Bethany College Group Coordinates Successful Stallion Rescue

BETHANY, W.Va. – Bethany College’s Amanda Stewart, assistant professor of biology and director of equine studies; Amy VanHorn, administrative assistant, faculty/career counseling and placement; Katherine Shelek-Furbee, professor of social work, program director, and chair of the Department of Social Work; and Susan Doty, registrar, recently completed the rescue of a five-year-old stallion. The horse, freed with the financial assistance of the group, had been severely neglected and boarded up for eight months when Stewart became aware of the situation and reached out for help.
After Stewart, VanHorn, Shelek-Furbee and Doty collaborated to set their plan in motion, the tenacious, grey-coated stallion was loaded into a trailer willingly and re-named Steele Spirit. The newly gelded Steele Spirit began his rehabilitation at Stewart’s farm.
VanHorn, who has permanently adopted the horse, cited a disturbing annual estimate of 150,000 unwanted horses — many of which are sold at auction for slaughter — due to owner irresponsibility.
The group hopes to not only create a healthy life for this particular stallion, but also to raise overall awareness of responsible animal care through the story.
Doty credits her late husband Tom’s love of horses, particularly greys, for her commitment to horse rescue. Shelek-Furbee’s participation is rooted, she says, in her compassion for mistreated horses and her desire to help put a stop to animal cruelty.
Stewart notes that she looks forward to beginning Steele’s training and has included her nutrition class students in the process of monitoring the horse’s progress and rehabilitation.
Bethany College is a small college of national distinction located on a picturesque and historic 1,300-acre campus in the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia. Founded in 1840, Bethany is the state’s oldest private college.