Bit O’ Luck

07/02/2012 11:47 AM

07/02/2012 12:41 PM

What child hasn’t begged for a horse or pony at some point only to hear some version of, “Do you know how much it costs to take care of a horse?” About $12.50 a day, or roughly $4,500 per year, for feed, veterinary care and grounds maintenance, according to Greg McCormack and his wife, Toni Sagrilla, founders of Bit ‘O Luck Equine Rescue. Multiply that by the five horses currently being cared for at the Huntersville nonprofit, and the total reaches nearly $23,000 per year. But it’s not about dollars and cents for McCormack. “There’s a lot of gratification in helping an animal that nobody wants because of the condition it’s in. Getting ‘em back to where somebody wants ‘em again is a good feeling.” It all started with Willie, a tall, skinny, 20-year-old American Saddlebred named Willie Bit O’Luck. McCormack took possession of the malnourished horse, but struggled to find the right place to keep him. When Tim and Gail Baxter heard of McCormack’s struggles, they offered Willie a home in their pasture on Stephens Road at no charge. When McCormack ran across Quinn, a severely underweight 19-year-old brood mare three months later, the Baxters welcomed her as a pasture mate for Willie. Tim Baxter suggested McCormack incorporate as a nonprofit, and Baxter became founding member of its board of directors. (Sadly, Ted Baxter passed away in February; memorial contributions were made to Bit O' Luck.) Over the past two years, Bit O’Luck has successfully rehabilitated and placed two horses with loving families. Five remain: Willie and Quinn; Fight Talk, a 27-year-old thoroughbred mare who shares an ancestor with Secretariat; Janie Doll, a 30-year-old American show horse abandoned at the Neck Road boat launch; and Sadie, a quarter horse who came to Bit O’Luck through Lincoln County Animal Control. Unfortunately, the recession has been good for business. McCormack had several calls last year from horse owners moving out of state and hoping to find a home for horses they couldn’t sell, but McCormack had no more room. Fundraising events over the past year netted about $4,500 and several are scheduled later in the year. “We’ll take just about anything we can sell,” says McCormack. “Planes, boats, automobiles.” Donations of hay and Purina Equine Senior feed are also welcome, as are volunteers. “The people I’ve met through doing this are amazing, salt-of-the-earth people. We get back way more than we give.”

Bit O’ Luck Equine Rescue P. O. Box 2752 Huntersville, NC 28070 (704) 464-9964 www.bitoluck.org/

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