Tuesday Jul 13 2010
Horses' saving grace headed for TV?
By: Penne Usher Telegraph Correspondent
Show to highlight the work of El Dorado Hills’ Grace Foundation as it helps unwanted and abused equines
A local equine rescue operation is aiming big to get its message to the masses. The Grace Foundation of Northern California, based in El Dorado Hills, is currently in production on a TV show. Titled “Saved By Grace,” the show chronicles the lives of several wild mustangs from adjusting to life on the ranch, to their trainers and on to a show arena. Beth DeCaprio, founder of the rescue organization, said the show is a “wonderful way” to tell the story of the horses and what the foundation stands for — rescuing and rehabilitating unwanted and abused horses. “The horses were taken for 70 days by skilled trainers throughout the state. Many of the horses were mustangs and un-manageable,” DeCaprio said. After days of training, the horses were brought to a “showcase” arena to strut their stuff. One particularly head-strong Mustang made the journey from being a “three-striker” to performing like a champ. DeCaprio explained that a “three-striker” is a wild horse that has been up for auction three times without success. These horses are branded on their neck to indicate the undesirability. Torrey Loomis, president and CEO of Silverado Systems and Silverado Studios in Folsom, worked on the production with DeCaprio. “She thought she had a good story,” he said. “I thought about it for a long time. She was right. It’s a good story with passion.” The Grace Foundation provides critical care and rehabilitation for abused and neglected horses and uses its rescued horses for equine-assisted learning and therapeutic programs for youth and children. “Our purpose is to protect, care for, and heal these two important groups — children and abused neglected animals,” DeCaprio said. Lyndie Tanklage is an avid horsewoman who heard about Grace Foundation from her mother. DeCaprio said Tanklage was so moved by a video she watched about the foundation that she phoned the ranch in the middle of the night and stopped by the next day. “I knew at that moment that I would always be a part of Grace,” Tanklage said. She now transports the horses throughout California — and beyond. The proposed TV show, currently in production, follows the animals and the trainers throughout the process, Loomis said. “Most can absolutely be placed with families,” he said. “Some trainers may opt to keep their horses and other won’t make it because of the abuse they have suffered.” DeCaprio said the rescued animals will now have a place in the community. “One is going to be a police horse,” she said. “They can all serve different needs now.” Penne Usher can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.