromanaging of resources is one of the reasons that Bella Run Equine is able to survive today.
Thanks to Zack and Rachel’s varied skill sets when it came to training and rehabilitating horses, the horses needing more extensive physical and behavioral rehabilitation… the horses no one else wanted to mess with… were getting help. Only rescuing the ones everybody wants is easy, but finding diamonds in the rough and polishing them until they become the horses everybody wants… that’s the work of Bella Run Equine.
Among traders, dealers, and “kill lot” scams masquerading as rescues, there was a need for someone to speak up for the horses that were being overlooked. At the same time, potential adopters needed someone they could rely on… and Bella Run Equine was born.
After years of pulling horses directly from auction as a team, there was much encouragement from many to become a non-profit organization. The decision was finally made to “make it official” in 2015. World-renowned clinician Stacy Westfall gave the final motivation to become a legitimate 501(c)3 organization. After accompanying them to a meat auction, she told Zack and Rachel, “You guys aren’t a flash in the pan. You’re doing this right.”
With the encouragement and support of wonderful friends and family, Bella Run Equine acquired its 501(c)3 non-profit status in May of 2015, furthering the commitment to responsible horse rescue.