FREEBURN HAS BEEN FOUND! - Freeburn has been located! Sara should be updating the report shortly. He was found because of one of the NetPosse postings. Somebody at the boarding barn recognized him from the posting. Thank you all who helped in any way to spread the word about Freeburn. See, one person can make a difference!
5/29/2012 1:07:09 P.M - Hi Debbie,
Michele asked me to send you a note on how we found Freeburn, with the help of Netposse.
On saturday evening I was alerted by a Friends of Ferdinand volunteer that the young lady who had Freeburn had posted on a Facebook that her horse was stolen. I contacted her and she confirmed that Freeburn was no longer in her possession, that her barn owner/manager had sold him mid-May and that he was not telling anyone where the horse was or the full name of who had purchased him. Obviously, we thought the worst. I filed the Netposse report and by Sunday morning the link was available and it began spreading across FB. I received calls all day from people who were formerly connected to Freeburn during his racing days, as well as offers to help from across the country. People who lived several states away from Illinois were willing to hook-up and drive to fetch a little plain bay TB they had only seen a picture of. The response was amazing and I had to recharge my phone 3 times on sunday as it literally rang and my email jingled all day.
With the help of a couple of dedicated thoroughbred welfare advocates who began making calls and reaching out to their contacts, we believed Freeburn was still likely in the area. Our hope was that Freeburn was standing in someone's barn and we just needed them to see the alert and make the connection. I was very worried though, because Freeburn is a little bay gelding with almost no identifiable markings. At almost midnight Sunday night (barely 24 hours after submitting the report to Netposse) I received a call from a barn owner named Rick who was very concerned that the horse that had just arrived into his barn that afternoon was Freeburn. One of his boarders saw the Netposse alert and told him that we were looking for Freeburn. He checked the tattoo and confirmed it was our horse. I explained to him what was going on, a bit about the organization and he said he would have his clients call me the next afternoon when they came to sign the boarding contract.
Before noon on monday, I received a call from the new owners and we talked for a long time. They seem like a fabulous family. They thought Freeburn was amazing before, but now that they know a bit more about his history and his training/skills, they think he is just awesome. This has been a tough transition for Freeburn and he is a bit thin for it, but otherwise in good spirits. Freeburn will stay with his new family and we have welcomed them into the FFI family.
Thank you so much for everything you do. This was the first time we have ever lost track of a Friends of Ferdinand horse. The tools provided by Netposse enabled a very positive outcome to what very easily could have become our worst nightmare. Freeburn's evolving success story has now become a Netposse success story as well.
Friends of Ferdinand