by Alissa Smith
Yabba was not having a good day. His Colorado-based owners had put the beautiful white horse up for auction, and he was slated to go to Mexico to be slaughtered and sold for food. Happily, the same day, organizers of the upcoming Unicorn Festival in Littleton, CO, had realized they needed another unicorn for their festival, to accommodate the expectation-shattering ticket sales. They contacted Nicole Henderson, who was supplying the unicorns, and found out that she was, that day, working to save the life of this beautiful white horse, and she could bring him to the Festival if she could raise the $850 needed to save him.
What happened next is one of those stories that … well…. Here goes….
The Unicorn Festival posted Yabba’s tragic story on their Facebook pages, along with a donation button. It was Saturday night and the deadline to save him was Sunday morning at 9:00 am. But the donations started pouring in. Everyone wanted to save Yabba and give him a new life as a unicorn. And they did just that.
Yabba was rescued from the jaws of death and will be taken to Henderson’s Old McDonald Barnyard Animal Rescue in northern Colorado, where he will be well taken care of. His many supporters can come meet him at the Unicorn Festival, Sunday, June 25 in Clement Park. He will be a special guest at the Festival’s Unicorn Meadow, alongside the Unicorn Rides.
The Unicorn Festival and Old McDonald Barnyard Animal Rescue are also launching a “Name the Unicorn” contest to give Yabba his new unicorn name. You can submit your suggestions online at www.unicornfestivalcolorado.com - on the site’s “Love” page. The winner will be announced at the festival. Be sure to be at Unicorn Meadow for the Unicorn Naming Ceremony at 11:00 am.
Yabba’s plight is, sadly, too common. Horse slaughter for food is illegal in the US, but not in other countries. Facebook no longer allows sales of live animals, to people looking to sell their horses are often forced to put the animals up for public auction. That’s where the “kill buyers” try to purchase as many horses as they can to ship out of the country (usually to Mexico) to sell them to slaughterhouses where they are processed like cattle. Many rescue organizations exist and they always need help and donations to save as many horses as possible.
Henderson explains, “We work to pay the horses ‘bail’ off of the feed lot where they are fattened up prior to shipping to Mexico. The owner of the lot will sometimes sell some of these horses to recuse organizations at higher prices than he would get for them at slaughter. But not always. About 60 horses per week ship from his lot to slaughter.”
Old McDonald Barnyard Animal Rescue is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to help neglected, abused, homeless, unwanted, and misunderstood barnyard animals. They also welcome animals who are very well cared for, but their families just can no longer keep them for a variety of different reasons. We can offer a safe home for horses, donkeys, pigs, goats, llamas, cows, chickens ducks, and rabbits. The group also encourages community participation and offer opportunities for education, volunteer days, special events, or the sponsorship of the animal of your choice. Visit their website and Like them on Facebook .
The Unicorn Festival is a celebration of the imagination and all things mythical, coming to Littleton’s Clement Park (7306 W Bowles Ave, Littleton, CO 80123) on Sunday June 25th, 10am-6pm. The magical day will be filled with Unicorn rides, swimming Mermaids, meet and greets with beloved Princesses, wandering fairies, Quidditch matches and more! This is an enchanted event for the young and the young and heart, for families, cosplayers and anyone who loves imagination and fun! Interact with fairy tales and become part of the magic! Hosted by Dana Cain Event and Frolic and Vamp, the Festival offers affordable family fun.
Advance online tickets to the Unicorn Festival is $10 for adults; $5 for kids under 12 and kids under 2 years old are free. Group discounts are available for 10 or more. Ticket at the gate the day of the Festival will be $15 / $10. Clement Park is a gorgeous lake side park with an incredible view of the mountains, the perfect setting for a day of enchantment, fairy tales and rescued unicorns!