Wednesday, June 15, 2011

An Unusual Love Story

All of the Hearts Horse Sponsors love their horses.  However, the bond between Bill Calise and his sponsored horse, Max, is especially wonderful.  
Max is a Draft-Quarter Horse Cross Gelding, born in 1987. Before coming to Hearts he was a retired forest service horse that spent most of his twenty-plus year career in the back country as a ranger's trail horse.  He's a big softie, and everyone loves his unique "moustache!"  Max was selected as the Hearts Horse of the Year in 2009, winning the opportunity to have his portrait done by the renowned equine artist, Katie Upton.
When Bill and Kathryn sponsored him in 2010, Max, at age 23, was beginning to slow down.  His teeth were worn down, so he was fed nutritious pellets to supplement his hay.  When Bill learned of this condition, he began grating carrots and bringing them to Max personally!  The two struck up a fast friendship.  Bill’s grandson, Wolfie, loved to visit with Max as well.

Finally, the day came when it was time for Max to retire from Hearts.  Due to the generosity of Bill and Kathryn, he is now happily residing in a retirement home for horses in the Santa Ynez Valley, where the Calise family continues to visit him. 
Hearts is grateful for the generosity of Bill and Kathryn Calise and our other wonderful Horse Sponsors.  With their support, we are able to provide the best of care for our horse heroes.

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