Open Gates
Equine Rescue


Angel is a Tennessee Walking Horse who turns 14 years old on August 5, 2011. She, along with her mother and sister, is owned by Linda Walker and Deb Hutchins and therefore not available for adoption. Open Gates staff refer to Angel as “the horse that started it all” and Linda and Deb spoil her rotten and love her beyond words.

She has been trained in western and driving and has won 4 ribbons.


C. J. Lacey

C.J. Lacey is a Standardbred that is 15 years old. She is owned by Donna Hutchins, Deb Hutchins and Linda Walker and thus, is not available for adoption.

C.J. Lacey has lived at Open Gates since 2000, when she was bought from an owner in Alfred. If she had not been purchased, she would have been bred and sent to auction.

An Open Gates volunteer, Molly, enjoys riding and spending time with her. She has been in several horse shows and earned some ribbons. She is also an excellent driving horse.

Herbie & Tuti

Herbie and Tuti are Open Gates’ resident miniature horses and mascots and Herbie is 11 and Tuti is six. They are currently owned by Open Gates Equine Rescue and also enjoy spending quality time with their surrogate human-mom, Rosie.

They have lived at Open Gates since 2007 and were severely malnourished and days away from death when they arrived. Many people were involved in their rehabilitation and they are grateful to each and every one of their human guardian angels.

They have represented Open Gates at various community events to help bring awareness to horse rescues and the need for places like Open Gates.


Cleo is an eight-year-old hackney-standardbred cross. She stands approximately 15 hands tall and has a very slender build. She is eager to learn and very much enjoys being with people.

Cleo is currently available for adoption and would be best suited for an experienced rider who could help her to gain confidence. She would also make a very pretty driving horse.

She has lived at Open Gates since 2007 when she was rescued from a local horse auction. Had it not been for Open Gates, her next stop would have been a slaughterhouse in Canada.

One of the Open Gates volunteers has been helping her to learn “ground manners.” These are something all horses are supposed to know, but her beginnings are sketchy at best, so this is all new to her. Meanwhile, Cleo enjoys the special attention and does her best to work hard so that she hears “Good girl, Cleo!” as often as possible.


Clover is a 14-year-old Standardbred that was trained for racing as well as carriage driving. She is owned by Donna Hutchins and is not available for adoption.

Clover has lived at Open Gates since 2000, when she happily took on the role of care-taker for Patches and everyone fondly calls her “Nanny Clover.”

She enjoys grazing in the Open Gate pastures and one of her favorite treats are the green tops on carrots.


Lady is a 16-year-old Tennessee Walking Horse, the daughter of Princess and the sister of herd leader, Angel. She has been a resident of Open Gates Equine Rescue since 2001 and has happily found her forever home with Linda Walker and Deb Hutchins and therefore is not available for adoption

She was diagnosed with Wobbler’s Syndrome, which has rendered her unrideable, but she is a lovely companion animal who loves snacking on carrots and cookies. She is also quite the escape artist, which is why the Open Gates staff must thwart her escape efforts by double locking her stall!


Mama is an Appaloosa/Quarterhorse that is 14 years old. She is owned by Open Gates Equine Rescue and is not available for adoption due to old injuries.

Mama has lived at Open Gates since 2004, when she arrived with her then new foal, Patches.

Mama enjoys living at Open Gates and hanging out with her stall neighbor, C.J. Lacey. They are quite inseparable and will often be found switching stalls just to keep the Open Gates’ volunteers on their toes!


Patches is an Appaloosa/Arabian who will be six years old in October. Patches is currently owned by Open Gates Equine Rescue and is soon to be adopted by her new “human Mom,” Deb D. She will remain a resident of Open Gates until Deb D. is able to care for her at her future home.

Patches has lived at Open Gates since 2004 after arriving with Mama. Mama and Patches were rescued and upon arrival it was determined by a vet that they were malnourished. Through the excellent care at Open Gates, Patches made a speedy recovery.

Now Patches enjoys spending time with Nanny Clover and Mama, roaming the Open Gates pastures.


