Inspirations

Giving Tuesday: Help Horses Dodge Slaughter with This Jewelry

Sales of this Jumping Horse necklace in 14k rose gold from Mikelle Design helps save American horses from slaughter thanks to a partnership with the EQUUS Foundation; $795

New York City. Nov. 27, 2018. It may seem hard to believe, but many of America’s horses are at risk of slaughter—a fact that jewelry designer Mikelle Terson of Mikelle Design and the EQUUS Foundation would like to change.

This is because in 2011, President Barack Obama signed into law a bill that restored the American horse-slaughter industry. The administration investigated the fate of many of these majestic creatures once their usefulness (think racing horses) or terms as pets expired, determining that the ban on horse slaughter led to increased abuse and neglect—and the illegal shipment of horses to Mexico and Canada for butchering. The re-establishment of the American horse slaughter industry meant that the lives of the animals could perhaps be more humanely ended on U.S. soil with proper inspections in place to guarantee a level of accountability.

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While the thought behind the governmental move was a thoughtful, albeit controversial, one, horse lovers are understandably aghast at the thought of ponies being butchered for meat. So Terson, who has a history of supporting animal welfare organizations with her jewelry, teamed up with the EQUUS Foundation to offer horse-motif necklaces with proceeds benefiting the welfare of American horses. The effort is called the Happy Horse Giving Campaign.

Sales of this Happy Horse necklace in sterling silver from Mikelle Design helps save American horses from slaughter thanks to a partnership with the EQUUS Foundation; $195

Sales of this Happy Horse necklace in sterling silver from Mikelle Design helps save American horses from slaughter thanks to a partnership with the EQUUS Foundation; $195

The mission of EQUUS is to protect and strengthen the bond between horses and humans, and it does so by supporting organizations that shelter, rehabilitate, retrain, and rehome horses in need, as well as offering retirement opportunities for aged horses or scenarios that would allow horses to help change people’s lives, such as through therapy.

Mikelle came in contact with EQUUS while exhibiting at the Hampton Classic on Long Island in New York. She was fascinated by its mission and was shocked at learning that a horse once considered a beloved family pet or champion racer could actually end up in a slaughter house.

Sales of this Jumping Horse necklace in 14k rose gold from Mikelle Design helps save American horses from slaughter thanks to a partnership with the EQUUS Foundation; $795

Sales of this Jumping Horse necklace in 14k rose gold from Mikelle Design helps save American horses from slaughter thanks to a partnership with the EQUUS Foundation; $795

“Sometimes horses get sold several times and ownership gets lost along the way,” she explains. “Many people have no idea that this could happen—that their horse could end up in slaughter.”

To help, Terson created two horse necklace designs, each available in sterling silver, 18k yellow gold, and 14k rose gold, and she enlisted the help of a longtime client and philanthropist who earmarks an annual budget to help worthy animal causes. With that help, 100 percent financial matches will be made to EQUUS with the sale of every one of her necklaces.

Sales of this Jumping Horse necklace in 18k yellow gold from Mikelle Design helps save American horses from slaughter thanks to a partnership with the EQUUS Foundation; $1,100

Sales of this Jumping Horse necklace in 18k yellow gold from Mikelle Design helps save American horses from slaughter thanks to a partnership with the EQUUS Foundation; $1,100

“It’s an unusual opportunity when something is matched 100 percent,” she says. “Even big companies that use the pink ribbon to generate donations for breast cancer research will only donate about three percent, but to have someone match the same price that you pay for a necklace? That’s unheard of.”

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This behind-the-scenes benefactor is willing to match up to $15,000, or the equivalent of 15 of Terson’s Vertical Jump horses in gold. But here’s the catch: the Dec. 31 deadline for donations is fast approaching. “That doesn’t seem unconquerable in a month, does it?” she maintains.

“Horses are such a strong symbol of power and majesty, and many are surprised to learn that they are not always living the life of safety and dignity that they deserve.”

Jennifer Heebner LLC

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  • Giving Tuesday: Help Horses Dodge Slaughter with This Jewelry

    New York City. Nov. 27, 2018. It may seem hard to believe, but many of America’s horses are at risk of slaughter—a ...
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