The Vancouver Island Motor Circuit (VIMC) has put up $2,000 towards surgery costs to bring the friendly giant horse – Grady-Sylvester – back to health. The donation is by far the largest received in an online funding campaign.

Grady-Sylvester, the staff and client favourite at the Cowichan Therapeutic Riding Association (CTRA), has been diagnosed with a breathing obstruction that requires surgery to correct. He has been off active duty for a while as veterinarians worked to find the source of his problem.

“The prognosis is good for Grady-Sylvester,” said Jessie Fraser, executive director at CTRA, adding that she is very grateful for VIMC stepping up to support the surgery.
“His condition is fairly common, particularly with draft horses and racehorses.

Unfortunately, our gentle giant’s situation deteriorated very quickly this past month, forcing us to research and pursue the most humane options possible. Once he recuperates Grady-Sylvester will have many more years ahead of him working with our clients.”
Grady-Sylvester will be trailered to Vancouver for June 25 where the surgery will be performed.

CTRA is located at Providence Farm and provides riding therapy for scores of people living with disabilities. At any point in time CTRA has upwards of 100 active volunteers assisting in providing this therapy. Operating as a registered non-profit society, CTRA depends on fees paid by clients and their families, as well as by government agencies. Donations from the community top up funding that allows the program to operate.
VIMC has also made a three-year commitment to sponsor Grady-Sylvester at $2,500 per year. CTRA relies on horse sponsorships to help provide feed and care for the animals in their program.

Full disclosure: I have recently rejoined the CTRA board of directors.


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