Princess is a Tennessee Walking Horse and is 24 years old. She has been a resident of Open Gates Equine Rescue since 2001 and has happily found her forever home with Linda Walker and Deb Hutchins and therefore is not available for adoption.

She was trained in western and English riding, but with age and some minor medical issues, she would much rather enjoy a grooming session followed by grazing on some yummy grass.

Princess is also the mother of Lady and Angel, two other Open Gates residents.


In Memory of Our Dear Friend Catherine “Cassie” Fernald

True Best Friends – Vandi

– By Colin Stansfield

This is the story of my true best friend Vandi.

Everyone has a true best friend. My best friend was an old horse named Vandi. I met Vandi three or four years ago at Open Gates. She and I were both new there. Vandi came from a long past of racing and was in fact, a retired grand-national champion cutting horse. She was about 30 years old when we met. She had a bad back and couldn’t be ridden. Vandi came to Open Gates because her owner could no longer take care of her. It took us a while to build a strong relationship but we made it happen.

As the months passed, our relationship grew and grew. I was in seventh grade when Vandi and I became true best friends. It was my birthday and we were at the barn that night. The owners of Open Gates handed me a manila envelope with my name on it and said happy birthday. As I read it I realized that they were adoption forms for Vandi! March 16th, 2008 was the day I officially adopted Vandi.

From that time on, life was good. We were meant for each other. She would follow right behind me when we were in the pasture. I would brush her and love her. As the summer came, so did the warm days. I was cleaning barns with my mom that summer, then summer ended and I had to go back to school, limiting the time I got to spend with Vandi. But whenever I was at the barn I would usually be with her.

Winter was difficult for her and she was stuck inside because of her age. It was tough, but Vandi showed how much of a trooper she was and made it through with Belle by her side – a stubborn pony that was attached to Vandi. She had done extremely well for her age and condition but it was expected that she would sadly not see another winter. Through the spring we couldn’t do much for her or with her because of all the snow and rain. Once things dried up, Vandi would go out in a round-pen with Belle for the day but we learned that that wouldn’t work because she would roll and more often than not she wouldn’t be able to get back up on her own. She spent her days inside a big stall where she could walk around and keep order in the barn. From then on, she was like a bullet being fired when she got out—all she wanted to do was GO.

The next summer was actually very good for Vandi. She got lots of love, attention and yummy green grass. She was ready to run and rumble even into the fall. That was when she began to slow down and we realized that it was coming close to her time. November 28, 2009 was the day that we set for her passing. It was sad to say the least, to see the horse you love be put to sleep. The process didn’t take long. When she went she was surrounded by friends. That was probably the hardest thing I have ever had to do or go through. I wish to never go through something like that ever again. But I must admit that she went in peace. She was ready, and it all came down to quality of life versus quantity.

Vandi was a strong, loving, caring, protective, amazing horse who knew how to get her point across. She would have turned 34 in March.


Miniature horse #281 was purchased site-unseen along with her friend #282. She was sorrel in color with a star and a snip—one of hundreds of loose horses and ponies sold at Kalona Auction Barn in Kalona, Iowa. Never wanted, never loved, just sold to the next bidder with the ultimate destination being a Canadian slaughter facility.

Luckily for #281 fate intervened and Open Gates secured the funds to purchase her and her friend and have them transported to New Gloucester, Maine. Upon arrival at nearly midnight on February 11, 2008, #281 became “Annie,” a very much loved and anticipated pony (at 44 inches, she was taller than the miniature horse registry guidelines for a true ‘mini’).

Annie was quite ill on arrival and despite round the clock care and daily veterinary visits she succumbed to her illness on Sunday, February 17, 2008. Although she was only in our lives for a few days, she passed over the rainbow bridge with all of the love and caring that she had missed out on in this life. Rest well, Angel Annie until we meet again.


Molly, a very sweet Standardbred who came to Open Gates 350 pounds underweight, was adopted by Deb Rand at the end of July, 2007. In early fall of 2008, Molly sustained a traumatic injury. Despite Deb’s very best efforts to care for Molly by providing the best of veterinary care and love, Molly had to be euthanized on November 17, 2008 with Deb by her side. We all miss you Molly – R.I.P.