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Day of education highlights animals available for adoption

ASPCA Adoption and Animal Welfare Day celebrated its sixth year at the 41st annual Hampton Classic offering several types of animals for adoption. In addition to horses, dogs and cats, this year for the first time the Day included various breeds of rabbits that were rescued in a joint effort between the ASPCA and NYPD.

ASPCA Ambassador Georgina Bloomberg and friend
Photo credit: Geoff Tischman

Valerie Angeli, ASPCA senior director of equine and special projects, and Jill Rappaport, TV host and animal-welfare advocate, welcomed area horse rescues that took part in a presentation in the Anne Aspinall Ring. Those participating included: Our Farm Equine Rescue of North Salem, NY, which brought a large pony and a Thoroughbred/Warmblood Cross; the ReRun Thoroughbred Adoption of East Greenbush, NY, that brought three former Thoroughbred racehorses and the Kaeli Kramer Foundation of Melville, NY, which brought two Mustangs. The mustangs were not available for adoption. They served as ambassadors for other wild mustangs needing protection.

In addition, several local rescue organizations staffed booths with numerous dogs, cats and rabbits available for adoption. They included: Gimme Shelter Animal Rescue, Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons, Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation, Tails of Courage, Last Chance Animal Rescue, and Shelter Chic.

"It's such an honor for me to be here. This is the sixth year we have been doing this," said Rappaport. "This is really special for me because it shines a light on these animals in need. I am so grateful to the Hampton Classic Horse Show, one of the most beautiful, special and prestigious shows in the world for allowing an event like this to take place so that people can understand the plight of all of these horses around the country."

L to R: Georgina Bloomberg, Jill Rappaport, Jessica Springsteen, Valerie Angeli, Hayley Barnhill, and Brianne Goutal
Photo credit: Geoff Tischman

Four riders who have been named by ASPCA officials as Equine-Welfare Ambassadors also participated: Georgina Bloomberg, Hayley Barnhill, Brianne Goutal, and Jessica Springsteen.

"I think it's very special for all of us to be able to come here and give back a little bit before we compete in this amazing horse show," said Bloomberg who has served as an ambassador and ASPCA Board Member. "We are all very lucky to be here and our horses are very lucky to have good homes. Today is all about being able to give back a little bit and help the horses that are not as fortunate."

Goutal was the first Equine-Welfare Ambassador ever named by the ASPCA. "I have been involved with the ASPCA since 2005," said Goutal. "There is a huge population of horses that have been mistreated or abandoned or people simply can't afford. There is a dire need to help these animals. I am really grateful to the ASPCA and it's very important to make people aware of what is going on because the animals really need it."

Hayley Barnhill rides one of the horses for adoption
Photo credit: Geoff Tischman

Barnhill and Springsteen demonstrated the capabilities of two of the horses riding them for a short while in front of an appreciative crowd. Those horses, as well as the Thoroughbreds, may be adopted by contacting the rescue organizations that brought them to the Hampton Classic.

Shanette Barth Cohen, executive director of the Hampton Classic, was also in attendance and addressed the crowd. "We are so pleased to have a platform to help find forever homes for dogs, cats, rabbits and horses in need of a home because there are so many animals that do not have a home right now. We truly appreciate all of the hard work that all those organizations do to save animals in need."

Jessica Springsteen on one of the horses for adoption
Photo credit: Geoff Tischman