Alyssa Sunbow Gomez grew up around horses. Like many of us who live here, Gomez knows it's hard when you see starving or mistreated horses in our midst. Sometimes the owner cannot afford to take care of them properly or maybe they’ve just hit hard times.
Once in a while somebody just doesn’t know any better. Whatever the reason, it’s the horses who wind up suffering.
Gomez has wanted to do something about this for a long time. Now, she has finally been able to put together an organization to help them. It's called Rocky Mountain Equine Rescue (RMER) and she is listed as its founder and president.
“The rescue has only been open for a little more than 40 days and has taken in a total of 10 horses with more underway,” she wrote in an email received last week. “In co-sanction with the Taos Pueblo Warchief’s Office, I am working on providing the Pueblo with aid to avoid sending horses to slaughter, neglect and animal abuse cases on the reservation. The rescue is not limited to assisting just Pueblo horses, but is open to the general public.”
To help keep this effort going, Gomez is organizing an entertainment event which she hopes will raise funds for the rescue. The benefit concert will take place Saturday (Oct. 19) at the Taos County Sheriff’s Posse Rodeo Grounds at the corner of Camino de la Merced and Salazar Road. Gates will open at 1 p.m. for the event scheduled to go on until around 9 p.m. It will be emceed by Bruce McIntosh and Kel Rainer.
Planned will be video presentations on the rescue, a dedication to Sandy Gomez (Alyssa's grandmother), an opening prayer, and music by Paul and Grace Jones, the Number 9 band out of Albuquerque, Adam Rael and Anne Katz, Sandy Wells, the Justin Lane Band, and headliner Clay Mac. A fireworks display is scheduled to close the event.
“The local economical struggles and the lack of equine education have left many animals defenseless and without a voice,” Gomez writes. “With support from the community more light can be shed on the issues that have affected Taos districts and the Taos Pueblo reservation. Regardless of the fact horse meat has a health risk, the processing of horses to slaughter is harsh. Horses endure tremendous amounts of suffering, which in most cases include dismemberment of parts while still being alive and conscious. Intervention can be made before horses are declared unmanageable and are sent to slaughter or neglected.”
Gomez says the rescue is planning to develop programs to help educate members of the public about equine health and welfare. It is also working to help find “loving lifelong homes for horses,” targeting veterans and active duty soldiers “to provide them a place of peace and understanding ... participating in a series of equine and outdoor activities like camping, fishing, horseback riding and natural horsemanship training courses. All programs offer a little bit of something for everyone.
“Let’s work together to save horses and people of our community from harsh fates they do not deserve,” Gomez writes.
Admission to the event is $25, $15 for seniors and veterans, $20 for active military, $10 for youth 8-14 years oldf, and free to kids 7 and younger.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (575) 779-5529.