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Horse Helpers of the High Country Hosted Their 9th Annual Silent Auction This Past Friday

A live auction wrapped up the evening for Horse Helpers 9th annual fundraiser.

Horse Helpers of the High Country hosted their 9th Annual Silent Auction this past Friday evening at Whispering Waters Farm on Shulls Mill Road near Hound Ears. Attendees enjoyed the beautiful setting of the farm that featured live music, drinks and a catered buffet from Reid’s Café Catering. On site were a few of their rescued horses plus a room full of silent auction items that numbered over 100.

The music provided at the event was courtesy of ASU’s Student Chapter of the American String Teachers Association – Hayes School of Music, Appalachian State University. The players are all future string teachers and performers – individuals who are pursuing careers in music. Their first community outreach club project this fall, the musicians brought a blend of light Classical and folk / fiddle music.

A live auction followed dinner with lots of lively bidding. The weather was perfect for a beautiful evening!

Horse Helpers was established as a 501 non profit in 2004 by Anita Gomez, Joyce Campbell and others. The organization has been rescuing horses and other equine ever since. Kathleen Kelley took over the presidency a few years later, maintaining Horse Helpers’ presence in the area. Kelley helped to bring the plight of equine during Hurricane Katrina to the forefront of our community. Taking donations from the High Country to equine in the Louisiana region. In February 2009, the presidency was transferred to Amy Hudnall and the rescue moved to Wisteria Farm where it now resides. Throughout the changes in leadership Horse Helpers retained consistency in core board members as well as the ongoing support of all the former volunteers and participants. This kind of community is one of the reasons why Horse Helpers continues to maintain a helpful presence in the High Country.

They are the only 501(c)(3) equine rescue serving Watauga, Ashe, and Avery Counties in North Carolina and nearby Tennessee. Their goal is to offer aide to horses, donkeys, and mules – and they have helped to rescue fawns, dogs, cats, lambs, sheep and even chickens as well.

Wisteria Farm is located on 5 acres in a mountain farming community with a main barn that allows up to 10 rescues at a time along with a quarantine barn for newly arriving horses.

Their volunteer support and community support continues to grow as awareness of Horse Helpers increases. They are supporters of the local sustainable development community as well as links to Appalachian State University and Watauga High Schools Mountain Alliance. Running a rescue requires constant attention and it is something that takes a community, not just a few people. There are many ways to support Horse Helpers. The obvious way is through a monetary donation but are also in need of help of volunteer time and foster homes. For just $50 a month you can sponsor a horse that is growing from abuse, neglect, health problems or having been unwanted. The sponsorship helps pay for shavings for the stall, feed, and supplements.

Board of Directors:

  • Amy C. Hudnall, President
  • Lee Rankin, Vice President
  • Andy Koch, Treasurer
  • Andy Rowell, Secretary
  • Allison Crowe
  • David Linzey (Grants)
  • Debbie Linzey
  • Megan Miller
  • Betsy Nicholls (Volunteers)
  • Robert Rowell
  • Frank (Ham) Wilson

Find out more about Horse Helpers of the High Country by visiting their website at: www.horsehelpersnc.org


Guest were treated to champagne upon arriving at the event.
Music provided courtesy of ASU’s Student Chapter of the American String Teachers Association
Some of the silent auction items.

Dinner took place in the remodel stables at Whispering Waters Farm.
Guest enjoy the grounds at the farm.
A pony was on hand for guest to have pictures made with.
A number of students performed from ASU’s Student Chapter of the American String Teachers Association.

Dinner is served
The setting at Whisper Waters Farm

A live auction wrapped up the evening for Horse Helpers 9th annual fundraiser.