Aug 19, 2013
10:49 AM
Arts & Entertainment

Clydesdales From Maine Settle In at a Haddam Equine Rescue Facility

Clydesdales From Maine Settle In at a Haddam Equine Rescue Facility

Catherine Avalone/The Middletown Press

Cobalt resident and horse trainer Amy Gardner Anderson, works with Maggie, a Clydesdale during a training session at Connecticut Draft Horse Rescue on Haddam Neck Road in Haddam Neck Thursday afternoon. Maggie is one of five Clydesdales rescued from a dairy farm in Maine following the death of the owner.

They came from a dairy farm in Maine. They are untamed, and unused to being handled. However, thanks to horse trainer Amy Gardner Anderson, five Clydesdale mares have started the long journey of finding a forever home.

After a little over a month at Connecticut Draft Equine Rescue in Haddam Neck, two of the five Clydesdales will now allow Gardner Anderson and the rescue’s barn manager, Beth Bolduc, to lead them.

Before they came to Connecticut, the five mares lived on 60 acres of land at the Alan-Dee Dairy farm in Wiscasset, Maine. Gardner Anderson said their owner, Alan James MacQueen, a dairy farmer and Clydesdale breeder, intended to train the mares and possibly harness them. However, he died unexpectedly in June and the family had no idea what to do with the horses, Gardner Anderson said.

“He had every intention of getting them started, but ran out of time,” said Gardner Anderson, owner of Bear Paw Barn at the Daniels Farm in Middletown. “Some have had handling, but it’s been such a long time.”

One of the mares is believed to have originated from Grant’s Farm in St. Louis, Mo., known for their breeding of Budweiser horses. The mare, now nicknamed Maddie, allegedly did not make the cut to be a Budweiser breeding mare.

When volunteers loaded up the five mares, who range in age from 6 to 17 years old, into a trailer to travel from Maine to Connecticut, the horses appeared to be wondering where their owner was, Gardner Anderson said. As much as they were interested and curious about the volunteers, it was clear they were waiting for someone else, she said.

While in the field, a little cowbird flew through the horses and landed on the hat of a man who contacted the Maine State Society for the Protection of Animals, and it just sat there. MacQueen’s widow, Candee Rogers MacQueen, then told the volunteers, “See, he is here and he knows that his mares will be fine.”

MSSPA reached out to Stacey Golub, owner of the Connecticut Draft Equine Rescue in Haddam Neck, to see if she could help provide good homes and training for the five mares. Golub said that although the horses have been sitting in a field with no handling, they will be available for adoption after some basic training to get them started.

The five mares — now named Maddie, Midnight, Moose, Maggie and Maxine — have come a long way in their training, even though to the untrained eye, it may be hard to see.

See the full story at The Middletown Press online.


Clydesdales From Maine Settle In at a Haddam Equine Rescue Facility

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